Innovative procedures presented by Sheffield surgeons won them two of four major awards at an annual scientific meeting.
Consultant maxillofacial surgeon Austen Smith and specialty registrar Alastair Fry received the President’s Prize and Paul Toller Award respectively by the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
The President’s Prize is for the best scientific paper presentation from a Fellow of the association, and the Paul Toller Prize for the best presentation on a research topic.
Mr Smith has worked as Consultant at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals for 19 years, and gave a presentation on a technique that allows the surgeon to see blood flow in the ‘flaps’ (tissue removed from one part of the body and used to rebuild another) by injecting a dye which is illuminated using a laser.
This enables the surgeon to see that blood is flowing and connected as it should be. Previously surgeonswould have relied on listening to blood flow audible signals or the colour of the tissue.
Mr Smith said: “This is a new application of a technique adapted from emerging medical imaging developments that came out of our collaborative work with Neurosurgeons in Sheffield.”
Dr Fry won his award for his research on how finely sections of the fibula can be cut to help repair the jawbone, while continuing to maintain a healthy blood supply.
He said: “This work has implications for designing head and neck reconstructions and fits in well with the technique of virtual planning of reconstructions, which is something that we have been early to adopt in Sheffield.”
Mr Smith added: “It is quite a feat to have two of the four main prizes in our specialty within the UK, and a real feather in the cap for Sheffield.
“I am very proud of the awards. On a personal level it is the first I have won, and it is also very gratifying to see Alastair, who was in my lectures as a dental student in years gone by and later my trainee, now doing such fantastic work.
“He holds a prestigious head and neck training post and will shortly be a high profile consultant in this field.”