As a medical student in the OR, it can often be a frustrating experience. Surgery is a foreign and exciting domain, but even by scrubbing in and being close to the field, “why are they doing that?” is a common feeling.

When it comes to Plastic surgery, there is a dual goal of restoring function and maintaining a cosmetic result. To that affect, the use of flaps is a common technique employed.

Surgical Illustrations attempts to present the basic ideas and types of flaps in a simple fashion for medical students to understand. The team at Surgical Illustrations consists of British plastic surgeon (Mr. Oudit) and medical artists. This venture is their first collaboration, and the product is a great start. It is currently as a universal app available for iOS devices.

The app opens on the home screen, with a basic and quick introduction to the idea and purpose of the product. After that, the app is very simple: it presents different types of transposition and advancement flaps.

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There are 14 Transposition flaps, and 7 Advancement flaps presented in the app.

Transposition flaps:

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Advancement flaps:

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While there are volumes of books written on this subject alone and the app presents a simplified look into the types of flaps, a range of improvements could be made. Some of the improvements include: more explanation (ideal size/limit for techniques), inclusion of actual post-op images, and the final cosmetic results would each add benefit.

The app is relatively new, having just been released early last month. This first version is a great start and I would be interested to see what improvements the developers make in the newer versions.

Images of app in landscape mode:

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  • $8.99 from the AppStore


  • Quick and simple explanation of the technique
  • Beautiful illustrations and videos


  • The authors don’t provide an ideal size/limit for each technique
  • Viewing real-life images of the post-op and cosmetic results would be an added bonus
  • Although the introduction mentions rotational flaps, the app does not include any images/videos


  • Overall, it is a unique, simple app with great visuals that can be used by medical students and junior surgical residents to help grasp a basic understanding of flap surgery

iTunes Link