Brachycephalic & BOAS Surgery Workshop 2024

April 6th - 7th 2024

University of Queensland, Gatton Campus

CPD points: Vets:
NSW 25.5
Other 19.5
Nurses / techs:

Brachycephalic patients are fun, but they can also be demanding, anxious, high risk and high maintenance. Yet if the whole veterinary care team is on the same page, your chances of success are far greater and the experience is more manageable for everyone.

In this weekend workshop, vets focus on surgical techniques to manage brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS). This is not a watch-and-learn workshop. This is a learn-by-doing workshop which has evolved from our very popular Fix the Face workshop.

Nurses and technicians have their own weekend-long CE stream with extensive practical sessions on brachycephalic intubation, anaesthesia, surgery, recovery and postoperative care.

BOAS in clinical practice

  • Surgical procedures for BOAS

  • Brachy-safe anaesthesia & analgesia

  • Gastrointestinal complications associated with BOAS

  • Stress reduction through holistic patient care

  • Case presentations & clinical discussion

Your practical skills take priority

A VetPrac workshop will always put hands-on skills first. Veterinarians at our Brachycephalic & BOAS workshop practice a range of surgical techniques under the leadership of veterinary surgical specialists. Nurses and technicians practice airway examinations, intubation, and simulated anaesthesia monitoring with tailored brachy-safe techniques. When we say hands-on, we mean it.

patella luxation workshop photos


Theory for practice
  • Regional anaesthesia techniques
  • Anatomy of vital respiratory structures
  • Redundant respiratory structures
  • Soft tissue & airway surgical techniques
  • Recognised BOAS procedures
Practical skills sessions
  • Wedge resection
  • Sacculectomy
  • Folded flap palatoplasty
  • Free edge staphylectomy
  • Tonsillectomy
  • Alarpexy
  • Temporary tracheostomy

Nurses & technicians

Theory for practice
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Local anaesthesia techniques
  • Individual patient risk assessment
  • Airway examination
  • Premedication, induction, recovery
  • Brachy-safe general anaesthesia
Practical skills sessions
  • Airway landmarks
  • Recovery & complications
  • Case discussions
  • Nursing protocols
  • Emergency kits
  • Home care communication
  • Educating & involving clients


Not just for vets, this workshop has been designed to educate the whole clinical team in up-to-date brachycephalic care. By attending as a nurse-vet partnership, you’ll collaborate for tutorials on risk assessment and surgical complications, and work together in a practical session where all attendees learn how to place local nerve blocks.

Other sessions are role-specific: vets join the surgical stream, and veterinary nurses and technicians spend the rest of the weekend on the wide range of clinical skills involved with perioperative care and brachycephalic anaesthesia.

What kind of vet should attend?

Any veterinarian with an interest in soft tissue surgery will find this workshop rewarding. Our participants generally join us from general practice, referral and emergency clinics, and this course is highly surgical with hours of actual hands-on practice in BOAS procedures. You’ll use the soft tissue handling skills you’ve developed during routine or general practice level surgeries, and our specialist-led education team will coach you in the nuances of veterinary airway surgery.

What kind of nurse or tech should attend?

This workshop is suitable for any nurse or technician working in a clinical nursing role. Some experience with anaesthesia monitoring will be an advantage, as well as some surgical preparation skills – experience with perioperative care in general practice level surgeries like desexing is an excellent foundation. The veterinary technician specialist-led team will build on your technical knowledge to explain and demonstrate how the brachycephalic patient requires next-level care and attention.

Don’t miss this opportunity to embrace brachycephalic case management for your practice. Our philosophy is that by training the whole clinical team together, you’ll be more confident and capable when you take new skills back into practice. You’ll love meeting our kind and experienced teaching staff, and we think you’ll enjoy the relaxed and collaborative atmosphere of our BOAS workshop.


Get current

Get up to date in BOAS research, management & surgery, then we’ll show you how to walk the talk.

Social network

This is your tribe. Spend some quality time with people who understand what you do each day.

Great food

We’ll make sure you’re nourished with healthy food, sweet treats & caffeine, so you can get on with learning new skills.

Hands on experience

It’s all about time on the tools. We prioritise your opportunity to perform the skills in each section of the workshop, with support & guidance whenever you need it.

Personalised feedback

Get feedback on your clinical approach & refine your technique throughout the workshop. You’ll have exclusive access to our education team, ask as many questions as you can!

Real-world training

Learn the same way you work: vets & nurses together. Collaborative sessions help you apply your new skills in the clinic, & stream-specific sessions focus on key skills for each role.

Workshop Schedule

Brachy and BOAS Sx Schedule Dual Stream 6 7 April 2024 Updated JS 1

A VetPrac workshop has tangible benefits


Weekend workshop for a vet & nurse team with a $3,650 CPD investment


Invaluable hands-on learning for the veterinary care team


Foundation for BOAS management & future clinical services

Your Educators

Lead educator

Nurse & technician stream

Lead Educators – Nurse & Vet Stream
Lead educator

Veterinarian stream

Dr Ema Bowman

Dr Ema Bowman

Qualifications: BVSc (Distinction), MANCVS

Ema is a 2008 Massey University graduate with memberships in internal medicine, significant training in anaesthesia, and clinical experience from New Zealand, Australian, and North American specialist hospitals.

Ema performs up to 10 BOAS surgeries per week, focused on proactive multi-level upper airway surgery, brachy safe anaesthesia, and tailored preoperative and postoperative risk reduction.

Ema’s dream is a career where BOAS surgery is no longer needed. Until then, she continues to be a vocal advocate for every brachycephalic patient.

James King

Dr James King

Qualifications: BAppSc (Hons), BVSc (Hons1), MANZCVS, FANZCVS

Specialisation: Small Animal Surgery

Dr King is a registered specialist in small animal surgery. He grew up in Brisbane and graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science from the University of Queensland with first class honours in 2013, then completed a rotating 12 month internship with Veterinary Specialist Services.

James has worked in Emergency and Critical Care, as a GP locum and in the Intensive Care Unit at the University of Queensland. Because of this range of experiences, James can relate to the challenges faced by veterinarians at all levels. James has keen interests in neurosurgery and orthopaedics, and he enjoys teaching surgical skills to veterinarians.

Supporting tutors
Dr Alex Santamaria

Dr Alex Santamaria

Qualifications: BVSc, BSc, MANZCVS (SAS) DACVS

Specialisation: Registered Specialist in Small Animal Surgery

Alex is a Registered Small Animal Surgical Specialist and a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

She has a strong interest in soft tissue and reconstructive surgery with advanced training in interventional radiology. Alex is a Co-Director at Melbourne Animal Referral Services (MARS) and also works part time at Geelong Animal Referral Services (GARS). She is dedicated to veterinary education and enjoys helping vets of all career stages to extend their surgical skills.

Charlene Scott

Charleyne Scott

Qualifications: VTS (Anesthesia & Analgesia), DipVN (Emergency & Critical Care), Certificate IV TAE

Charleyne has 16 years of clinical nursing experience in practice in Australia and six years in university and specialist veterinary hospitals. She also spent four years working and teaching in the anaesthesia department at the University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, before becoming a veterinary technician working in advanced translational medical research at the University of Sydney. Charleyne remains involved in clinical anaesthesia at various locations and has recently completed her Veterinary Technician Specialist credential in Veterinary Anaesthesia & Analgesia.

Cindy Grew

Cindy Grew

Qualifications: Cert IV Vet Nurse, Cert IV TAE

Cindy is the Marketing & Education Coordinator at VetCare B. Braun Pty Ltd Australia and New Zealand, and is a practicing veterinary nurse with ten years of experience. Previously, she has managed three veterinary hospitals, one of which was a 24-hour emergency clinic.

Within her role at B. Braun, Cindy coordinates workshops, onsite and online training, and engagement with vets and vet nurses.

One of Cindy’s passions is caring for our Australian native wildlife. It was this passion which drove her to become a wildlife carer with WIRES, and head up the wildlife treatment division within the clinic. Cindy’s passion is sharing current skills and techniques with veterinary professionals, and helping them achieve their potential.

Dr Arthur House

Dr Arthur House

Qualifications: BSc, BVMS, PhD, Cert SAS, Dip ECVS

Specialisation: Small Animal Surgery

Arthur is a registered specialist in small animal surgery with over 20 years of experience and an extensive range of specialist surgical skills.

He has a PhD in veterinary research and has been published in a broad range of publications and peer reviewed journals. He is involved in collaborative research which ensures he stays at the forefront of veterinary science, offering the latest treatments for his patients.

Arthur continues to be active in veterinary postgraduate training through provision of continuing education lectures, supervision of new graduates, surgical interns and residents, and he has also been an author in several textbooks.


Dr Margie McEwen

Qualifications: BVSc DACVAA MANZCVS

Specialisation: Board certified anaesthesiologist

Margie is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia.

Many vets and nurses will agree that Margie’s warmth and her willingness to share her clinical and academic experience have been instrumental in their careers. Margie maintains, however, that it was her years in private practice rather than her academic accolades which keep her tuned in to the reality of veterinary medicine. Margie continues to teach anaesthesia and analgesia into VetPrac’s hands-on workshops and online courses, as she continues her mission for lifelong learning.

Dr Tania Banks

Dr Tania Banks

Qualifications: BVSc, FACVSc (Small Animal Surgery), GC(HEd), Phd

Specialisation: Soft Tissue Surgery

Tania completed her small animal surgery residency at The University of Queensland and at Veterinary Specialist Services (VSS) Underwood. She was awarded a Fellowship in small animal surgery (by examination) in 2005, and has practiced as a specialist surgeon at various referral centres in England and Brisbane, and recently completed a PhD in tissue engineering. Tania currently works as a small animal surgeon at Veterinary Specialist Services (VSS). Tania performs all aspects of small animal surgery with a particular emphasis on soft tissue and oncology surgery.

Your Questions Answered

Are group discounts available?

Absolutely! Work together, learn together, we say. If 3 or more participants register from the same clinic under the same booking, you’ll receive a 5% discount at checkout when you book on our website.

Will I get CPD points and a CPD certificate?

Of course! Each participant will receive a CPD certificate via email. We do this after you’ve provided feedback and the workshop is complete.

What kind of learning materials are included?

Generally, you can choose printed course notes, a digital copy on USB, or both. Everyone gets a printed copy of the procedure guide.

What happens if I pay and then later can’t attend?
  • Transferring or changing registration from one workshop to another will incur a $50 administration fee.
  • Cancellations made up to 45 days prior to the commencement date of the Training Course will incur an administrative fee of 50% of the Fee.
  • Cancellations made up to 7 days prior to the commencement date of the Training Course are not refundable.

Can I pay in instalments, or do you offer payment plans?

Yes! At VetPrac we are pleased to offer payment plans for our online courses and workshops. We want to make it manageable for you to invest in your professional development.

For more information regarding our payment plans, please do not hesitate to contact Ros at [email protected].

What happens if the workshop is cancelled?

If VetPrac cancels any workshops, we will refund your course fees in full. However, VetPrac will not be responsible for any travel, accommodation or any other expenses incurred by you.

Still have questions? We’ve got answers.
Call 0491943260

Still have questions? We’ve got answers.
Call +61 491 943 260



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The University of Queensland