|Meeting of hearts and minds|
|Thursday, 01 July 2010|
Simon Kendall reports from Liverpool, where the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland held its Annual Meeting, at ACC Liverpool, from 7-9 March 2010
Dr Michael Mack (Dallas)giving the Heart Research UK Lecture
ACC Liverpool is an outstanding facility on the banks of the Mersey and was the venue for the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland (SCTS) Annual Meeting. Kicking off the meeting, 580 delegates – 20% more than last year – were made very welcome at a civic reception from the Mayor.
This year the SCTS University was introduced to the meeting by Ian Wilson as a source of multidisciplinary postgraduate education. It was opened by Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director NHS, and Maura Buchanan, President of the RCN. The faculty was assembled from the US, Europe, Ireland and the UK, providing interactive sessions and ‘hands on’ experience.
Despite starting early on Sunday morning, all the parallel sessions on thoracic surgery, mitral valve surgery, surgery for atrial fibrillation and congenital surgery were fully subscribed. With the help of NHSBT (based in Speke) the congenital session was supplied with human hearts to enable all participants to have the unique opportunity to perform a Ross Procedure (implanting the pulmonary valve into the aortic position).
The feedback from the University was very positive and exceeded expectations, ensuring that the University will feature even more prominently in next year’s meeting.
To encourage interest in a career in cardiothoracic surgery there was a Medical Student Poster Competition organised by David McCormack and 20 posters were displayed out of 43 submitted, and a 10 further were shortlisted for presentation to a panel of judges.
The meeting continues to provide a shared platform for groups that influence, deliver and are essential to cardiothoracic surgery. This included the Patients’ Forum, Cardiothoracic Surgical Trainees, the Association of Cardiothoracic Surgical Practitioners, the Society of Clinical Perfusion Scientists, Database Managers and the Nurses Forum.
Despite the current economic climate, the meeting had a full exhibition hall, and phenomenal support for the University and educational content of the meeting from businesses associated with the specialty. There were a total of 140 papers presented in plenary and sub-specialty sessions.
Michael Mack (Dallas) gave the Heart Research UK lecture on SYNTAX scoring in revascularisation and also lectured on the US experience with TAVI (trans-catheter aortic valve implantation). Valerie Rusch (New York) gave the Tudor Edwards lecture on the new TNM classification in lung cancer. She also lectured on chest wall reconstruction and the US perspective on surgery for mesothelioma. Hugo Vanermen (Aalst, Belgium) gave the Pulse Surgical lecture on minimally invasive valve surgery. Dean Ferguson (Toronto) participated in a symposium on bleeding post-cardiac surgery, presenting his views on the BART study that led to Aprotonin being largely withdrawn from current practice.
Guests at the Annual Dinner in the Hilton Hotel witnessed the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Professor Peter Goldstraw in recognition of his outstanding career in thoracic surgery, including his significant international influence on the specialty.
Next year the Annual Meeting will be held in London from 20-22 March 2011, and details are available on the society website at www.scts.org.
Simon Kendall, SCTS Meeting Secretary