The STS 53rd Annual Meeting Begins

Joseph E. Bavaria, MD

Joseph E. Bavaria, MD

Welcome to the STS 53rd Annual Meeting! I’m thrilled to welcome you to Houston for this preeminent educational event in cardiothoracic surgery.

The STS Workforce on Annual Meeting has put together an outstanding program that will provide you with knowledge and skills that you can take back home and put to use right away. Over the next 5 days, you’ll experience thought-provoking lectures from renowned faculty and guests, exciting hands-on learning, an abundance of networking opportunities, and a chance to view the latest products and services in the specialty.

The STS Annual Meeting is the epicenter of cardiothoracic surgery and will be packed with interactive learning on hot topics. We’ll also explore practice management, work-life balance, and quality improvement issues that impact STS members on a daily basis.

After an extremely positive response in 2016, STS/AATS Tech-Con 2017 is again focusing on cutting-edge technologies and new developments in cardiothoracic surgery. A highlight on Saturday will be the Shark Tank session, in which entrepreneurs pitch their innovative cardiothoracic surgery products to the audience, as well as a panel of experts in medical device development.

A number of sessions will feature perspectives from international experts. A Monday session from STS, the Canadian Association of Thoracic Surgeons, and the Canadian Society of Cardiac Surgeons will focus on implementing quality improvement by describing how surgeons and institutions perceive their practice versus true data-based performance. Also on Monday, experts from around the world will examine the quality versus access debate in cardiothoracic surgical care, including regionalization, building sustainable cardiothoracic surgery programs, and humanitarian crises, at the International Symposium.

STS and the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery will host a session on the various treatment strategies and techniques for distal thoracic aortic dissection on Tuesday. Another Tuesday session, with the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons, will feature controversial issues in general thoracic surgery, including adjuvant treatment for thymic malignancies, donors for lung transplantation, the role of lung volume reduction surgery for emphysema, and the surgical management of spontaneous esophageal perforations.

In addition to collaborative sessions with international participants highlighted here, special presentations with the American College of Cardiology, the Society for Vascular Surgery, the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiology, and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery also are part of the program. And in light of recent findings tracing Mycobacterium chimaera infections to heater-cooler devices used in cardiac surgery, a special symposium has been added at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday to help attendees better understand the cause of these infections and develop measures to lower the risk of occurrence.

The Society reopened late-breaking abstract submissions for the 2017 meeting after a hiatus last year, and the response was incredible. We have so many outstanding late-breaking abstracts to feature that two sessions have been added to the program—one on Monday morning and another on Tuesday afternoon. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear about the latest, most innovative research in the field.

I am very pleased to welcome two outstanding guest speakers at the General Session on Tuesday morning. The Thomas B. Ferguson Lecture will be given by Ralph W. Muller, MA, the Chief Executive Officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. The C. Walton Lillehei lecturer will be Samer Nashef, MBChB, PhD, who co-developed the EuroSCORE risk-assessment system. Dr. Nashef, author of The Naked Surgeon: The Power and Peril of Transparency in Medicine, will provide his overview of quality initiatives and their unintended consequences.

You can read about these presentations and more in your Program Guide and Abstract Book—two publications that you will find invaluable for planning your schedule in Houston and also for reference when you’re back home.

On behalf of the Society’s leadership and the 53rd Annual Meeting Program Planning Committee, thank you for joining us here in Houston. Welcome to the meeting!

Joseph E. Bavaria, MD
STS President

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