STS 2018 Begins

Richard L. Prager, MD

Welcome to the STS 54th Annual Meeting! I am thrilled to welcome you to Fort Lauderdale for this preeminent educational event in cardiothoracic surgery.

The STS Annual Meeting will be packed with interactive learning on hot topics. 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.

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 provide information on the management of airway injuries post-esophagectomy, management of N2 disease in non-small cell lung cancer, and much more. Also on Monday, surgeons at the International Symposium will explain their treatment approaches, challenges, and ethical dilemmas related to dealing with infectious heart diseases in young adults—especially in light of the current opioid epidemic.

On Tuesday, the Society will team up with the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery in a session on the treatment options available for bicuspid aortic valve disease associated with pure aortic valve insufficiency and root dilation. In the afternoon, STS will partner with the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation in a new session on contemporary experience with left ventricular assist device therapy around the globe. STS also will join with the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons to discuss controversial issues in general thoracic surgery, including surgical management of pulmonary metastases, management of malignant pleural mesothelioma, surgery in small cell lung cancer, and chest wall tumors.

In addition to collaborative sessions with international participants highlighted above, special presentations with the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the American College of Chest Physicians, the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiology, and the Society for Vascular Surgery also are part of the program.

A new session on Monday will tackle the topic of diversity and inclusion in cardiothoracic surgery. Speakers will discuss how a diverse cardiothoracic surgery workforce can improve patient outcomes through increasing cultural competency and mitigating unconscious provider bias. Please make plans to attend this important session.

I also am very pleased about the three outstanding guest speakers at the General Session on Tuesday morning. Not one, but two speakers have been chosen for this year’s Thomas B. Ferguson Lecture. John Ayanian will deliver “Health Care Reform: Why It’s Still Needed and Where It’s Headed.” He is the Director of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan. Karen Joynt Maddox will present “The Future of Payment Reform in Medicare.” She is a practicing cardiologist at Washington University in St. Louis who has served as a health policy advisor for the Department of Health and Human Services. Following the two presentations, Keith Naunheim, Dave Shahian, Alan Speir, and I will participate in a panel discussion on health care reform.

The C. Walton Lillehei lecturer will be Laura J. Snyder, a historian, philosopher, and writer. Her talk, “The Philosophical Breakfast Club and the Invention of the Modern Scientist,” will describe how a group of thinkers at Cambridge University in the early 19th century introduced four major principles into scientific inquiry and, as a result, transformed medical science.

A full listing of presentations is available in your Program Guide, a publication that you will find invaluable for planning your schedule. New this year, the scientific abstract information is available in an e-only Abstract Book ( and in the STS Meetings app (

On behalf of the Society’s leadership, thank you for joining us here in Fort Lauderdale. Welcome to the meeting!

Richard L. Prager, MD
STS President