Welcome to STS 2019

I am thrilled that you’ve joined us in San Diego for the Society’s 55th Annual Meeting, and I hope you are ready for a meeting that is packed with interactive learning, thought-provoking lectures, hands-on sessions, an abundance of networking opportunities, and a chance to view the latest products and services in the specialty.

Keith S. Naunheim, MD

Keith S. Naunheim, MD

We have reconfigured the traditional meeting schedule to provide you with all the experiences that you’ve come to expect, while also decreasing the days you’re away from the office and your patients.

The meeting will kick off on Sunday morning with STS University, followed by an opening plenary session featuring the J. Maxwell Chamberlain Memorial Papers and the Thomas B. Ferguson Lecture. I’ll give my Presidential Address on Monday morning, and Tuesday’s schedule will include the C. Walton Lillehei Lecture.

Keynote Lectures
I am very pleased to welcome two outstanding keynote speakers this year. For the Ferguson Lecture, Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, President and CEO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, will discuss advances in cancer immunotherapy. The Lillehei lecturer will be Eric Topol, MD, Director and Founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California. His talk, “High-Performance Medicine: The Convergence of Artificial Intelligence and Health Care,” will review the progress made toward AI integration into health care, where things are heading, and potential liabilities and obstacles.

International Expertise
Over the next few days, we will be spending a lot of time with our cardiothoracic surgery colleagues from across the globe, sharing a unique camaraderie and discussing our experiences. In addition, the Society has planned a number of exciting joint sessions with international medical societies that I hope you will find intriguing and rewarding. 

A Sunday session by STS, the Canadian Association of Thoracic Surgeons, and the Canadian Society of Cardiac Surgeons will review trends in the utilization of minimally invasive surgical techniques for anatomic pulmonary resection, including both video-assisted thoracoscopic and robotic surgery.

On Monday, the Society will team up with the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery in a session that will focus on alternatives to the standard classic repair for DeBakey type I aortic dissection. Experts will discuss the outcomes of innovative extended arch repair techniques, including the distal aortic frozen elephant trunk, novel branched arch endografts, and valve retention root reconstructive surgery. At the same time, STS will join the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons to explore controversial issues in general thoracic surgery, including invasive staging in early stage lung cancer, multimodal approaches for the treatment of stage IIIAN2 lung cancer, and the use of induction therapy in patients with T2N0 esophageal cancer.

Also on Monday, STS and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation will hold a symposium looking at how ventricular assist devices are utilized in European and Asian populations, as well as the latest innovations in univentricular and biventricular support.

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

Hot Topics in the Field
Chaired by Richard Lee, MD, the Workforce on Annual Meeting and its related task forces worked hard to help ensure that each day of the meeting includes hot topics and information that you can put into practice as soon as you return home.

Among them is a session on Monday that will look at diversity and inclusion in cardiothoracic surgery. Joan Reede, MD, MPH, MBA, Dean for Diversity and Community Partnership at Harvard Medical School in Boston, will discuss the value of diversity and inclusion for your practice, service line, and community relationships. A session organized by Women in Thoracic Surgery on Sunday also will examine the issue of inclusion in the specialty, specifically through the lens of how our unconscious biases can affect the recruitment and retention of surgeons in our field, as well as our relationships with colleagues and patients.

Additionally, several abstracts and invited lectures highlight pain management strategies, including enhanced recovery after surgery protocols and opioid prescribing patterns by cardiothoracic surgeons. Our specialty needs to face the opioid issue head on so that we can get ahead of the problem and help prevent further tragedies, so please attend these important presentations.

Download the Mobile App
Your most valuable resource at the meeting this year is the STS Meetings app; printed programs are no longer provided. With the app, you can save favorite sessions/presentations to your custom itinerary, read scientific abstracts, and more. If you haven’t done so already, download it now by searching for “STS Meetings” in the Apple iOS App Store or Google Play Store. You also can scan the QR code on page 16 of this newspaper. 

On behalf of the Society’s leadership, thank you for being here. 

Keith S. Naunheim, MD
STS President