General Thoracic Symposium Emphasizes Audience Participation

Participants in the Parallel Surgical Symposium: General Thoracic will play a vital role in the educational direction of the program, which will be presented from 1:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday in Room 122ABC.

Leah M. Backhus, MD, MPH

“We’ve incorporated clinical vignettes and audience polling to highlight the immediate clinical relevance of the topics we’ll discuss. This format not only will engage our audience, but it also will allow the speakers to tailor their talks to the knowledge base of the participants,” said co-moderator Leah M. Backhus, MD, MPH.

Speakers will discuss minimally invasive approaches to thymectomy, with and without myasthenia gravis, advanced surgical techniques for lung resection, including bronchoplastic procedures, and localization strategies for small, non-palpable lung nodules. They also will describe barriers to participation in national databases and provide advice for incorporating quality improvement initiatives into cardiothoracic surgical practice.

“There is not a single standard approach to thymectomy, so this is an opportunity to see three surgical approaches highlighted alongside each other. The format also will allow for back-and-forth discussion among the panelists and with audience members to debate their options regarding the best approach to the thymus,” said Dr. Backhus, Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford University and the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System in California.

Strategies for Lung Resection

The next portion of the symposium will focus on advanced techniques in lung resection, highlighting limits and frontiers for complex minimally invasive lung resection.

“Many surgeons are pushing their limits and exploring surgical treatment options for patients who may have traditionally been considered as unresectable. Experience in advanced bronchoplastic thoracoscopic techniques can help define whether someone receives a potentially curative resection or not,” Dr. Backhus said.

Videos will be used to show the technical aspects of procedures so participants can leave with tools that they immediately can apply to their clinical practices.

Incorporating Quality Improvement Initiatives

The final portion of the symposium centers on the importance of database participation, public reporting, and quality improvement initiatives. It will conclude with an update on Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part IV for the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

“MOC Part IV is not an onerous challenge,” Dr. Backhus said. “We will show how to minimize some of the perceived barriers for meeting the new MOC requirements by providing guidance on implementing quality improvement programs.

“I encourage people to attend this symposium. We’ve built on the great feedback from last year and put together an exciting program with high-profile speakers. It will be a lot of fun, and participants will leave with a tremendous amount of knowledge.”

Learn More about MOC

The recently changed requirements for ABTS Diplomates to remain compliant with MOC activities also will be discussed during Early Riser Session 15 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Room 224B. The program will include a review of MOC goals, changes in specific MOC practices and requirements in surgery and cardiothoracic surgery, and the responsibilities for board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons. All cardiothoracic surgeons are welcome, but those approaching the 5th or 10th year of their ABTS cycle will find the session valuable.