STS 52nd Annual Meeting to Feature New Technology, Lively Debates

Members of the Program Task Force discussed the Annual Meeting program content this past August.

For the first time in 30 years, the STS Annual Meeting will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, a city with a sophisticated architectural landscape set against panoramic mountains and stunning desert scenery. The meeting will be January 23-27, 2016, at the Phoenix Convention Center and will offer more interactivity and technology than ever before.

“Attending the meeting will help you see into the future and also stay current on tangible things that you can use in practice today,” said K. Robert Shen, MD, Chair of the Workforce on Annual Meeting. “STS always has been the most inclusive surgical society in our specialty, so the meeting is an excellent opportunity for networking.”

Members of the Workforce on Annual Meeting Program Task Force chose from nearly 1,000 submitted research abstracts and surgical videos to select the best for presentation at the Annual Meeting. The result is an educational program that will stimulate debate, broaden attendees’ scope of knowledge, and showcase the leading edge of cardiothoracic surgery technology.

Hot Topics on Deck

For adult cardiac surgeons, the coming revolution in transcatheter mitral valve surgery will be a hot topic at the Annual Meeting. Sessions also will cover transcatheter aortic valve procedures, arrhythmia, aortic dissection, heart failure, and left ventricular assist devices. (See related article.)

“STS and the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery will be hosting a very potent session on specialized aortic valve-sparing surgery and aortic valve repair,” said STS First Vice President Joseph E. Bavaria, MD, who helped plan the session. “We also have an exciting session on structural heart disease in combination with the American College of Cardiology. This will be a very dynamic portion of the Annual Meeting.”

Sessions geared toward general thoracic surgeons will cover breath tests for lung cancer, surveillance after definitive treatment, quality improvement initiatives, and the hybrid operating room.

“The general thoracic surgical symposium on Sunday will be really exciting. We’re going to look at advanced techniques in lung cancer resection, a minimally invasive approach to treating thymic tumors, both with and without myasthenia gravis, and how to incorporate quality initiatives into your thoracic surgical practice,” said Leah M. Backhus, MD, Co-Chair of the Surgical Symposia Task Force.

Congenital heart surgeons can look forward to discussions on atrioventricular septal defects, the arterial switch operation, tetralogy of Fallot, and hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

In particular, the congenital surgical symposium on Sunday afternoon will spark conversation regarding several controversial topics. “In the first half, intraoperative videos will be shown to demonstrate different ways of performing complex neonatal operations,” said Andrew C. Fiore, MD, Co-Chair of the Surgical Symposia Task Force. “The second half will be a debate between surgeons and cardiologists covering three fairly controversial but common problems in pediatric cardiac surgery.”

International Collaborations Highlighted

A number of sessions will feature perspectives from international experts. Not only is STS partnering with EACTS, but sessions also have been developed in collaboration with the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Canadian Association of Thoracic Surgeons, and the Canadian Society of Cardiac Surgeons.

The International Symposium & Reception on Monday, January 25, will focus on the viability and ethics of employing new technologies to treat rheumatic heart disease, endocarditis, and mitral valve disease in various parts of the world. (See related article.)

“Cardiothoracic surgery really is a specialty that traverses all geographies, so most of the meeting content will be germane and appropriate for the entire international community,” Dr. Bavaria said.

For more information and to register for the STS 52nd Annual Meeting, visit
the STS Annual Meeting website.