Celebrate History and Look to the Future at the STS 50th Annual Meeting

STS News, Fall 2013 -- In the fall of 1963, STS founders had a vision: to create a society that could serve as a forum for all practicing cardiothoracic surgeons to gather, share experiences, and exchange ideas.

Five decades later, their vision is alive and well, as thousands of cardiothoracic surgeons and allied health care professionals will gather in Orlando this coming January for the STS 50th Annual Meeting.

STS leaders choose congenital heart surgery abstracts to be presented at the STS 50th Annual Meeting.

This celebration of the Society’s golden anniversary will combine thought-provoking lectures with hands-on learning, networking opportunities, the chance to view the latest products in the specialty, and more. A variety of commemorative presentations and displays will mark this milestone year, making this meeting an event to remember.

“The Annual Meeting is a great opportunity for STS members to engage in the cutting-edge science, innovation, and new technology that impacts their everyday practices in cardiothoracic surgery,” said STS President Douglas E. Wood, MD. “It’s also a chance to connect with colleagues and friends from around the world. It’s a special time to celebrate the international scope of the field of cardiothoracic surgery.”

The Workforce on Annual Meeting has been hard at work reviewing the record-breaking 1,136 abstract submissions and putting together a program that will provide all members of the cardiothoracic surgery team with knowledge and skills that they can take back home and put to use right away.

Trends in Abstract Topics
Workforce members mentioned several hot topics that will be covered during the parallel scientific sessions.

“The adult cardiac sessions will focus on a number of key topics, including a re-evaluation of the merits of off-pump coronary revascularization over on-pump, new sutureless valves for aortic valve surgery, updates on transcatheter aortic valve replacement and the management of type A aortic dissection, other catheter-based valve technologies, and much more,” said Vinay Badhwar, MD, a member of the Program Task Force and Chair of the Workforce on Practice Management.

The general thoracic abstracts will highlight a number of new technologies and innovative techniques, along with an emphasis on data-driven clinical trials. “Particularly in the lung cancer sessions, people will have an opportunity to hear about large multicenter clinical trials utilizing both neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapies that try to improve outcomes in lung cancer surgery,” said K. Robert Shen, MD, a member of the Program and Tech-Con Task Forces.

“At this year’s meeting, we will discuss our developing congenital databases. Given the relatively small number of patients with congenital heart disease treated by individual centers, it has been difficult to amass the number of patients needed to carefully review our results as a specialty. We are now beginning to accrue sufficient data, which makes careful statistical analyses possible,” said Ralph S. Mosca, MD, Co-Chair of the Surgical Symposia Task Force. “In addition, we will be highlighting some relatively new techniques for aortic and tricuspid valve repair in children and innovations such as intraoperative use of interventional cardiology techniques and the utility of 3D imaging.”

Changes on the Agenda
Attendees will notice some new features at the upcoming Annual Meeting.

“On Sunday morning, we’re holding for the first time a dedicated symposium on adults with congenital heart disease. Thanks to advances in medical and surgical care, children with congenital heart defects are surviving into adulthood. Reflecting the growing percentage of our patient population with unique challenges, a significant number of surgeons and their health care teams are interested in this topic,” said Thomas K. Varghese Jr., MD, MS, Chair of the Workforce on Annual Meeting.

On Tuesday, in a departure from years past, the parallel scientific sessions will be held in the morning, with the general session—including both the C. Walton Lillehei Lecture and the Thomas B. Ferguson Lecture—in the afternoon. The Ferguson Lecture will be given by Bassem Youssef, an Egyptian cardiothoracic surgeon/television host who is one of Time magazine’s most influential people in the world for 2013; the Lillehei Lecture will be given by Shaf Keshavjee, a pioneering lung transplant surgeon from Toronto.

A new session on Tuesday is STS/EACTS: Repair of Type A Aortic Dissection, which will look at whether standard ascending/hemi-arch repair is appropriate versus a more extensive repair either proximally or distally. Tuesday morning’s Health Policy Forum will explain the intricacies of the newly instituted Physicians Payment Sunshine Act—an important topic that will impact all cardiothoracic surgeons who interact with industry, directly or indirectly.

STS University will be held on Wednesday, January 29, but in a change this year, no didactic lectures will be given during the courses. Instead, lectures will be available online ahead of time, so that attendees can view the materials before arriving and dive right into the hands-on experience.

Don’t miss this special celebration. Register now at www.sts.org/annualmeeting.