STS 48th Annual Meeting Highlights

STS News, Spring 2012 -- More than 2,500 cardiothoracic surgeons and allied health care professionals from across the globe gathered to learn more about the latest research and technology in the specialty at the STS 48th Annual Meeting, held Jan. 28-Feb. 1 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The 2012 event saw more debates, more invited speakers, and more breakout sessions than previous years, highlighting the latest trends in the rapidly evolving specialty of cardiothoracic surgery.

Prior to the Annual Meeting, almost 1,200 attendees participated in the eleventh installation of STS/AATS Tech-Con, which focused on the latest technology in both cardiac and general thoracic surgery. To further explore controversial topics and engage attendees even more, panel discussions and debates were incorporated throughout the program.

Two new courses were held before the official kick-off of the Annual Meeting – STS/AATS/SVS: What’s New in Peripheral Vascular Disease Management and STS/SCA: Intraoperative Echo and Decision Making in Cardiovascular Surgery. Despite being new to the program, each was a success, with more than 300 attendees arriving in Fort Lauderdale early to attend these courses.

On Monday, Jan. 30, the Annual Meeting was officially underway with the presentation of the J. Maxwell Chamberlain Memorial Papers and the Richard E. Clark Award Papers, followed by Dr. Michael J. Mack delivering his highly anticipated Presidential Address, If This Were My Last Speech, What Would I Say? (See related story on page 10.)

Monday continued with a wealth of options for attendees, including breakout sessions covering all three subspecialty practice areas and the inaugural late-breaking clinical trial abstract presentations. Also, the tradition of the Surgical Motion Pictures Matinee continued this year, with three simultaneous sessions showing adult cardiac surgery, general thoracic surgery, and congenital heart surgery videos.

At the Annual Business Meeting held Monday evening, a total of 230 new applicants for STS Active and International Membership were approved. Including Candidate, Associate, and Pre-Candidate categories, which are administered through a rolling admission process throughout the year, the Society had a total of 6,438 members as of Jan. 30.

New scheduling for 2012 moved several lectures and the award presentations to Tuesday morning. Attendees got an early start by attending one of 11 breakfast sessions or the Health Policy Forum, then moving on to the annual Lillehei Lecture, which honors C. Walton Lillehei, MD, one of the great pioneers in cardiac surgery. The insightful 2012 address was delivered by STS International Director Friedrich W. Mohr, MD, of the Heart Center Leipzig in Germany. ACC President David R. Holmes, Jr., MD then addressed attendees about the collaborative efforts of the ACC and STS.

This year’s Thomas B. Ferguson Lecture was given on Tuesday, Jan. 31, by Jeffrey E. Shuren, MD, JD, Director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Dr. Shuren gave a fascinating insider’s perspective on how government regulation and device innovation work. (See related story on page 7.)

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, STS University offered 11 sessions, each allowing plenty of time for hands-on education. Courses – repeated so that attendees had the option to participate in two sessions – covered hot topics such as mitral valve repair, mechanical circulatory support for cardiogenic shock, and TAVR.

If you were not able to attend this year, or would like to relive these and many more exciting and informative presentations, be sure to log on to STS 48th Annual Meeting Online and STS/AATS Tech-Con 2012 Online – which also offer the opportunity for CME credit. (See related story on page 13.)

For questions about the STS Annual Meeting, visit or contact Kelley Stefko, STS Senior Manager for Education, at kstefko [at] sts [dot] org or (312) 202-5825.

Planning is already underway for the STS 49th Annual Meeting. This can’t-miss event will be held Jan. 26-30, 2013, in Los Angeles! See page 6 for information about the abstract submission process.