Innovative Research, Videos, and Debates in Store at STS 2018

STS News, Fall 2017 -- If you want to stay at the forefront of what’s new in cardiothoracic surgery, mark your calendar now for the STS 54th Annual Meeting.

“The meeting will be an unparalleled educational experience,” said STS President Richard L. Prager, MD. “This is an opportunity to meet colleagues and friends from around the world, hear new ideas and concepts, and learn from each other.” 

The meeting will be held Jan. 27-31 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and several changes are in store.

“We’ve focused our efforts on making this a more edgy meeting,” said Himanshu Patel, MD, Chair of the Workforce on Annual Meeting. “For example, instead of having several sessions consisting only of scientific abstracts, we encouraged our program committee to incorporate not only the very best abstracts—of which there were many—but also lively debates and surgical videos.”

Hot Topics in Each Subspecialty

All members of the cardiothoracic surgery team will find educational programming relevant to their everyday practice. Three “How To” video sessions will be held on Sunday—one for each subspecialty. These dynamic sessions will feature video presentations on common cardiothoracic surgical procedures, with speakers offering unique insights. Other sessions on Sunday include the Practice Management Summit, the STS/AATS Critical Care Symposium, and the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Symposium.

Members of the Workforce on Annual Meeting Program Planning Task Force met in August to select abstracts, videos, debates, and invited lectures.

On Monday and Tuesday, sessions for adult cardiac surgery will cover arrhythmia/atrial fibrillation, ischemic disease, mitral and tricuspid valves, and more.

“Cardiothoracic surgery is moving at a rapid clip. Some of our operations are moving from large, open procedures to small, minimally invasive, transcatheter, and other less invasive procedures to improve the health of our patients,” said STS Secretary Joseph F. Sabik III, MD. “It’s a very exciting time to be in heart surgery, and we’ll explore all of these topics at the meeting.” 

The general thoracic surgery sessions will feature presentations on robotic surgery, esophageal disease, lung cancer, and more. Monday’s “Lung Cancer I” session will have content that tackles the current opioid epidemic in the United States, with an abstract on factors associated with new persistent opioid use after lung resection and an invited talk on the thoracic surgeon’s role in addressing the issue.

“Additionally, for the first time, we’ll have a session on Tuesday dedicated to health services research and database analyses,” said David Tom Cooke, MD, a member of the Workforce on Annual Meeting. “We’ll also have sessions highlighting innovative clinical general thoracic surgery research, including lung cancer, esophageal cancer, and lung transplantation.”

Congenital heart surgeons can expect a mix of scientific abstracts, invited talks, debates, and videos covering disease processes in both children and adults.

“We’re going to have sessions on management of Ebstein’s anomaly from the newborn to the adult, complex two-ventricle repairs in patients with heterotaxy syndrome, and systemic atrioventricular valve repair in children with congenital heart disease,” said James S. Tweddell, MD, a member of the Workforce on Annual Meeting.

"You may not be doing these procedures today, but they’re what we’re going to be doing tomorrow."

James D. Luketich, MD

Spotlight on Improving Diversity

A new session on Monday will tackle the topic of diversity and inclusion in cardiothoracic surgery. Speakers will discuss how a diverse cardiothoracic surgery workforce can improve patient outcomes through increasing cultural competency and mitigating unconscious provider bias.

“The session will enable you to best interact with your communities and provide care for your patients in a culturally competent manner,” said Dr. Cooke, who also chairs the new STS Task Force on Diversity & Inclusion, which planned the session.

Other new offerings include a collaborative session with the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation, STS University courses on peroral endoscopic myotomy and minimally invasive aortic and mitral valve surgery, and a session explaining how physiciandocumentation drives reimbursement.

Tech-Con Pulls Back the Curtain

Tech-Con 2018 will be held immediately prior to the Annual Meeting, on Saturday, January 27, focusing on cutting-edge technologies and new developments in cardiothoracic surgery, with separate tracks for adult cardiac and general thoracic surgery.

A highlight of the day will be the Shark Tank session, in which entrepreneurs pitch their innovative cardiothoracic surgery products to the audience, as well as a panel of experts in medical device development. Representatives of several companies developing robotic technology also have been invited to present.

“I think not attending Tech-Con leaves you a bit antiquated,” said Tech-Con Task Force Co-Chair James D. Luketich, MD. “So many new techniques and technologies will be coming out at Tech-Con. You may not be doing these procedures today, but they’re what we’re going to be doing tomorrow.”

View the Advance Program and register for the meeting today.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

STS 54th Annual Meeting: The Society of Thoracic Surgeons designates this live activity for a maximum of 26.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Take Advantage of Early Bird Rates

Register and reserve your housing for the STS 54th Annual Meeting. Early bird registration rates are good through Sunday, November 19, 2017. Additionally, you must register by Thursday, January 4, 2018, to reserve housing at the special Annual Meeting rates.

STS/AATS Tech-Con 2018 and the STS 54th Annual Meeting require separate registration. Tech-Con registration provides access only to the educational sessions on Saturday, January 27. Annual Meeting registration provides access only to the educational sessions on Sunday, January 28, through Tuesday, January 30. You also will receive complimentary access to Annual Meeting Online with your Annual Meeting registration (see below).

Tickets to attend the President’s Reception at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa (Sunday evening, January 28) and STS University courses (Wednesday, January 31) require separate purchases with Annual Meeting registration. 

If you have questions about registration, contact the Society’s official registration partner, Experient, at (800) 424-5249 (toll free), 00-1-847-996-5829 (for international callers), or

Submit Late-Breaking Abstracts

Do you have late-breaking research that you’d like to present at the Annual Meeting? The Society’s late-breaking abstract submission site is open now through Friday, December 8. Visit, review the instructions and policies, and submit your abstract.

Mingle Oceanside at the President’s Reception

Network with STS surgeon leaders and fellow meeting attendees at the President’s Reception on Sunday evening, January 28. This high-profile event will be held on an oceanfront terrace at the luxurious Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. While a tropical-themed band plays in the background, enjoy gourmet food stations and an open bar. Colorful tropical birds will be on hand to help set the mood. This reception takes the place of the STS Social Event, which previously had been held on Monday evening, leaving the night open for industry-sponsored events or socializing with your colleagues. Tickets can be purchased for $95. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with leaders in cardiothoracic surgery in a picturesque, informal setting.

Annual Meeting Online Included with Meeting Registration

Access to the STS 54th Annual Meeting Online is included with Annual Meeting registration. With such a full meeting schedule, it’s impossible to attend every presentation of interest. This web-based video presentation will provide an opportunity to review sessions of special interest and earn CME credit for sessions that you were unable to attend—all from the comfort of your home or office. The Online product will be available approximately 1 month after the conclusion of the Annual Meeting and will be accessible for up to a year.

As a reminder, content from the STS 53rd Annual Meeting Online is still available at Access is free if you attended the meeting in Houston earlier this year; those who did not attend can purchase access and earn up to 105.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits through January 31, 2018.