See the Present, Future of CT Surgery at the STS Annual Meeting

STS News, Fall 2016 -- For the first time since 1973, the STS Annual Meeting will be held in Houston, home to award-winning restaurants, nightlife, museums, and NASA’s Johnson Space Center. 

The meeting will be held January 21-25 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. It kicks off with a full day of new and exciting technology at STS/AATS Tech-Con on Saturday, followed by Annual Meeting programming from Sunday through Wednesday.

“The STS Annual Meeting is the epicenter of cardiothoracic surgery,” said STS President Joseph E. Bavaria, MD. “The meeting will be packed with interactive learning on hot topics. We’ll also explore practice management, work-life balance, and quality improvement issues that impact STS members on a daily basis.”

Hot Topics in Each Subspecialty

All members of the cardiothoracic surgery team will find educational programming relevant to everyday practice. Invited speakers and debates will be woven among scientific abstracts and surgical videos.

The offerings for adult cardiac surgery include sessions on arrhythmias, mechanical circulatory support devices, the thoracic aorta, coronary artery disease, and mitral valve and aortic valve diseases. 

“We have multiple abstracts on catheter-based therapy for aortic valve and mitral valve surgery, open and endovascular management of the aortic arch, and the descending as well as the ascending aorta,” said Workforce on Annual Meeting Chair Wilson Y. Szeto, MD. “New technology on rapid deployment aortic valve replacement platforms also is on the program.”

For general thoracic surgeons, expect several presentations about minimally invasive surgery, long-term outcomes for cancer patients, and real-world tips that you can take home and apply in your practice.

“Something that’s going to be a major focus at the meeting is the question of robotic surgery versus other types of minimally invasive surgery—does it really provide any benefits, or  is it just another way of doing things through small incisions?” said Joseph B. Shrager, MD, Co-Chair of the Surgical Symposia Task Force. “Sublobar resection for very small lung nodules also is going to be an important topic.”

For the pediatric congenital heart surgery sessions, three loosely based themes have emerged. “We have a session focusing on issues around newborns and neonatal surgery, one on how patient risk factors, such as chromosomal abnormalities, affect outcomes after surgery, and one on advanced issues facing older children and teenagers,” said Jonathan M. Chen, MD, Co-Chair of the Surgical Symposia Task Force.

Members of the Program Task Force met in August to plan the educational sessions.

Tech-Con Moves to All Day Saturday

After an extremely positive response in 2016, Tech-Con 2017 is again focusing on cutting-edge technologies and new developments in cardiothoracic surgery. The schedule has been changed for 2017 so as not to compete with Annual Meeting sessions. Tech-Con will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 21, and continue until 5:00 p.m., followed by a reception until 6:30 p.m. 

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.

“There are a lot of things flying under the radar in terms of development, and you’re not going to hear about them anywhere else,” said Tech-Con Task Force Co-Chair Mark F. Berry, MD. “Attending Tech-Con is the most efficient way for every cardiothoracic surgeon to know what their practice is going to look like in a couple of years.”

"There are a lot of things flying under the radar in terms of development, and you're not going to hear about them anywhere else."

Mark F. Berry, MD

Tips on Managing Your Practice

The Annual Meeting begins at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday with sessions that include the Practice Management Summit, which
will help surgeons navigate the shift from individual physician-owned practices to an employment model.

Other sessions offering tips on managing your practice include two on Tuesday—the Early Riser Health Policy Forum, which will explain how to implement the new Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, and the Patient Safety Symposium, which will look at the important topic of physician burnout (see related story).

You can view the program in more detail by going to and clicking on Advance Program. A printed version of the publication will be mailed in November.

Take Advantage of Early Bird Rates

Registration and housing for the STS 53rd Annual Meeting are available at Early bird registration rates will end Tuesday, November 15. Additionally, you must register by Thursday, December 22, to reserve housing at the special Annual Meeting rates.

STS/AATS Tech-Con 2017 and the STS 53rd Annual Meeting require separate registration. Tech-Con registration provides access only to the educational sessions on Saturday, January 21. Annual Meeting registration provides access only to the educational sessions on Sunday, January 22, through Tuesday, January 24. You also will receive complimentary access to Annual Meeting Online with your Annual Meeting registration.

Tickets to attend the STS Social Event at the Space Center Houston (Monday, January 23) and STS University courses (Wednesday, January 25) 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

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

STS 53rd Annual Meeting: The Society of Thoracic Surgeons designates this live activity for a maximum of 27.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.