STS 2019 Offers Dynamic Program, Improved Attendee Experience

STS News, Fall 2018 -- The schedule for the upcoming STS 55th Annual Meeting at the San Diego Convention Center has been reorganized to help attendees spend fewer days away from their patients—without sacrificing the dynamic, interactive experience that they’ve come to expect.

“It will be an outstanding meeting, and if you’re not there, you’re going to miss out,” said STS President Keith S. Naunheim, MD. “It’s a meeting jam-packed with regard to new content; the present and future of cardiothoracic surgery will be on display.”

Instead of the traditional Sunday through Wednesday schedule, the meeting will now be held Sunday through Tuesday. The meeting will kick off on Sunday morning with STS University followed by an opening plenary session, featuring the J. Maxwell Chamberlain Memorial Papers and the Thomas B. Ferguson Lecture by Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, President and CEO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Following the lecture, an Opening Reception will be held in the Exhibit Hall, and the President’s Reception—open to all attendees—will be at the historic Hotel del Coronado.

Members of the Program Task Force selected
abstracts and exciting invited talks for the
Annual Meeting program.

Monday’s program will include Dr. Naunheim’s Presidential Address, and Tuesday’s schedule will include the C. Walton Lillehei Lecture by Eric Topol, MD, a cardiologist and geneticist specializing in the use of artificial intelligence, “deep” data, and smart technology for individualized treatment approaches.

Hot Topics in Each Subspecialty

Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday also will feature an interesting selection of scientific abstracts and invited lectures that will appeal to every discipline and every member of the cardiothoracic surgery team.

“For the adult cardiac surgery sessions, we’ll look at some familiar topics—aortic valve disease, mitral valve disease, and ischemia—but we’ll also be focusing on the minimally invasive approaches to treatment,” said Richard Lee, MD, Chair of the Workforce on Annual Meeting.

The general thoracic surgery sessions will feature presentations on the esophagus, the mediastinum, and lung cancer, focusing on applications of new technology and therapies.

“Some of the very exciting papers we’ve chosen are related to immunotherapy in the tumor microenvironment,” said Mara B. Antonoff, MD, a member of the Program Task Force. “In addition, there are some great papers looking at disparities in the receipt of certain treatments, such as adjuvant therapy and the proper operation, and opioid use is a very hot topic with a focus on the types of perioperative care and prescriptions for opioids that are being delivered.”

Congenital heart surgeons can expect new information on hypoplastic left heart syndrome, heart transplantation, ventricular assist devices, and more.

“We’ll look at the management of single-ventricle patients with failing hearts who are in need of mechanical circulatory support, as well as how to decide the timing of transplantation and optimization of donor selection in order to improve overall outcomes,” said Christian Pizarro, MD, a member of the Program Task Force. “Presentations also will focus on the overarching challenge of neurodevelopmental outcomes and shed important light on how to manage these patients.”

“It’s a meeting jam-packed with regard to new content; the present and future of cardiothoracic surgery will be on display.”

Keith S. Naunheim, MD

Focus on Digitization

In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, programs will no longer be printed. All attendees are highly encouraged to use the STS Meetings mobile app, which will be available for download in early December.

“The app is actually outstanding. You can read abstracts, interact on social media, and look at the entire schedule,” Dr. Naunheim said. “The app lets you individualize your own curriculum, and you can even set it to remind you when you’re supposed to be somewhere.”

In addition, all posters will now be electronic, allowing more abstracts to be included and offering greater flexibility for authors. Several monitors will be available in the convention center for attendees to view the posters.

Coding Workshop, Tech-Con Kick Off Annual Meeting

Immediately prior to the STS Annual Meeting, the Society will offer its annual Coding Workshop to provide surgeons, coders, and other billing professionals with the latest information about issues affecting reimbursement for their practices. The Coding Workshop will be held Friday and Saturday at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, the headquarters hotel for the STS Annual Meeting.

Also before the Annual Meeting, Tech-Con 2019 will be held at the San Diego Convention Center. See below for more information. 

For details on how to register for the Annual Meeting, view the Registration & Housing brochure.

Take Advantage of Early Bird Rates

Register and reserve your housing for the STS 55th Annual Meeting at Early bird registration rates are good through November 19, 2018. Additionally, you must register by January 3, 2019, to reserve housing at the special Annual Meeting rates.

Tech-Con 2019 and the STS 55th Annual Meeting require separate registration.


Saturday, January 26

Sunday, January 27 - Tuesday, January 29

Registration includes access to:

-Tech-Con educational sessions
-Tech-Con exhibits

Registration includes access to:

-Annual Meeting educational sessions
-Annual Meeting Exhibit Hall and Opening Reception
-2019 Annual Meeting Online

Tickets to attend STS University courses and the President’s Reception at the Hotel del Coronado (both on Sunday, January 27) require separate ticket purchases with Annual Meeting registration.

The Society has engaged Experient as the only approved Official Registration and Housing Provider for the STS Annual Meeting. If you have questions about registration and/or housing, contact Experient at 800-424-5249 (toll free), 00-1-847-996-5829 (for international callers), or via email.

Please be wary of any other companies ostensibly offering registration and/or housing assistance for the STS Annual Meeting. Such companies typically imply that they are working with STS, but in reality are unauthorized. Please inform the Meetings & Conventions Department if you are contacted by anyone other than Experient.

Prepare for What’s Next at Tech-Con

Stay ahead of the curve when it comes to cutting-edge developments in cardiothoracic surgery by attending Tech-Con, which will be held immediately prior to the Annual Meeting on Saturday, January 26.

“Everyone should attend Tech-Con because the future isn’t just coming; the future is here,” said Melanie A. Edwards, MD, Co-Chair of the Tech-Con Task Force. “We will highlight ways that surgeons can prepare and incorporate these innovations into their own practice.”

The adult cardiac sessions will explore advancements in ischemic disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation surgery, and aortic and structural heart disease. Attendees at the general thoracic sessions can expect to learn about evolutions in lung and chest wall surgeries, as well as esophageal surgery.

An expanded general session will feature a keynote lecture on the role of artificial intelligence in medical technology, as well as a 2018 year in review summary of major research, innovations, and new technology. The day will conclude with the popular Shark Tank presentations, in which inventors pitch their ideas to a panel of experts and the audience. Devices on deck for discussion include a leakproof aortic anastomosis stapler and a valveless pulsatile-flow ventricular assist device.

Because information on new technologies provided by commercial interests will be included in Tech-Con, continuing medical education (CME) credit cannot be offered for this activity.

Tech-Con registration is separate from Annual Meeting registration, so make sure to register for both at