Section Meetings: from live surgeries to debates

17 March 2013

Seven Section Meetings were held on the second day of the Annual EAU Congress, with the day-long live surgery presentations organized by the EAU Section of Uro-Technology (ESUT) attracting large audience numbers who closely followed the operations transmitted directly from Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital’s six operating theaters.

Organised in cooperation with the EAU Robotic Urology Section (ERUS) and the EAU Section of Urolithiasis (EULIS), the surgeries were transmitted in standard and 3D to huge screens at the Congress main eURO Auditorium with accompanying commentary from the surgeons and the session moderators. Congress President Prof. Francesco Montorsi is head of the hospital’s Urology Department and the sessions were coordinated by Prof. Giorgio Guazzoni.

ESUT Section Chairman Prof. Jens Rassweiler expressed his confidence regarding the technical demands of the programme: “Our experiences with San Raffaele at the last Milan Congress in 2008 were very positive, and everything worked according to plan. We are confident that all cases will go well.” Rassweiler have earlier said the Live Surgery programme were carried out in accordance with the EAU recommendations recently prepared by the Committtee on Ethics of Live Surgery.

Yesterday’s combined Section Meeting brought 20 cases, of which 10 were live, 7 were pre-recorded on Friday or Saturday morning, and three were video presentations. Rassweiler: “We hope this new format works out in future Live Sessions. We can use our time more efficiently with pre-recorded procedures and live discussion. Sometimes, due to changes in the patient’s anaesthesia, the schedule changes and we can use pre-recorded procedures to keep our audience engaged.”

“People are very much interested in the novel technologies that they can see in action. 3D flexible laparoscopy  from Olympus is particularly interesting. We also have a demonstration of brand new imaging technology for visualising bladder tumours, SPIES-imaging from Storz,” added Rassweiler as he noted that the session also featured a very interesting video presentation: robot-assisted ureteroscopy from Prof. Remzi Saglam in Turkey, which the ESUT hope to show this procedure in a live broadcast.

Ethics and live Surgery

Much attention was given to the ethics of live surgery. Before the start of the first session, Dr. András Hoznek (FR) gave follow-up information on last year’s live surgery patients. This was the first time that this was attempted at a live surgery session, and it is part of the EAU’s new policy on the ethics of live surgery. Prof. Walter Artibani explained the statement in broad strokes in advance of Prof. Keith Parsons’s Plenary Session 4 presentation.

“There are a lot of concerns about patient safety during live sessions like this,” Artibani told the EUT.  “To my knowledge, this is the first time that a large organisation like the EAU has come up with a policy with clear regulations to be followed. In the future, if organisers want their events to be endorsed by the EAU, they will have to apply and follow the regulations.”

“The educational value of live surgery is implicit, but it has never been scientifically demonstrated. We need prospective registries to know if the outcomes of surgery performed during live surgery has the same results as regular surger,” explained Artibani. Discussing cases from last year, and monitoring these patients for a longer period of time should demonstrate the effects of live surgery on the health of patients.
This year’s ESUT Section Meeting is the first to follow the EAU Statement on the Ethics of Live Surgery, which marks the end of a year-long process that involved the EAU Guidelines Office, the Scientific Congress Office, the ESU, the Section Offices, European Urology, the EAU’s scientific journal, and various experts and consultants.

SEE related stories on the Section Meetings on Pages 2 and 3
Prof. Keith Parsons will be presenting the EAU Policy on Live Surgery at the Fourth Plenary session, in the eUro Auditorium on Tuesday at 9:30.

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