A complete spectrum of clinical laser applications

23 November 2019

Set in the historic Sant Pau Recinte Modernista in Barcelona, the ESU-ESUT Masterclass on Lasers in Urology provided a complete spectrum of clinical laser applications in the treatment of benign prostatic obstruction, bladder and upper tract urothelial carcinoma, renal stones, and urinary tract strictures.

From 21 to 22 November 2019, the frontline masterclass offered insights on the applications of contemporary laser systems such as the Holmium laser, 532-nm laser, Thulium laser, Diode laser, Neodymium and more.

The masterclass was organised through the collaborative effort of the European School of Urology (ESU) and the EAU Section of Uro-Technology (ESUT).

In this article, participant Dr. Kurdo Barwari (NL) and masterclass faculty members Dr. Alberto Breda (ES) and Prof. Andreas Johannes Gross (DE) look back on their experiences for the masterclass and share their aspirations for future editions.

“Laser application is versatile and possesses great potential, particularly in urology. I think it’s of utmost importance to master laser techniques. That’s why I applied to this masterclass to learn as much as I could,” shared Dr. Barwari.

Impressed by a presentation on Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate (HoLEP) at an event, Dr. Barwari was pleased to know that the ESU-ESUT masterclass offered video sessions of several techniques of laser-prostate enucleation, and numerous discussions with experts.

Impressions
For six years now, Dr. Breda has been the local organiser for the masterclass. “We have had a total of 17 faculty members who oversaw 11 live- and 6 semi-live surgeries, six presentations and one roundtable discussion. The overall impression was very positive. All the live surgeries went well with no intra- and postoperative complications recorded so far, and the presentations generated interesting discussions.”

Prof. Gross added, “I agree. This masterclass was well organised by our colleagues in Barcelona, and we were certainly spoiled to have used the incredible facilities of our host, the Fundació Puigvert hospital.”

Dr. Barwari said, “The faculty members had excellent surgical and presentation skills. They were down-to-earth and open for interactive discussions. There were plenty of video sessions with educational comments, and the astonishing venue provided a motivating environment for all participants.”

Ethics and live surgery
Dr. Breda shared an anecdote of what was one of his most memorable moments at the masterclass. “Dr. Cesare Scoffone was about to perform HoLEP on an intermediate-sized prostate. At the time of urethrocystoscopy, it was impossible to enter the very narrow urethra and consequently, the bladder. Despite gentle attempts, Dr. Scoffone decided to abort the surgery. He positioned an 18Fr Foley catheter to slowly dilate the urethra instead, with the plan to have the patient come back for the surgery in two weeks. The audience and the moderators appreciated his decision, and a very interesting discussion on ethics took place afterwards. I would like to stress that the patient’s advocate, as well as, the moderators strictly followed the rules of the EAU live surgery ethics, and that both parties agreed with Dr. Scoffone’s decision to abort the surgery.”

Future editions
The interest on this masterclass is very high. I foresee some game changers in the field of lasers in the near future. I hope that we will be able to present early data on these new lasers soon,” disclosed Prof. Gross.

“My main aspiration for this masterclass is that it will continue to evolve and contribute to the dissemination and progression of laser science in our field. My hope is that more urologists will be involved with this incredible technology. To generate more interest for the masterclass, I believe that more semi-live surgeries are needed. I noticed that participants were more engaged and asked more questions to the presenters,” stated Dr. Breda.

Thank you
Dr. Breda expressed his appreciation for the collaborative efforts provided. “I would like to personally thank the EAU, the ESU and the industry partners that have made this masterclass possible. Furthermore, I would like to thank Prof. Joan Palou and Prof. Evangelos Liatsikos for being a fundamental part of the organisation of the masterclass. And finally, to the Fundació Puigvert staff – Dr. Oriol Angerri Feu, Dr. Javier Ponce De León, the anaesthesia and nursing teams – for their tremendous effort and dedication.”

For more information on the upcoming edition of the masterclass, please visit https://esu-masterclasses.uroweb.org/masterclass/esu-esut-masterclass-on-lasers-in-urology/.

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