The EAU Section of Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgeons will have a new chair from EAU19 on. Prof. David Ralph (London, GB) was elected to follow Dr. Rados Djinovic (Belgrade, RS) at a vote held at an ESGURS board meeting during ELUTS18.
Prof. Ralph has been a member of ESGURS since its creation as the ESMGS in 1994 before it became an EAU Section in 2001. He has been on the ESGURS Board since 2016, previously serving as an EAU Section of Andrological Urology (ESAU) board member for eight years.
As a consultant urologist and Professor of Urology at University College London Hospitals, Prof. Ralph is an expert in male reconstructive urology, particularly ED and penile disorders and gender assignment issues. He is currently president of the Sexual Advice Association, and previously held positions as President of the European Society for Sexual Medicine, Chair of the International Consultation of Sexual Medicine and board member of the European Society of Andrological Urology.
Prof. Ralph has been an EAU member for more than 25 years, and also served the European School of Urology as a faculty member at several events.We asked him about his ﬁeld and the future of the EAU’s reconstructive Section:
What do you see as the biggest developments and challenges in genitourinary reconstructive surgery?
Recently, the ﬁeld has started making use of robotic surgery, mainly for bladder and upper tract procedures. This replaces traditional large open procedures. Robotics are of course also widely used for prostate surgery, offering better post-operative morbidity and fewer unwanted late effects.
We are all reconstructive surgeons: we can be a victim of our own success by pioneering stem cell therapy and transplantation, ultimately replacing the operations that we currently perform. Will we be able to grow new urethras in the lab? Are penile and bladder transplantation becoming feasible?
What is the role of ESGURS in the wider “reconstructive landscape”? What is the role of its chair?
The Section’s, and indeed the chair’s role is to bring together and integrate all areas of genital reconstruction. Furthermore, it is essential for us to bring the younger generation of urological surgeons into our specialty. My main aim is to increase the membership and to explore the possibility of a publication dedicated to our ﬁeld.
What are your priorities for ESGURS in the coming years?
We currently have two section meetings per year. I would like us to have speciﬁc prospective projects: multi-centre, involving the leaders in the ﬁeld. We must lead in the establishment of medical guidelines in our area of expertise as we have the key opinion leaders in our Section. I would also like to see ESGURS publish certain standards of care.
The current surgical masterclasses all over Europe need to be identiﬁed and coordinated through ESGURS. We could establish certiﬁcates of competence for certain operations or conditions.
The section needs to become more democratic, its bylaws revisited and members having more of a say. Finally, I believe that the industry should be encouraged to participate in our activities.
Do you have any words for the ESGURS section (and the readers) on the occasion of you taking over from Dr. Djinovic?
Dr. Djinovic has served us proudly! Our meetings have grown signiﬁcantly under his leadership. We’ve enjoyed very high attendance ﬁgures at our section meetings held during the EAU Annual Congress.
Rados has always been fair and let all players have a chance to promote new ideas and exciting research. We thank him for his and wish him well for the future.
Photo: Prof. Ralph (right) is an extremely experienced reconstructive surgeon with a long history of association with ESGURS and the EAU. Here he is pictured here chairing a session during ELUTS18 in Milan together with Prof. Carlo Bettocchi (centre).