ESU course imparts tips and tricks in challenging surgeries

The virtual course entitled “Tips and tricks in challenging surgeries” offered expert insights and relevant updates to 423 urologists.

Tue, 24 Nov 2020 • Erika De Groot
TechnologySurgeryVirtual CourseRobotic SurgeryRobotic Renal TransplantPercutaneous Nephrolithotomy PCNLEAU Education Office ESU

Held during I Congreso Nacional Virtual de Urología of the Spanish Urological Association (AEU) on 23 November 2020, the virtual course of the European School of Urology (ESU) entitled “Tips and tricks in challenging surgeries” offered expert insights and relevant updates to 423 urologists.

ESU Chair Prof. Joan Palou (ES) spearheaded the course and was joined by fellow esteemed faculty members Dr. Alberto Breda (ES), Prof. Thomas Knoll (DE), and Dr. Mario Alvarez-Maestro (ES) of the AEU.

Comprised of four presentations and a Q&A session, the ESU virtual course kickstarted with the presentation of Prof. Palou which was entitled “European School of Urology: A unique possibility for urological education”. He was followed by Dr. Breda, who shared his expertise during his lecture “Robotic transplant surgery is present and future”.

Prof. Palou stated, “Dr. Breda is one of the leaders of the robotic programme in Europe. He demonstrated robotic renal transplant during the course. In addition, the creation of collaborative groups is a must in the development of medicine. Dr. Breda has created one such group focused on robotic kidney transplant. They are very active in developing and pursuing further developments.”

The third presentation was by Prof. Knoll who gave the lecture “Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL): Not always easy”. He encapsulated the key points of his presentation: “Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is a standard procedure for renal stone removal. While many interventions are straightforward, some may challenge the urologist. It is important to standardize the procedure and to develop a strategy for the best approach, especially in complex situations.”

According to Prof. Palou, Prof. Knoll demonstrated his skilfulness in complex stone percutaneous approach. “He presented complex cases in the management of kidney stone disease which are not always easy cases to treat. Complex stones cases or patients with previous surgeries incite urologists to use all of their expertise to come up with treatment solutions.”

"The course was an excellent combination of thought-provoking and contemporary topics presented by knowledgeable speakers."

The final presentation was by Prof. Palou entitled “Ureterointestinal stenosis: Endourology or what?” wherein he underscored the importance of expertise in management and minimising complications. According to Prof. Palou, the development of a ureterointestinal stenosis is a significant problem in the follow-up of patients who have undergone radical cystectomy because of bladder cancer. “It is one of the most important factors in the impairment of renal function after a radical surgery. Endourology can temporarily solve the problem but recurrence can happen, unless it is a short stricture on the right side and occurs later than one year after the surgery.”

He added that reconstructive surgery may be difficult to perform due to the complications (intraoperatively and postoperatively) with open surgery, but it has been published that laparoscopic procedures have shown good results. “In the previous years, we have been doing minimally-invasive robotic surgical reconstruction with excellent results and very few complications. Potentially it can become the technique of choice because of its feasibility and safety,” said Prof. Palou.

The virtual course concluded with lively deliberations during the Q&A wherein Dr. Alvarez-Maestro discussed the applications of different techniques, implementation of working groups and the robotic solution of challenging situations with the speakers. “The Q&A consisted of high-level discussions packed with valuable insights and additional updates,” recalled Dr. Alvarez-Maestro.


According to Dr. Alvarez-Maestro, the interaction between the presenters and the participants was good. He added that at the end of the course, the participants gave positive comments with regard to the level and scientific content of the lectures.

Dr. Breda shared, “The virtual course was organised and well-attended, and the discussions were overall good.” Prof. Knoll agreed. Dr. Breda, added, “However we would like to have the participants to ask even more questions. So to future participants of ESU courses, we highly encourage you to keep asking questions.”

“The course was an excellent combination of thought-provoking and contemporary topics presented by knowledgeable speakers,” concluded Prof. Palou.

For more information on educational activities such as upcoming ESU virtual courses, UROwebinars, e-courses, masterclasses and more, please visit