Interview: Prof. Karl-Dietrich Sievert on the 2nd Joint ESFFU-ESGURS-ESOU Meeting

Mon, 2 Sep 2013

Tübingen is set to bring together three of the EAU’s sections for a joint meeting of urologists specialised in female functional and reconstructive surgery, as well oncology. Local organiser and congress chair Prof. Karl-Dietrich Sievert spoke to us on the interactive nature of the scientific programme and the importance of live surgery.

“Tübingen is a charming university town in Southern Germany,” Sievert began, “and our facilities are unique in Europe.” In the past, Tübingen University hosted many specialised courses, and the upcoming meeting should be no different. “We have three operating theatres, and one large audience room, and we can broadcast simultaneously. This should give a lot of interaction with the surgeons as they operate.”

The meeting, which will take place 10-12 October, brings together three sections: ESFFU, ESGURS and ESOU. “Reconstructive and Female Functional urologists do similar things, but each has a different approach so we can learn a lot from each other. We can improve on techniques, no matter how basic they seem. The audience will see how other surgeons work, and hopefully this will increase interest in each other’s specialties.”

This year, the EAU Section for Oncological Urology is involved for the first time. “When people specialise, oncology tends to be one of the most important directions. More and more, surgeries that are performed in the context of oncology require reconstructive surgery to take place afterwards,” Sievert explains. “Oncologists will see how big the field of reconstructive surgery is, and they might be interested to see how follow-up surgery takes place.”

Key topics

Sievert mentions the presence of the da Vinci surgical system. “We have two top robotic surgeons, Dr. Mottrie and Prof. Wiklund, performing a radical prostatectomy and a radical cystectomy with neobladder.” Other key topics are continuous minimal-invasive reconstructive surgery, which avoids the need for major surgery. UroLift is a new approach for BPH treatment, which is minimally invasive, sometimes requiring only local anaesthesia. “Botox has now been approved by all authorities, so we are beginning to use that more as well.”

Around 20 different procedures will be performed at the meeting. All patients are local patients from the institute, and the meeting is subject to the new EAU recommendations on live surgery, as presented in Milan earlier this year.

Surgery aside, one topic guaranteed to raise discussion is the role of the industry in organising scientific events. “I personally don’t think we should rule out the industry from events such as these,” Sievert explains. “We need involvement and support from both the EAU and the industry. As urologists, we need to lead the industry to where we want their developments to go, and we cannot give up this interaction. Young urologists must realise the influence they can exert.” Moreover, a demonstration robotic system will be on hand at the booth for practice for our meeting participants.

“Overall, we want participants, and particularly young urologists to return home inspired to try new avenues in urology. We want to demonstrate how the future of surgery is shaping up, and make them feel that they can be part of this. Even new approaches will be performed and discussed such as tissue engineering urethral matrix. We want them to stay in touch with the experts, visit their facilities or invite the experts to their hospitals to teach.”

Social interaction

Uniquely, the Joint ESFFU-ESGURS-ESOU meeting has a social “Dinner with the experts” evening planned on the very first night. “That way, the ice is broken early on, really emphasising the interaction the following days. By socially meeting the speakers early on, it really creates an open forum for discussion.”

“Tübingen is a lively university town, and at the time of the meeting there will be a lot of wine and beer festivals in Southern Germany. Automotive leaders such as Porsche and Mercedes Benz have wonderful new museums as well. Many low cost airlines fly into Stuttgart making it an economical place to visit. In 2011, we had participants from as far as Hong Kong, so we really encourage our guests to make the most of their stay!”

Please visit the meeting website for more details and register today!