Interview with Dr. John Heesakkers: 2nd Joint ESFFU-ESGURS-ESOU Meeting

Mon, 15 Jul 2013

The 2nd Joint ESFFU-ESGURS-ESOU Meeting brings together the EAU’s Female and Functional Urology, Genitourinary Reconstructive Surgery and Oncological Urology Sections in Tübingen, Germany on 10-12 October 2013. The facilities offered there, combined with the joint expertise of the three sections should make for a unique and extensive programme for attendees, with a focus on live surgery.

We spoke to Dr. John Heesakkers, ESFFU Chairman, on his expectations of the upcoming meeting: “The previous joint meeting 2 years ago was well-received. What we hope to achieve this time, is to look at treatment that involves all three subspecialties.”


The meeting is unique in that it combines oncology with reconstructive surgery in a single event: “Most procedures that we will be demonstrating start with an oncological problem, so we will first examine state of the art surgery concerning radical cystectomy and radical prostatectomy. We will embark from there by dealing with problems that might stem from this treatment. If we need to do reconstructive surgery, that team steps in, or if we have a functional issue, we have functional experts take over.”

“Basic science takes the lead at the annual congress, and we do training at training institutes, but there is also a clear need for demonstrations of new developments. This joint meeting offers a combination of masterclasses, practical courses, and demonstrations of live surgery with very experienced moderators. At meetings like this, we really highlight the practical part: surgical techniques and avoiding complications. We try to fill the gap between science and clinical practice at home.”

Live Surgery

The 2nd Joint Meeting has a clear emphasis on live surgery. According to Heesakkers, it’s the facilities in Tübingen that really set this meeting apart from others. “The conditions in Tübingen are ideal for a meeting with our needs. It is one of the few places in the world where it’s possible to have 25 surgeries lined up, with patients that give permission and surgical staff. In a time when it’s becoming more difficult to organise live surgery, this really is a unique opportunity which we have to treasure.”

The meeting adheres to the EAU’s recent ethics statement, its Policy on Live Surgery. “Naturally, we put the patient’s wellbeing first. This is not just a demonstration, but treatment, and it has to be done with utmost care.” The meeting will feature key speakers in their fields, including: Dr. Alex Mottrie (BE), Prof. Peter Wiklund (SE), David Castro-Diaz (ES), Emmanuel Chartier-Kastler (FR), Dirk de Ridder (BE), and Prof Arnulf Stenzl (DE).

The 2nd Joint ESFFU-ESGURS-ESOU meeting has an extended abstract submission deadline on 12 August.

Registration is open until 12 October. Please visit the meeting website for more information.