Report: Live surgery spectacular at ERUS Meeting in Stockholm

Fri, 13 Sep 2013

When it comes to live surgery meetings, one of the biggest and best of them all is the EAU Robotic Urology Section (ERUS) Congress. The 10th edition of ERUS took place in Stockholm this week and continued the tradition of spectacular live robotic-assisted surgery, along with scientific sessions dealing with issues around robotic-assisted surgery.

Following discussions with the EAU over the past two years, ERUS has now become an official section of the EAU, and future scientific and educational activities will be co-ordinated under that esteemed banner. In his welcoming address at last week’s meeting, EAU Secretary General and proud Swede Per-Anders Abrahamsson, warmly welcomed ERUS into the EAU family. He also highlighted the mission statement of ERUS, “to support science and education in the field of robotic urology”.

Over 750 delegates gathered from around the world (including a healthy delegation from Australia, South America and the USA), giving this meeting a truly global footprint. The programme featured 12 live surgical procedures performed by some of the world’s leading robotic surgeons and broadcast in full 3D from Karolinska Hospital.

Over the past 10 years this meeting has showcased many advances in robotic surgery and this year was no exception. The audience seemed most interested in extended public lymph node dissection during radical cystectomy and prostatectomy, as well as intra-corporeal urinary diversion and complex partial nephrectomy.

The ethics of live surgery

Notably, this Section has led the development of ethical guidelines around the conduct of live surgery and these have been fully endorsed by the EAU. As part of the live surgery ethical governance, the convener of ERUS 2012, Ben Challacombe (London), presented an update on the outcome of all patients who underwent live surgery as part of last year’s meeting.

The main scientific meeting was preceded by the Junior ERUS Section, the Nursing Course on Robotics, and five master classes led by experts and dealing with various aspects of robotic assisted surgery. The Junior ERUS Prize was awarded to Khan et al who presented a poster on behalf of the International Robotic Curriculum Group entitled, “Towards a Standardised Training Curriculum in Robotic Surgery”.

There were also a number of parallel meetings dealing with education and scientific activity within ERUS/EAU, particularly the development of structured robotic training and a robotic surgery curriculum across Europe and beyond. The BJUI Editor in Chief Prokar Dasgupta, a well-known robotic surgery innovator and also an expert in simulation and education, is playing an active role coordinating development of this curriculum.

European Urology Editor-in-Chief Jim Catto, was also present at ERUS 2013 and delivered a podium presentation outlining some of the exciting changes which the Platinum Journal will undertake once he takes over in January 2014. What is clear is that robotic surgery is an important part of the content for both of these leading journals.

Of course, this meeting has a particular reputation as being a friendly and sociable event (a point repeatedly mentioned by many of the Intercontinental visitors). The local organising committee pulled out all the stops with the official social events by hosting the welcome reception at the Stockholm City Hall, home of the famous Nobel Prize banquet each year. The gala dinner was in the spectacular Vasa Museum, surely one of the world’s most spectacular maritime museums.

This article is based on a blogpost originally published on the BJUI Blog. Read the entire post, including notable participants, the use of social media and the Meeting's social programme here.

The next ERUS Meeting will be held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands from 17-19 September 2014. Visit the meeting website for more information about attending and participating.