On October 30-31, the European School of Urology (ESU) will organise a Masterclass on Lasers in urology, in collaboration with the EAU Section on Uro-Technology (ESUT). European Urology Today sat down with the organisers of the master class, Profs. Joan Palou and Evangelos Liatsikos.
Why organise a master class dedicated to lasers?
Palou: There is an increasing number of lasers available for different pathologies. As a result, it can be confusing for urologists to figure out which laser to use in which situation. We realised that there was, until now, no general course which focuses on all the different aspects of lasers, how they work, and how they can be used. With this master class we want to offer a general overview of different lasers and how to use them. We will provide participants with an unbiased update on the latest information on, and developments in, laser technology.
Liatsikos: Many people use lasers without truly knowing the physics behind them. They don’t know which laser has what kind of depth of penetration, which lasers are dangerous for your eyes if they break, or other basic information. They see the effect a laser can have and use it without fully knowing its background. We want to show people the basic concept behind laser technology: what it is, how it works, and in which situation to use which laser. This class follows the principles of ESU and there are no commercial links with any company. The basics of all types of lasers are discussed.
Why are lasers so important in urology?
Liatsikos: In urology there are two hot topics: robotics and lasers. Right now laser is a very popular treatment modality for many pathologies. In stone disease, particularly in lithotripsy, it is already an established treatment option. In prostate surgery lasers are booming at the moment. Every pharmaceutical company has its own laser and there are many technological developments. In short: Lasers are important in urology because they attract much interest from companies, doctors, but also patients.
Palou: Indeed, we see much interest from patients. Some patients actually ask to be treated with lasers. This makes it increasingly important for urologists to know what they are talking about when it comes to laser technology.
What is the main message you want to get across?
Liatsikos: Urologists should learn what lasers are, what the physics behind them is, and what the basic applications are. With this information they can decide which laser interests them and they can, for instance, decide to take further training. We will provide them with the basics.
Palou: This is a basic but very comprehensive course which gives participants a thorough update in the theoretical aspects of laser technology. After having taken the class, they will have a better understanding of what instrument they hold in their hands.
Who are you hoping will attend the masterclass?
Liatsikos: The class is mainly intended for younger people but we encourage everybody who wants to know more about lasers to join. I think all urologists should know the basics of lasers. Currently, most don’t.
Palou: I would like to invite people who don’t know much about lasers to attend. But also people who already know something about lasers but would like to expand their knowledge, as well as people who are considering to buy a laser. The latter group can get a better understanding of what it is they may purchase and what they can do with it.
Applications have opened, and will close on September 1st. There is a limit to the number of participants, so sign up as soon as possible! As part of the selection criteria, you will be invited to take part in an online preparatory course by August 15th. Please visit the Masterclass website for the latest details!