Register now for the EACTS Aortic Valve Repair Summit 2022 – 23 – 24 June | Rome, Italy

Don’t miss the EACTS Aortic Valve Repair Summit that will take place as an in-person meeting in Rome from 23-24 June 2022. This excellent two-day programme consists of live surgical cases, interactive lectures, live-in-a-box videos, abstract presentations, intellectual challenges and fruitful debates.

The Summit brings together the different schools in aortic valve repair with educational modules covering all aspects that are necessary to approach the disease of the aortic valve and root. Anatomy, physiology and all aspects of imaging will be considered and integrated with the various surgical options and the different surgical strategies. State-of-the-art surgical treatment will be shown and discussed with formal presentations and live surgical cases. A special focus is devoted to the bicuspid aortic valve and its close relationship with the root aneurysm.

Who should attend?

The Summit will appeal to cardiac surgeons, echocardiographers (cardiologists and anaesthesiologists), radiologists and advanced residents interested in the field of valve repair.

VIEW THE PROGRAMME AND REGISTER NOW Continue reading “Register now for the EACTS Aortic Valve Repair Summit 2022 – 23 – 24 June | Rome, Italy”

The 36th EACTS Annual Meeting – registration is now open

Register today and join colleagues from around the world in the magnificent Italian city of Milan to learn together at the largest event for the cardiothoracic community.

For 2022 you will experience a feast of world class education and science, including:

  • Two innovative Techno-College programmes featuring innovations and technological breakthroughs in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery
  • Presentations from global experts on the latest surgical techniques
  • Discussions on the latest clinical practice guidelines
  • Debates on hot topics, such as results from clinical trials
  • Rapid Response abstract sessions
  • Interactive, hands on training opportunities
  • Presentations and Q&As on selected abstracts
  • Industry led satellite symposia
  • Extensive exhibition featuring the latest innovations from industry
  • Honoured Guest keynote presentation
  • The EACTS President’s annual address
  • A myriad of opportunities to network with peers and colleagues from around the world

 

EACTS’ domains and taskforces are preparing a packed programme to bring you expert speakers on the issues that matter. You will be able to participate in key debates alongside global experts and experience our focus, abstract and professional challenge sessions.

The 36th EACTS Annual Meeting will be THE event in the cardiothoracic calendar – don’t miss out!

Starting on Wednesday 5th October with a full day showcasing new technology and innovation in our Techno College sessions, our world-class science will continue over the next 3 days (6-8 October). Full details of the scientific programme will be available soon.

“The EACTS Annual Meeting is the meeting point for all cardiac surgeons around the world. There is no way I would miss it!” Theo Kofidis, Singapore

“Europe is really the hub of innovation. The latest techniques and procedure often come out of Europe so to be able to come back and meet all the great people and experts in their field is a phenomenal opportunity for learning and growth.” Juan Umana, Columbia.

Find out more about the 36th EACTS Annual Meeting HERE

New for 2022 – EACTS TV!

We are excited to announce – new for 2022 – the EACTS premium TV channel! Delegates can watch live in the exhibition centre or virtually online as we get the low down from our expert panelists and key opinion leaders, with one-to-one interviews, punditry and an opportunity for live audience participation and discussion. This will be an exciting addition to our programme giving you even more access to experienced surgeons, their specialist knowledge, and their immediate reactions to important scientific sessions.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore, discover and educate – register HERE today!

Vacancy: QUIP Committee Chair

Take a lead role in driving quality improvement in cardiothoracic surgery

 

Do you have the strategic vision to lead EACTS’ Quality Improvement Programme (QUIP)?

EACTS is looking for a dedicated member to Chair our QUIP committee and play an important strategic role in representing the Programme’s vision and purpose.  

The Quality Improvement Programme operates two international databases: the Adult Cardiac Database (ACD) and the European Registry for Patients with Mechanical Circulatory Support (EUROMACS). These registries transcend national boundaries to unite individuals and institutions from around the world to advance clinical research and improve the outcomes and lives of patients.  

This is an exciting opportunity to drive quality improvement in cardiothoracic surgery and promote the importance of integrating quality improvement initiatives into daily clinical practice. 

Application

Applications are now closed.

If you have any questions, please contact us at quip@eacts.co.uk. 

About you  

  • Proficiency in English.
  • At least 5 years’ experience in the field.
  • You will be committed to the charitable objectives of the Association and the Committee, and be dedicated to the pursuit of clinical/research excellence and improving patient outcomes.
  • You will have an interest not just in cardiothoracic surgery, but also experience in managing clinical registries for hospital(s) on a national or international scale.
  • You will have a good understanding of epidemiology data and benchmarking, and be able to provide guidance in data collection, validating, and reporting.
  • You will have experience in monitoring efficacy of registries and applying strategic knowledge to support databases and their output. 
  • You must have sufficient time to attend at least four meetings per year and be willing to contribute between meetings as necessary.
  • The ideal candidate must be able to make the decisions on the nitty gritty of software logistics and data collection, without losing sight of the ‘big picture’.  

 

Job Description 

Job Title: Quality Improvement Programme Committee Chair 

Key Relationships: QUIP Manager and Members, EACTS Task Forces and Committee Chairs, EACTS office, EACTS Councillors.

Purpose of the role: to effectively manage the Committee and outline clear, long-term goals which are both in line with EACTS’ mission and help the Committee fulfil its purpose.  

 

Main duties and responsibilities 

  • To provide strategic and operational guidance to the Quality Improvement Programme and to the various current/developing international databases. 
  • To assess and advise on the QUIP objectives to ensure they are in line with the EACTS charitable objectives and 5-year strategy.  
  • To lead the Committee, recruiting members according to the skillset and knowledge required, chairing meetings and establishing milestones. 
  • To liaise with the other relevant EACTS database Task Forces and Committee Chairs to give strategic advice that will correspond to the overall objectives.  
  • To review the operational and technological requirements of the databases, assessing software support and platforms are performing at a sufficient standard to satisfy the needs of the users.  
  • To assist and advise panel on tender processes for relevant software and platforms to support the databases.  
  • To coordinate with the other database task forces/committee to analyse, review, and advise on the data in- and outputs of the databases, monitoring efficacy of the registries and user feedback.
  • To advise on the financial policy of the databases and coordinate with potential industry and stakeholders accordingly. 
  • To be a non-voting member of the EACTS Council / to provide reports on the progress of the QUIP Committee and the activities to the EACTS Council.  

 

Expected Commitments  

  • Regular Zoom and sometimes in-person meetings with the Committee. 
  • Attend/present at the EACTS Annual Meeting.  
  • Strict confidentiality observance. 
  • Provide true and complete information on relationships with industry; provide annual declaration of interest.  

EACTS designates emergency fund of €100,000 to support the cardiothoracic community in Ukraine

The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery unreservedly opposes the unlawful invasion of the sovereign state of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. We join with the overwhelming international majority in condemning these actions and in demanding an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine.

 

As an Association, we have considered how best to respond to this crisis in the interests of our Ukrainian members and the patients they support. We have taken the following steps;

  • We are immediately designating an emergency fund of €100,000 which we will use to best support the cardiothoracic community of Ukraine. We will be consulting with Vasyl Lazoryshynets, the Director of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery in Ukraine and other relevant bodies on the best use and timing of this fund whether in the form of emergency support now or to support rebuilding services in the future.

 

  • We have invited Vasyl Lazoryshynets to address members of EACTS Council, when convenient, to help us understand how best we can further support our Ukrainian colleagues both through the use of the emergency fund and other tangible means of support.

 

  • Today, our President – Friedhelm Beyersdorf – and Secretary General – Rafa Sadaba – have written to each Ukrainian member of EACTS setting out the steps we are taking and offering our unreserved support.

 

  • EACTS is an association of individual members; we do not have countries or their societies in membership. As a small gesture, we will be waiving the membership fee for all members from Ukraine, including for any new members who wish to join this year. It is important the services and educational tools we offer and all the benefits of EACTS’ membership, are available as widely as possible to those in greatest need.

 

  • We have posted statements on our social media accounts condemning the invasion. We have posted a video message from Vasyl Lazoryshynets and will continue to demonstrate our solidarity with the people in Ukraine.

 

We want to express our unequivocal support for the cardiothoracic surgeons and wider heart teams, their families and friends in Ukraine at this time. This act of aggression is having a devastating effect on the Ukrainian people, leading to multiple casualties and loss of life, separated families and a humanitarian crisis. We are deeply concerned for our Ukrainian members and Ukrainian citizens and express our solidarity and support for the people and health professionals of Ukraine.

The EACTS Women in Cardiothoracic Surgery Committee welcomes its newest members

On International Women’s Day 2022, EACTS would like to acknowledge and celebrate the tireless work and achievements of women in cardiothoracic surgery across the world.

The Women in Cardiothoracic Surgery Committee, chaired by Dr Jolanda Kluin, provides a forum for community-building, networking and leadership development for women cardiothoracic surgeons.

The committee has a clear mission to promote diversity and inclusion within EACTS and the wider field and help more women establish themselves in cardiothoracic surgery and take up leadership roles.

The Women in Cardiothoracic Surgery Committee recently welcomed two new additional members – Miia Lehtinen and Maroua Eid – to further strengthen the Committee and support its ongoing work.

Look out for more details about the committee’s work in the next issue of EACTS News.

EACTS is in solidarity with EACTS members in Ukraine

EACTS utterly condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine. No doubt all of us will want to express our unequivocal support for the cardiothoracic surgeons and wider heart teams, their families and friends in Ukraine at this time. This act of aggression is having a devastating effect on the Ukrainian people, leading to multiple casualties and loss of life, separated families and a humanitarian crisis. We are deeply concerned for our Ukrainian members and Ukrainian citizens.

EACTS has received a video from Vasyl Lazoryshynets, a member of EACTS and the Director of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery in Ukraine. Vasyl explains the impact of the war on the Ukrainian people and we encourage all members to watch his video.

As cardiothoracic surgeons, our actions save and improve lives for people every day. As Vasyl highlights in his video, ‘let’s stay united to protect the basic human right to life.’

If anyone would like to contribute to the humanitarian relief efforts, please consider supporting the UNHCR or ICRC. 

EACTS sends a message of solidarity to all those caught up in the dreadful war in Ukraine

EACTS sends a message of solidarity to all those caught up in the dreadful war in Ukraine. Our thoughts are with EACTS members, heart team colleagues, friends and families at this time. We send you the bond of love and friendship that unites the global cardiothoracic community.

Every day across Europe, surgeons and other healthcare professionals use their considerable expertise and dedication to save lives and improve the quality of life. Aggression and war do the opposite. EACTS condemns the hostile invasion of Ukraine and urges all parties involved to seek an immediate peaceful resolution to the crisis.

The violence and aggression must cease.

If anyone would like to contribute to the humanitarian relief efforts, please consider supporting the UNHCR or ICRC. 

EACTS Statement: Regarding TAVI

In Portugal, there is increased pressure to perform TAVI without on-site cardiac surgery. In response, we would like to reiterate the importance of the 2021 EACTS/ESC Valvular Heart Disease guidelines that require on-site cardiac surgery and cardiology departments at any valve centre performing TAVI. 

Read our full statement below.

To Whom It May Concern,

There is increasing pressure to perform transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) without on-site cardiac surgery. We would like to highlight the importance of the 2021 EACTS/ESC Valvular Heart Disease guidelines that require on-site cardiac surgery and cardiology departments at any valve centre performing TAVI. This letter is intended to clarify the reasons for this position.

The EACTS/ESC guidelines for the management of valvular heart disease state that valve interventions must be undertaken in Heart Valve Centres. The main purpose of these centres is to deliver optimal quality of care with a patient-centred approach. This requires established cardiology and cardiac surgery departments with 24-hr/7-day services. On-site cardiac surgery departments optimise TAVI care by enhancing:

  • Patient selection and procedural planning
  • Procedural performance
  • Management of complications and post-procedural care.

TAVI has shown exponential growth around the world, surpassing surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) in numbers. Morbidity and mortality have been decreasing. However, major complications requiring extra-corporeal support and urgent cardiac surgery remain steady at 0.8-1%, and these urgent interventions carry a high mortality (10-30%).

Parallels between the development of PCI and TAVI have been made, with increasing calls to not require on-site cardiac surgery, as the outcomes of centres without on-site cardiac surgery are reported not to differ significantly from those with on-site cardiac surgery. It is important to note that TAVI differs in two distinct ways from PCI:

  1. Urgent PCI in acute coronary syndromes saves muscle and lives. Having access to PCI without delay for transfer, to minimize door-to-balloon times, justifies having PCI units distributed within the population. TAVI is rarely, if ever, urgent. There is always time to stabilise and transfer a patient with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis.
  2. Although major complications of TAVI are rare, they carry a very high mortality, and the results of high-volume, expert heart teams have shown that many of these patients can be saved. As we expand into low-risk patients and many more procedures, there will be an increasing number of patients who require urgent cardiac surgery, and who could have undergone elective SAVR. It is not ethical to propose TAVI without an institutional department of cardiac surgery.

Furthermore, there is evidence to support that the larger the volume, the better the outcomes in TAVI. Creating smaller, low volume units without on-site cardiac surgery risks splitting the TAVI volumes and affecting patient outcomes. In addition, it is unlikely that centres without on-site cardiac surgery have the same advanced critical care units required for cardiac surgery. As a result, these patients would not benefit from the same level of care being available.

In light of the information and evidence above, we would like to repeat the importance of a true Heart Team approach for the management of valvular heart disease, in accordance with our guideline recommendations.

Kindest regards.

Patrick Myers (Secretary General Elect)

Rafa Sádaba (Secretary General)

Friedhelm Beyersdorf (President)

Filip Casselman (Chair, Acquired Cardiac Disease Domain)

References

  1. Beyersdorf F, Vahanian A, Milojevic M, Praz F, Baldus S, Bauersachs J, Capodanno D, Conradi L, De Bonis M, De Paulis R, Delgado V, Freemantle N, Gilard M, Haugaa KH, Jeppsson A, Jüni P, Pierard L, Prendergast BD, Sádaba JR, Tribouilloy C, Wojakowski W, ESC/EACTS Scientific Document Group. 2021 ESC/EACTS Guidelines for the management of valvular heart diseaseDeveloped by the Task Force for the management of valvular heart disease of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS). Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2021;60(4):727-800. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezab389.
  2. Mylote D, Head SJ, Kappetein AP, Piazza N. TAVI at institutions without cardiovascular surgery departments: why? EuroIntervention 2014;10:539-541.
  3. Smith CR. Emergency cardiac surgery following TAVI: implications for the future, European Heart Journal 2018;39(8):685-686.

TSF/FFF International Traveling Fellowship inaugural recipients announced

Through a collaborative  effort between The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS), two standout young surgeons recently each received $20,000 (€16,500) in fellowship grants to learn new techniques used by institutions across the world.

Amy G. Fiedler, MD, from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (UW-Madison), and Gianluca Folesani, MD, from Sant’Orsola Malpighi Polyclinic in Bologna, Italy, have been recognised as the inaugural recipients of the Thoracic Surgery Foundation (TSF)/Francis Fontan Fund (FFF) International Traveling Fellowship. TSF and FFF are the charitable arms of STS and EACTS, respectively.

“The way cardiac surgery kind of starts and stops and then moves and tacks is a little different on the two continents,” said TSF President Joseph E. Bavaria, MD. “For example, the regulatory agencies approve different techniques and different devices that we use in cardiac surgery at different rates. So if you want to have exposure to something that is brand new, you may have to go to Europe to do that. Or you may have to come to the United States for that—it goes in both directions.”

The TSF/FFF Fellowship—established in 2021—will help fund international travel and living expenses, allowing the awardees to continue their education outside of their home countries. This fellowship also will allow Dr. Fiedler and Dr. Folesani to learn novel techniques, adapt innovative technology, and receive training from expert mentors who are dedicated to the highest standards of cardiothoracic surgery.

With her fellowship, Dr. Fiedler plans to learn skills and administrative approaches that will help her expand the heart transplant programme at UW-Madison, where she currently serves as associate director of heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support. She will study under Stephen Large, MD, MA, FRCS, at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England.

“Professor Large and his team are at the forefront of innovation with respect to nonthermic regional perfusion heart transplantation,” said Dr. Fiedler. “They have managed to increase the volume of heart transplantation at their center by over 30% due to their innovative techniques, which I hope to acquire. I feel honored and privileged to receive the International Traveling Fellowship. I look forward to a fruitful partnership, and I thank TSF, FFF, and the organizations’ generous donors for this incredible opportunity.”

Dr. Folesani, who is accomplished in performing aortic and mitral valve surgery and myocardial revascularization procedures, intends to use his fellowship to learn minimally invasive techniques on aortic and mitral valves. “I am also fascinated by robotic surgery, and I would love to learn robotic techniques in order to hopefully start a robotic programme in my center,” he said. “I am honored to be given the opportunity to be mentored by Professor Joseph Bavaria of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where we will be linking three Philadelphia institutions for a complete robotic experience with three different institutional approaches.”

He plans to receive robotics training at Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia under the mentorship of T. Sloane Guy, MD, MBA, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia under Pavan Atluri, MD, and Main Line Health’s Lankenau Heart Institute in Wynnewood under Francis P. Sutter, DO.

“I am absolutely thrilled and feel very privileged to receive the TSF/FFF International Traveling Fellowship,” Dr. Folesani said. “I am a young cardiac surgeon and the award is such a great opportunity to enrich my education by learning from the experts in the field.”

Each fellow also will have the opportunity to attend one another’s annual meetings—Dr. Folesani to attend STS 2023 in San Diego, and Dr. Fiedler to attend EACTS 2022 in Milan.

Dr. Fiedler and Dr. Folesani were selected from 21 applicants through a rigorous and competitive process.

“Good preparation is of the essence,” said EACTS Secretary General J. Rafael Sádaba, MD, PhD, FRCS(C-Th). “I would advise applicants to do their homework, choose well what they want to do and where they want to go. They should try to make sure that what they are aiming to achieve is not only for their own benefit, but for the benefit of their centre or institution—and for the benefit of the patients that he or she will be treating back home.”

Applications for the 2023 TSF/FFF Fellowship will open this summer.