Konstantinos Tsagakis of the Vascular Disease Domain, Ruggero De Paulis of the Aortic Valve Task Force and Davide Pacini of the Aortic Dissection Task Force have been working behind the scenes to put together the inaugural Aortic Forum in Bologna in November. Here, Ruggero and Davide give their inside view of the event and what it has to offer.
What is the Aortic Forum and why is it important?
Ruggero. The Aortic Forum is a meeting exclusively focused on the surgical and endovascular treatment of aortic pathologies. The desire is to gather the world’s experts in aortic pathologies in a single place, with the aim of exchanging experiences and disseminating knowledge. The format includes a mix of formal presentations, live surgeries and live-in-a-box videos. Participants will have the opportunity to learn the latest techniques and discuss directly with the key opinion leaders.
What makes the Aortic Forum such a special event?
Ruggero. This is a new event within the EACTS calendar of Academy courses. It is also the first time an EACTS meeting will exclusively focus on aortic pathologies and take place in Europe. It is special because each session is shared with experts from the most renowned cardiac and thoracic associations in the US, Asia and Latin America.
What are you looking forward to the most about this year’s Aortic Forum?
Davide. This first ever Aortic Forum represents the cornerstone for further meetings to follow. We are hoping for a wide attendance with positive feedback from participants. It is the first time that EACTS has organised a large comprehensive meeting on all aspects of aortic surgery, targeting a wide audience that includes cardiac and vascular surgeons, cardiologists, radiologists and anaesthetists.
Ruggero. The whole task force behind this year’s Aortic Forum is looking forward to a global experience made up of theoretical principles, practical surgical solutions, problem solving attitudes and heated discussions on major controversies in the field.
How important are meetings such as this to the cardiothoracic community?
Davide. They are important because they focus on one specific topic of cardiac surgery. During a two-day meeting the Aortic Forum will concentrate four half-day sessions covering all aspects of aortic surgery, from anatomy to live surgery. It is a fantastic opportunity for full immersion into aortic surgery and confronting the most controversial aspects of surgical and endovascular therapeutic solutions.
Ruggero. The Aortic Forum is important to the cardiac surgical community because it highlights the most important areas where we should be focusing our future effort, in terms of scientific research and clinical application.
Why should surgeons attend? What will they come away with?
Davide. Live surgery. EACTS. Bologna. These three words sum up the fabulous opportunity of this meeting. The sharing of knowledge not only using conventional presentations but also live surgery, gives participants real-time experience of many challenging complex aortic procedures. Participants will actively take part in the meeting with abstract presentations. And they will acquire the necessary information for a competent decision-making process when facing a variety of aortic pathologies. Lastly, Bologna is a fascinating city with a strong background in aortic surgery. It also just received the prestigious award from UNESCO to include the Portici in the world heritage list.
Ruggero. All cardiovascular surgeons and all people with an interest in aortic pathologies should attend to get familiar with the results of the latest trials, with the industrial innovations and with the most efficient surgical approaches. Such experience will certainly benefit surgeons who are in the process of beginning their practice in major aortic surgery but also expose experts to a variety of alternatives to their standard approach, helping them in any future decision-making process.
What else should people know about the event?
Ruggero. After the difficult times we have been through, the new Aortic Forum represents an opportunity to get acquainted with colleagues from all over the world and discuss common challenges. In that spirit we wanted to involve world-renowned cardiothoracic associations from across the world and send a message of co-operation, friendship, and closeness in a common effort to educate new generations, share experience and better serve our patients.