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. 

INDUSTRY OPPORTUNITIES OVERVIEW

INDUSTRY OPPORTUNITIES

The EACTS Annual Meeting is the largest event for the cardiothoracic community, attracting several thousand delegates. It provides the perfect forum to promote your products and services to the world’s leading cardiothoracic surgeons as well as physicians in related specialties, residents and allied health professionals. 

 

In addition to our large Exhibition we will be offering a range of other sponsorship opportunities to our Industry partners participating in at the 2023 Annual Meeting in Vienna.  Further details will be shared soon – if you would like to be included in receiving these, please contact industry@eacts.co.uk.

SATELLITE SYMPOSIA

The following companies will be organising satellite symposia during the 36th Annual Meeting. These sponsored programmes do not form part of the official scientific programme of EACTS. By attending these sessions, please be aware that you will be giving permission for your personal details to be shared with the company holding the symposium.

 

Thursday 6th October, 12:45-14:00

Date: Thursday 6 October
Time: 12:45-14:00
Room: Amber 5

Website

Innovative strategies for superior outcome in Cardiac Surgery including pMCS support in therapy pathway

Chairs: Professor Hermann Reichenspurner (Hamburg, Germany), Professor Roberto Lorusso (Maastricht, Germany)

Prevention of PCCS in high-risk Cardiac Surgery patients by elective implant of pMCS
Dr. Assad Haneya (Kiel, Germany)

Structural heart disease – innovative approaches extending therapy scope by using pMCS support
Dr. Bastian Schmack (Essen, Germany)

Tailored solutions to treat advanced CGS patients combining ECMO with pMCS
Professor Evgenij Potapov (Berlin, Germany) 

Date: Thursday 6 October
Time: 12:45-14:00
Room: Botticelli
Contact: Jane Bettoni – Jane.Bettoni@artivion.com

Website

Beyond the hemiarch: a simple therapy for Acute Type A Dissections

Moderators: Professor Benussi (Brescia, Italy), Professor Oo (London, UK)

3-Year Outcomes of the Dissected Aorta Repair Through Stent Implantation Trial
Dr M. Moon (Edmonton, Canada)

The arch remodelling stent for DeBakey 1 AAD: experience with 100 implantations
Dr M. Montagner (Berlin, Germany)

Early results of a novel hybrid prosthesis for treatment of AATAD with distal anastomosis beyond zone 0
Prof P. Akhyari (Achen, Germany)

How to introduce a new therapeutic approach in the acute setting
Mr R. De Silva (Cambridge, UK)

Date: Thursday 6 October
Time: 12:45-14:00
Room: Amber 4
Contact: salessupportEU@atricure.com

Website

A patient-centric approach for AF treatment

Chairs: Richard Whitlock M.D., Ph.D., McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada), Carlo De Asmundis M.D., Ph.D, Universitair Ziekenhuis (Brussels, Belgium)

Who should be treated in 2022?
Richard Whitlock M.D., Ph.D., McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada)

Meet-my-patients roundtable (patient cases presentations)
– Concomitant Surgical Ablation + LAA: Mark La Meir M.D., Ph.D., Universitair Ziekenhuis (Brussels, Belgium)
Hybrid case + LAA: Thorsten Hanke MD., Ph.D., Asklepios Klinikum Harburg (Hamburg, Germany)
– LAA management: Stefano Branzoli M.D., Ospedale S. Chiara (Trento, Italy)

Closing remarks: there is a solution for all AF patients
Richard Whitlock M.D., Ph.D., McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada)

Date: Thursday 6 October
Time: 12:45-14:00
Room: Amber 1 & 2
Contact: Anne Chafii-Jaguello, Infection Prevention Marketing Manager (EMEA) – Anne.Chafii-Jaguello@bd.com

Website

Surgical Site Infections in cardiac surgery: optimizing prevention measures

Chair: Professor Menicanti

Speakers: Prof Petrosillo & Mr Lucchese

Date: Thursday 6 October
Time: 12:45-14:00
Room: Brown 3
Contact: Sonia Hennou (Dir, Professional Ed and Medical Affairs) Sonia_Hennou@edwards.com; Florian Novat (Manager, Professional Education and Medical Affairs) Florian_Novat@edwards.com

Website

State of the art in the treatment of aortic valve regurgitation in young patients

Chairs: Torsten Doenst, Ruggero De Paulis

When there is a disconnect between guidelines and patient wishes, the importance of individualized care
Torsten Doenst

Aortic regurgitation: the importance of early referral and anatomical assessment
Ruggero De Paulis

Management of aortic regurgitation: gaps, current evidences and future options
Thomas Senage

Assessment of a new bioprosthetic valve to treat young patients with bicuspid aortic valve
Siamak Mohammadi

Panel Discussion

Date: Thursday 6 October
Time: 12:45-14:00
Room: Amber 3
Contact: Carolin Thiery – c.thiery@koehler-chemie.de

Website

Mission (Im)Possible – Four Cornerstones for Success in Cardiac Surgery

Chairs: Friedhelm Beyersdorf (Freiburg), Jochen Cremer (Kiel)

Personalized Indication – why not a complex surgical procedure in a frail octogenarian?
Milan Milojevic (Rotterdam)

Importance of Surgical Technique – Consequences of imperfect surgical results beyond the direct injury
Jolanda Kluin (Amsterdam)

Organ Protection & Cardioplegic Solutions – Do we have the fi nal insight into the problem?
Serdar Gunaydin (Ankara)

Perioperative Cellular Protection – “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail”
Friedhelm Beyersdorf (Freiburg)

Date: Thursday 6 October
Time: 12:45-14:00
Room: Michelangelo

Website

Cardiac Surgery time machine: Get ready for the future!

Chairs: Prof. Pieter Kappetein, Prof. Joerg Kempfert

Welcome on board
Prof. Kempfert, Prof. Kappetein 

The acceleration of clinical knowledge. Real world data or still controlled studies?
Prof. Meuris

TAVI are now used in patients of all surgical risks. Are you on board?
Prof. Modine

Lifetime management and patient longevity, what is the best patient scenario?
Prof. Borger

Do we still perform sternotomy, or it is now all MICS?
Prof. Pitsis 

When there is equality, we all thrive! Removing the barriers to diversity and inclusion in Cardiac Surgery.
Dr. Rashmi Yadav

Final discussion and closure
Prof. Kappetein, Prof. Kempfert

Date: Thursday 6 October
Time: 12:45-14:00
Room: Brown 1
Contact: Anne Waaler – anne.waaler@medistim.com

Website

Routine Quality Assessment in CABG and Aortic surgery

Moderator: Professor John Puskas (New York)

Expert recommendations for TTFM use
Mario Gaudino (New York)

CABG cases – How to interpret TTFM
David Glineur (Ottawa)

Aortic cases – Why is epiaortic ultrasound guidance important?
Konstantinos Tsagakis (Essen)

TTFM and HFUS in  CABG – interactive case discussion
John Puskas (New York) & David Taggart (Oxford)

Q&A

Date: Thursday 6 October
Time: 12:45-14:00
Room: Brown 2
Contact: info@resuscitec.de

Website

CARL. Controlled Automated Reperfusion of the whoLe body – A new concept treating patients with cardiac arrest

Chairs: Frederico Pappalardo (Alessandria), José Luis Pomar (Barcelona)

Scientific background to CARL Therapy – The new kid in town
Jan-Steffen Pooth (Freiburg)

Implementation of CARL – Never walk alone
Hug Aubin (Düsseldorf )

Preparation for CARL Therapy – Just Do It
Christoph Benk (Freiburg)

Shifting the limits of resuscitation – Latest multicenter clinical results
Georg Trummer (Freiburg)

Round Table Discussion

Thursday 6th October, 18:00-19:15

Date: Thursday 6 October
Time: 18:00-19:15
Room: Amber 4
Contact: Elad Harf – elad.harf@graftsolutions.com

Website

Bright future for vein grafts: techniques and technologies to improve the clinical outcome of CABG

Preclinical evidence of the biomechanical effects of external vein graft support
Prof. Peter Zila

The bio mechanical effect of external support and applications
Prof. David P Taggart

Randomized controlled data of VEST external stent
Prof. Nikolaos Bonaros

Improved clinical outcome of CABG with external stent – real world evidence
Prof. Luca P Weltert

Friday 7th October, 12:45-14:00

Date: Friday 7 October
Time: 12:45-14:00
Room: Brown 2
Contact: infoEMEA@abbott.com

Website

From Established to Advanced Heart Failure Therapies and Technologies that Change Lives

Chairs: Mariano Feccia (Italy) & Francesco Maisano (Italy) 

Welcome and Introduction
Mariano Feccia (Italy) & Francesco Maisano (Italy)

Surgical Mitral Valve Repair vs Replacement in the Modern Era of Transcatheter Valve Interventions
Joerg Kempfert (Germany)

When can Tendyne™ TMVR be a relevant substitute for on-pump MVR
Rüdiger Lange (Germany)

HeartMate 3™ LVAD positioning and implications for patient outcomes
Dominik Wiedemann (Austria)

5-year survival with LVAD Therapy in MOMENTUM 3
Sern Lim (United Kingdom)

Round table discussion and closing

Date: Friday 7 October
Time: 12:45-14:00
Room: Amber 3
Contact: Jane Bettoni – Jane.Bettoni@artivion.com

Website

Choosing the most appropriate treatment option for arch pathologies

Moderators: Professor Shrestha (Rochester, USA), Professor Grabenwöger (Vienna, Austria)

Transition from Evita Open Plus to Evita Open NEO – The West German Heart Center (Essen) Experience
Dr K. Tsagakis (Essen, Germany)

Evita Open NEO in acute aortic dissections
Dr D. Dohle (Mainz, Germany)

Decision algorithm for DeBakey type 1 AAD
Mr R. De Silva (Cambridge, UK)

Endovascular aortic arch repair with Nexus: technical insights and 3-year outcomes
Prof. A. D’Onofrio (Padova, Italy)

Date: Friday 7 October
Time: 12:45-14:00
Room: Amber 4
Contact: Kristin von Hammerstein – Kristin.vonHammerstein@cytosorbents.com

Website

Hemoadsorption with CytoSorb in high-risk cardiac surgery indications – new data

Chair: Guillaume Lebreton (Paris, France), Piotr Suwalski (Warsaw, Poland)

Removal of antithrombotic drugs to reduce bleeding complications and costs in high urgency operations
Michael Schmoeckel (Hamburg, Germany)

Clinical benefits in patients undergoing heart transplantation – results of a single center RCT
Endre Németh (Budapest, Hungary)

CytoSorb in infective endocarditis patients – what can we learn from recent data?
Matthias Thielmann (Essen, Germany)

Date: Friday 7 October
Time: 12:45-14:00
Room: Brown 3
Contact: Sonia Hennou (Dir, Professional Ed and Medical Affairs) Sonia_Hennou@edwards.com; Florian Novat (Manager, Professional Education and Medical Affairs) Florian_Novat@edwards.com

Website

Aortic valve disease: Patient centric management in elderly population

Chairs: Marjan Jahangiri, Vinod Thourani 

Management of aortic valve diseases: what do the guidelines indicate for patients over the age of 65?
Matthias Siepe

Not all biological valves are equal: a single-center experience
Amedeo Anselmi

Burden of degenerated TAVI: which therapeutic approach?
Vinod Thourani

Enhanced Recovery After Cardiac Surgery in elderly population: benefits of a multi-modal approach
Jan Gummert

Panel Discussion

Date: Friday 7 October
Time: 12:45-14:00
Room: Michelangelo

Website

Top secrets you need to know for your success in SAVR

Chairs: Prof. Reichenspurner (Germany), Prof. Günther Laufer (Austria)

Welcome on board
Prof. Reichenspurner (Germany), Prof. Günther Laufer (Austria)

Revealing Avalus top secret. Let us discover what makes it unique!
Dr. De Raet (Belgium )

Avalus hemodynamics at its best! 
Dr. Hwang (Korea)

Avalus real world evidence: first results of 300+ patients!  
Prof. Verbelen (Belgium)

Avalus in younger patients (< 65). Real world experience and clinical evidence.
Dr. Greco (UK)

When size matters, choose Avalus! Largest internal diameter and opening reserve.
Mr. Pousios (UK)

Final discussion and closure
Prof. Reichenspurner (Germany), Prof. Günther Laufer (Austria)

Date: Friday 7 October
Time: 12:45-14:00
Room: Amber 1 & 2
Contact: Lindsay McMaster- l.mcmaster@terumoaortic.com

Website

Thoraflex Hybrid: Gold Standard

Moderator: Professor Roberto Di Bartolomeo

Normotheric approach with FET
Professor Marco De Eusanio

Clinical Data supporting the Gold Standard
Professor Davide Pacini

A new Era for FET in the US
Professor Joseph Coselli

Hybrid technology addressing Thoracoabdominal Challenges
Professor Sabine Wipper

Saturday 8th October

The European Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion

Date: Saturday 8 October
Room: Raphael

Website

EBCP Annual Meeting / 22nd EcOPEaT / Milan 08/10/2022

 

EcOPEaT Symposium Details

The 36th EACTS Annual Meeting has been registered as COMPLIANT by MedTech.

Exhibitor List 2022

The EACTS trade exhibition is an important and most time efficient way to keep up to date with new to market technology, state of the art products, innovations and developments in the cardiothoracic market.  The exhibiting companies are looking forward to meet the people that matter to their business in one place, demonstrate new products and attract interest from new prospects and existing customers.

The support of our industry partners is important. As we develop more flexible and innovative ways to communicate and share educational content, we are excited to offer new engagement opportunities for our industry partners.

We look forward to working with you.  For full details and pricing, please contact industry@eacts.co.uk

INDUSTRY OPPORTUNITIES OVERVIEW

INDUSTRY OPPORTUNITIES

The EACTS Annual Meeting is the largest event for the cardiothoracic community, attracting several thousand delegates. It provides the perfect forum to promote your products and services to the world’s leading cardiothoracic surgeons as well as physicians in related specialties, residents and allied health professionals. 

 

In addition to our large Exhibition we offer a range of other sponsorship opportunities to our Industry partners participating in this year’s Annual Meeting in Milan.  For further details please contact industry@eacts.co.uk

The 36th EACTS Annual Meeting has been registered as COMPLIANT by MedTech.

Exhibitor List 2021

The EACTS trade exhibition is an important and most time efficient way to keep up to date with new to market technology, state of the art products, innovations and developments in the cardiothoracic market.  The exhibiting companies are looking forward to meet the people that matter to their business in one place, demonstrate new products and attract interest from new prospects and existing customers.

The support of our industry partners is important. As we develop more flexible and innovative ways to communicate and share educational content, we are excited to offer new engagement opportunities for our industry partners.

We look forward to working with you.  For full details and pricing, please contact industry@eacts.co.uk

Francis Fontan Fund Fellowships: Open for Applications Now

Francis Fontan Fund Fellowships: Open for Applications Now until mid-end Sep 2021

Fellowship scheme
EACTS members can now apply for a prestigious Francis Fontan Fund Fellowship. A wide variety of Fellowship schemes are available to members around the world with the aim of supporting surgical education, fostering professional development and strengthening the global cardiothoracic community through increased knowledge share.

The Fellowship programme offers unique career opportunities across a range of cardio and thoracic surgical experiences, with access to world-class courses, residential training in both European and American centres of excellence and clinical proctorship with surgical leaders. The Fund represents a vital part of the EACTS’ educational offering.

Professor Rafael Sádaba, EACTS Secretary General & Chairman of the Francis Fontan Fund, says: “The Fund’s mission is to create a global community sharing and learning from the highest standards of cardiothoracic care. Our Fellows are given the tools to establish life-saving new techniques in their institution and to emerge with skills, techniques and supportive professional networks that they could not have gained in any other way.”

The Fund offers three categories of Fellowship: Research, Leadership and Education. Research Fellowships offer experienced cardiothoracic surgeons a placement in cardiothoracic research, whilst Leadership Fellowships enable candidates to attend specialist courses and a placement in a clinic specialised in a specific area of cardiothoracic surgery. Education Fellowships offer candidates early in their surgical career foundation knowledge in a specific aspect of cardiothoracic surgery.

There are four Fellowship programmes that are now open for EACTS member to apply. Please note the application deadlines below, it is essential that you do not submit a late submission.

1. TSF/FFF International Travelling Fellowship 2022

Application Deadline: 15 Sep 2021

The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons have collaborated to offer the TSF/FFF International Travelling Fellowship. This new Fellowship offers young faculty surgeons an exciting opportunity to travelto America and learn from surgeons dedicated to the highest standards of cardiothoracic care.

Click here for further information and to apply.

2. EACTS-MSTCVS Quality and Outcomes Fellowship 2022

Application Deadline: 29 Sep 2021

This Fellowship provides an in-depth understanding of cardiothoracic surgical outcomes with one of the world’s leading quality improvement teams, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Click here for further information and to apply.

3. Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Fellowship 2022

Application Deadline: 29 Sep 2021

Available to newly graduated cardiothoracic surgeons from around the world, this Fellowship offers an educational opportunity to enhance clinical understanding and acquire theoretical and practical knowledge in the surgical management of patients with coronary artery disease.

Click here for further information and to apply

4. Advanced Intensive Postoperative Care 2022

Application Deadline: 29 Sep 2021

This Fellowships offers an opportunity to gain experience in the postoperative management in adult cardiovascular surgery, as well as a wide exposure to minimally invasive and other advanced techniques in cardiovascular surgery.

Click here for further information and to apply.

EACTS is saddened by the loss of Hans Huysmans on 25 August 2021.

Hans Huysmans (1933-2021) 

EACTS is saddened by the loss of Hans Huysmans on 25 August 2021. Professor Hans Huysmans was one of the founding fathers of our Association. 

Hans was born into a family of doctors and started his career in general surgery. As a general surgeon he performed thoracic and also some cardiac procedures. He was then appointed as a professor of cardiothoracic surgery in Utrecht, the Netherlands. This was in the early days of heart surgery and our specialty was struggling to become a discipline that was independent of general surgery. In 1979 Hans switched to Leiden University where he was appointed as Gerard Brom’s successor. Professor Huysmans remained head of the department of cardiothoracic surgery in Leiden until 1998. 

Hans Huysmans has contributed much of his energy to the development of cardiothoracic surgery as an independent specialty, not only in his home country but also at a European level. Apart from being one of the founding members he was EACTS president from 1989-1990. Hans worked particularly hard to create a robust training programme for EACTS. The European Board of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (EBTCS) was founded in 1995 and is now a well-respected training programme with examinations in all different subspecialties of cardiothoracic surgery. 

Personally, I was accepted by him as a trainee in cardiothoracic surgery in Leiden, something that I have never regretted. Hans Huysmans was a technically gifted and universal surgeon with an endless patience for his residents. He supported his trainees as much as he could and was always friendly. Until the very end Hans continued to show a keen interest in our specialty. We will miss him and wish Anne-Marie and his family our sincere condolences and best wishes. 

Mark Hazekamp, President, EACTS 

Guidelines for the management of valvular heart disease

31 August 2021

The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Guidelines for the management of valvular heart disease were published online in the European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery on Saturday 28th of August 2021.

EACTS is proud of this collaborative joint guideline, including all members of the Heart Team. A discussion within the Heart Team should be the basis of all treatment decisions. This recommendation should be discussed with the patient, who can then make an informed decision.

We recognise there is considerable interest in the use of age cut-offs to assist in the choice of intervention for aortic stenosis. The evidence favours SAVR in some patients, TAVI in others, and either mode of intervention can be used for those in between. The Heart Team discussion is central in the care of these patients, and the guideline (table 6) details the clinical, anatomical and procedural factors that influence the choice of treatment modality for an individual patient.

Randomised controlled trials comparing SAVR to TAVI have included patients based on estimated risk, not age, and there has been no evidence of interaction between age and outcomes. Life expectancy for an individual patient is difficult to estimate; it varies widely across the world and is dependent on absolute age, sex, frailty, and the presence of comorbidities. Age was chosen as surrogate, considering the interplay between estimated life expectancy and prosthetic heart valve durability.

Despite the lack of evidence for age in determining intervention modality, it has been used in several other recent recommendations. The 2017 ESC/EACTS valvular heart disease guidelines already proposed an age limit of 75 as cut-off (in table 7). The ACC/AHA 2020 guidelines recommend TAVR >80, SAVR <65 and a Heart Team discussion for patients in between. The German Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Associations’ consensus statement proposes SAVR for low-risk patients ≤70, TAVI for patients ≥75, and a Heart Team discussion for patients in between. The age cut-offs agreed-upon in the ESC/EACTS guidelines can be considered conservative in comparison and were the subject of intense and constructive discussions. As there are no new data regarding age since the 2017 ESC/EACTS guideline, the same age of 75 years was used as in the previous iteration.

The guidelines have advanced other areas. Increased experience and procedural safety have led to expanded indications toward earlier surgery in asymptomatic patients with aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation and mitral regurgitation. Furthermore, these joint guidelines inaugurated the contribution of a methodology group. We are encouraged to expand the use of this group to all guidelines and putting into place an open process, with independent review of the evidence using validated tools such as the GRADE system, and avoiding conflicts of interest.

We look forward to a continuing fruitful collaboration on these joint guidelines with our colleagues from ESC, advancing a common European perspective on the evidence. These guidelines should be a living document, updated as new data is made available with longer follow-up, particularly in the low-risk trials.

A video summary of advances in these guidelines can be seen on ESC TV (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb85wvcbWBs), as well as the live session at ESC Congress (for registered users: https://bit.ly/3DuIQCC). A session with Heart Team members of the Taskforce will provide insight during the 35th EACTS Annual Meeting in Barcelona on October 14th

Rafael Sádaba, EACTS Secretary General

Friedhelm Beyersdorf, Chair of the EACTS Task Force for the ESC/EACTS Guidelines on Heart Valve Disease