The 2017 International Society for Vascular Surgery (ISVS) annual meeting will be held in Sibiu, Romania from 19–22 July. Vascular News spoke with Sherif Sultan (Galway, Ireland), current president of the Society, about why Romania was chosen to host this year’s event, what some of the highlights will be and how the ISVS is continuing to pursue its global mission.
This year, the ISVS Symposium will be taking place in Sibiu, Romania. Why was this location chosen to host the meeting?
The decision to host the ISVS 2017 Symposium—“East meets West”—was inspired by a need to break down barriers and allow practising vascular experts in top international vascular units to attend a meeting in their own backyard where experts throughout the globe will be on hand to serve as faculty, present their opinions and data and field questions from the delegates.
Romania is one of the most recent countries to join the European Union. Sibiu, the largest city in the Transylvanian region of the country, is a beautiful and elegant city surrounded by the breathtaking Carpathian Mountains. It is the perfect site to host the ISVS 2017 symposium because it is nestled between Western Europe and the former Soviet Eastern Bloc; the perfect backdrop for a multicultural exchange.
The primary objective of this meeting is to build upon the ISVS throughout the developing world. In addition, ISVS is uniting vascular surgeons, cardiac surgeons and interventionalists from all around the world to share their knowledge, expertise and innovative research, in the hope that global perspectives can be shared to raise international standards of cardiovascular care.
What key themes and questions will the programme address?
The Symposium has a strong faculty of 75 international clinical experts from the USA, throughout Europe, South America and China. These experts will engage our audience in dynamic debates and stimulating expert panel reviews.
The event will highlight the most up-to-date techniques in current cardiovascular clinical practice. The programme extends over four days and consists of presentations and case study reports, theoretical courses and live surgery cases, designed for cardiovascular surgeons, interventional cardiologists, interventional radiologists and other specialists. Topics will include structural heart, aortic intervention, stroke prevention and peripheral vascular intervention.
Future directions in cardiovascular research will be explored, including thoracoabdominal aortic therapies, dynamic and functional imaging and personalised medicine.
What will be some of the specific sessions that you are looking forward to at the meeting?
The entire programme is dynamic and the topics blend together that it will provide a very comprehensive overview of the current state of play in cardiovascular disease management. However, if forced to choose, I would have to say that I am most looking forward to the debates. We expect the debates to be thought-provoking and at the same time, add some drama and colour to the proceedings.
Will there be workshops and other courses running during the course of the week?
Absolutely. Workshops will play a key role at this symposium. In fact, interactive workshops on vascular trauma and paediatrics vascular surgery, including talks on genetics and vascular connective tissue disorders have been organised. These are the sort of conditions that do not present themselves frequently in most vascular practices but when they do, they present a massive challenge and as a result, vascular specialists need to be prepared to take these cases on head first. Each of these sessions will provide clinicians with treatment algorithms as well as tips and tricks so that they are fully equipped and not intimidated when patients present with these conditions.
What does the ISVS Symposium offer that other meetings do not?
There are many great vascular surgery meetings across the globe, each with their own unique programme ideas. The International Society for Vascular Surgery is a genuine and collegial society that treats their members not as a number, but with respect. Our members have a unique set of needs and ISVS is trying to meet their needs. It must be known that ISVS does not and will not compete with local national societies or their meetings. As an international society, the ISVS mission statement is clear. ISVS fosters a strong relationship throughout the world with local and national societies and encourages them to reach out to us for collaborative opportunities as well as from other congress meeting organisers. Through smart collaboration, we can accomplish much that will benefit the vascular surgery community.
The ISVS 2017 Symposium faculty is excited about the symposium, not only because of the feedback and reactions they will receive from attendees, but also because of the one-to-one networking that will have with the global cardiovascular community.
Faculty has already conveyed that they are excited about coming to Sibiu, Romania. Many are bringing their families and are extending their stay to enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of Sibiu and the surrounding communities in Romania.
What can you tell us about the international endovascular rotation programme and how does this programme benefit your members?
The ISVS fellowship programme was established with my colleague Peter Faries, chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery at The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, USA.
The international rotational programme offers ISVS members an opportunity to acquire training in endovascular surgery that they would not otherwise be able to obtain in their own institution or through national training programmes. The ISVS fellowship programme provides the exclusive opportunity for vascular surgeons to experience global diversity in cardiovascular pathologies. It is of particular benefit to experience first-hand how specific pathologies manifest in different populations and geographical regions.
This unique fellowship programme will provide a really broad perspective on how patients are managed in different countries. Graduates of this programme, once they have assimilated their different experiences, will have much to offer in terms of differentiating the best from the worst and helping the vascular community as a whole to identify optimal therapies and work practices. They will not only be able to bring these experiences home to their own units, they will also be able to offer feedback to the entire society.
This international rotation spans seven centres over 24–36 months. The current participating centres, each offering a two-week training programme are:
- Sao Paulo Vascular & Endovascular Surgery Institute, Sao Paulo, Brazil, under the leadership of Armando Lobato
- Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, USA, under the leadership of Peter Faries
- Spire Cambridge Lea Hospital, Cambridge, UK, under the leadership of Michael Ellis Gaunt
- Arizona Heart Institute, Phoenix, USA, under the leadership of Venkatesh G Ramaiah
- Polisano European Hospital, Sibiu, Romania, under the leadership of Victor Costache
- Zhongshan Hospital of Fudan University, Shanghai, China, under the leadership of Yuehong Zheng
- Western Vascular Institute, National university of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, under our leadership teams.
I would like to encourage Vascular News readers to reach out to our executive director, Pauline T Mayer at [email protected] with ideas and suggestions. We welcome the global community to join the ISVS as a new member. Our website has details on how to join at www.isvs.com.