The Great Debates at CX

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Charing Cross is famous for its ‘Great Debates’ and this year they return with vascular heavyweights from around the world examining the latest evidence from the most controversial and contentious vascular and endovascular issues of the day. The 29th Symposium will witness five such debates that promise to educate, enthral and entertain in equal measure.

The Great abdominal aortic aneurysm debate

One such debate will be the Great abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) debate that sees two of the great vascular and endovascular debaters coming head-to-head. In the debate entitled, ‘Fitness issues and EVAR is hogwash – deploy as soon as possible’, Professor Roger Greenhalgh, London, UK, on behalf of the UK EVAR Trial participants will speak against the motion, whilst his adversary, Dr Ted Diethrich Phoenix, USA, will speak for the motion. Greenhalgh will highlight the importance of a patient’s fitness in relation to mortality outcomes, Diethrich on the other hand will point to the ‘limitations’ and ‘weaknesses’ of the EVAR trials and claim the level of fitness of the patient is immaterial, it is the getting the patient treated as soon as possible that matters. The debate takes place at 17.40 in the Great Hall, Monday 16 April.

In the second AAA debate entitled, ‘Open repair will have such low mortality in future that EVAR will be abandoned’, Professor Wilhelm Sandmann, Dusseldorf, Germany, and Mr Richard Gibbs, London, UK, will argue for the motion, whilst Dr Rodney White, California, USA, and Professor Krassi Ivancev, Malmo, Sweden, will speak against the motion. EVAR still in its infancy, but with more data emerging regarding the effectiveness of EVAR, operator experience increasing and the improvement of EVAR devices, it will be interesting to see which way the audience votes. The debate takes place at 08.45 in the Great Hall, Tuesday 17 April.

Great thoracic aorta debate

This year’s Great thoracic debate entitled, ‘TEVAR is not justified for chronic stable dissections’, sees Mr Robert Bonser (speaking for the motion), Birmingham, UK, against Professor Christoph Nienaber, Rostock, Germany. Nienaber, who as the principle investigator is also presenting the results from the INSTEAD trial (see page 6) at CX, will highlight the significant of those trial results in support his argument. Meanwhile, Bosner will describe the degenerative nature of thoracic disease and point of the lack of data regarding endovascular thoracic aneurysm repair in chronic patients. The debate takes place at 17.10 in the Great Hall, Sunday 15 April.

The Great femoropopliteal debate

This debate entitled, ‘Propaten in a femoropopliteal bypass is more beneficial than Distaflo graft modification in terms of results’, is a chance to listen to the relative merits and actual results from two bypass grafts that are designed to improve arterial bypass graft patency for limb revitalisation. Professor Peter Harris, Liverpool, UK, who helped devise the modified PTFE Distaflo bypass graft (Bard), will speak against the motion, whilst Dr Richard Neville, Washington DC, USA, will speak in favour of the Propaten (Gore) device. Both devices have numerous studies highlighting their relative benefits and the audience will no doubt find both speakers and their data convincing. The debate takes place at 11.40 in the Great Hall, Sunday 15 April.

Great varicose vein debate

The last, but by no means the least debate, will take place during the inaugural dedicated Venous Day at 16.20 on Tuesday 17 April in the Great Hall. Entitled, ‘Standard surgery for varicose veins still wins’ the debate will feature Professor Bruce Campbell, Exeter, UK, who will argue for the merits of surgery in a time when numerous endovascular methods are challenging surgery as the ‘gold standard’ treatment of venous disease. Opposing Campbell, will be Professor Thomas Proebstle, Heidelberg, Germany, a known supporter of endovascular treatments of venous disease. The audience will be asked to assess the level of evidence and judge whether surgery still delivers the best results or whether new treatments such as endovenous radiofrequency vein ablation deliver the best results. The debate takes place at 16.20 in the Great Hall, Tuesday 17 April.

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