On behalf of the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS), it is my privilege and honor to invite you to the 17th Annual Meeting in Boston, MA USA, May 28 to 31, 2014. This will be an exciting opportunity to experience the newest and most innovative developments in cardiac, vascular, and thoracic surgery. ISMICS, since its inception, has been committed to presenting the latest innovations in our field. This meeting will be a forum for the exchange of the newest technology, techniques, and ideas that are changing our specialty.
ISMICS is on an extremely positive trajectory. There were 376 abstracts submitted for ISMICS 2014. This is a record for the greatest number of abstracts submitted in ISMICS history! We owe a tremendous thanks to our program co-chairs and committee for their outstanding work. With this historic number of abstracts and videos submitted, our program co-chairs have an incredible foundation to craft an exceptional program for ISMICS 2014 in Boston, MA USA. Under the able leadership of Vinod H. Thourani, MD, and Thomas Walther, MD, for the cardiac component, we are planning many innovative enhancements in the educational experience. We have expanded the thoracic component with Hiran “Chrish” Fernando, MD; Daniel L. Miller, MD; Ricardo Sales dos Santos, MD; and Ralph A. Schmid, MD serving as co-chairs to offer an unparalleled conference on innovations in thoracic surgery. We have also made a significant change to “go big” with simulation training and education under the direction of James I. Fann, MD—both with a full day Masters Class for Young Surgeons and an expanded Sim City.
Our Masters Day programming has continued to evolve, and we have built an incredible learning experience in terms of content and structure for Wednesday, May 28, 2014. There will be six total Masters Day focused sessions—three in the morning and three in the afternoon. In addition, there will be the new Young Surgeons simulation-based training session to run parallel to the focused sessions. The Masters Day will start with a morning general session that will have a 5-minute “Live in a Box How I Do It” video followed by a 7-minute State-of-the-Art presentation on the most current information on the related session topics: Endoscopic & Robotic Revascularization (Chairs: Johannes Bonatti and Michael Halkos), Innovations in TEVAR (Chairs: Wilson Szeto and Martin Czerny), and Minimally Invasive and Robotic Mitral Valve (Chairs: ISMICS Past President W. Randolph Chitwood and Tomislav Mihaljevic). The afternoon general session will again have the 5-minute “Live in a Box How I Do It” video followed by 7-minute State-of-the-Art presentations for the following: New Innovations in LVAD (Chairs: Mark Slaughter and Jans Gummert), Atrial Fibrillation and Left Atrial Appendage Closure Devices (Chairs: Gorav Ailawadi and Nicolas Doll), and Transcatheter Aortic and Mitral Valve Technologies (Chairs: Joerg Kempfert and Francesco Maisano). Everyone registered for the Masters Day and Young Surgeons will attend the general sessions and then break out for the focused sessions. The Young Surgeons will have the opportunity to have 6 hours of simulation-based training.
On Wednesday evening, we will feature the Technical Challenges: Pitfalls and Disasters, chaired by ISMICS Past President Valavanur A. Subramanian and Alex Zapolanski. This year, the Technical Challenges session had its own dedicated abstract submission category reflecting the importance and popularity of this Wednesday night tradition. Between the Masters Day and the Technical Challenges session will be our Welcome Reception with industry in the exhibit hall and the opening of our greatly expanded Sim City, which will offer ISMICS attendees the opportunity for practical, hands-on experiences with cutting-edge technology. Sim City will continue throughout the meeting, so plan on booking simulation slots early to ensure dedicated time for your personal experiences.
Thursday, May 29, will start the Thoracic Masters Day Class: Advances in Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery (Chairs: Drs Fernando, Miller, dos Santos, and Schmid), which will be divided into three sessions—Session 1, Lung Cancer; Session 2, Endoscopic Therapies for the Thoracic Surgeon; and Session 3, Mediastinum, Chest Wall, and Esophagus. This thoracic programming will be synchronous with our expanded simulation-based training from the Masters Day and through the entire meeting with Sim City to ensure a continuous learning environment.
The peer-reviewed abstract sessions will start on Thursday for the cardiac component and Friday for the thoracic component and will continue until Saturday. With the record number of submitted abstracts, our program co-chairs have significantly raised the bar, and you can look forward to a much higher level of presentations from around the world. In addition, the Poster Sessions will continue the e-Poster format we initiated last year for both your general viewing pleasure and for the poster competition first round and finals on Thursday and Friday evenings, respectively.
Here are just three of the greatly anticipated special sessions planned:
Innovations Accelerator Session on Thursday, May 29, which will bring together surgeon-inventors and biomedical engineers for an interactive panel on conceptualizing, developing, introducing to clinical practice, and commercializing innovative ideas. If you have an idea on a new technology and how to enhance cardiac and thoracic surgery, this is a must-attend session.
The Kit V Arom, MD, Lectureship on Friday, May 30, presented by ISMICS Past President Michael J. Mack, MD, whose work on bridging the gap between surgeons and cardiologists to work together in introducing new technology and then to critically evaluate and follow outcomes after clinical introduction via the joint TVT Registry is both insightful and innovative. The Arom Lecture is to be focused on an innovative medical topic and was created by the ISMICS Board of Directors in 2010, in honor of Kit V. Arom, MD, who was a founding member of ISMICS, serving both as a senior advisor and a member of the Board of Directors.
ISMICS Consensus Statements: A Ten Year Critical Review, chaired by Davy C.H. Cheng, MD, MSc, will look at our past consensus statements and their impact on clinical practice as well as on ISMICS and our journal Innovations. Dr Cheng will also give an update on our two most recent consensus conferences on transcatheter aortic valve replacement and off-pump coronary artery bypass, in addition to an introduction of our next one on endoscopic vein harvesting in the fall. We also plan to solicit recommendations from attendees on future topics, and we greatly look forward to your input.
Saturday, May 31, will carry forward outstanding educational content to the very end of ISMICS 2014 with Thoracic Movie Day featuring two sessions of innovative techniques in thoracic surgery, and the cardiac component will finish with the highly anticipated debate between ISMICS Past President John D. Puskas and a cardiology colleague on All Arterial OP-CAB Versus Hybrid Revascularization.
One of the hallmarks of the ISMICS Annual Scientific Meeting is our attendee reception, which will be held at the world-renowned Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (note: something of intrigue—hint: Thomas Crown Affair). This will be an awesome social event in an incredible venue where we will also present the ISMICS 2014 awards for best papers and posters. We have also introduced this year the ISMICS Friends & Family to assist and facilitate social events—so bring your families. We have arranged for the museum to have dedicated space and museum docents just to entertain children with appropriate art-themed activities during our Friday night reception.
We are looking forward to seeing you in Boston for ISMICS 2014.
Francis D. Ferdinand, MD
International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery