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Message from the President

Menkis, Alan H. MD

Innovations:Technology and Techniques in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery: March/April 2013 - Volume 8 - Issue 2 - p 82–83
doi: 10.1097/IMI.0b013e318295b2ab

From the Cardiac Sciences Program, University of Manitoba, I.H. Asper Institute, Winnipeg, MB Canada.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Alan H. Menkis, MD, Cardiac Sciences Program, University of Manitoba, I.H. Asper Institute, 369 Tache Ave, Winnipeg, MB Canada R2H 2A6. E-mail:

Dear Colleagues

On behalf of the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS), it is my pleasure to invite you to the 16th Annual Meeting in Prague, June 12 to 15, 2013. This will be an opportunity to see some of the exciting new developments in cardiac, vascular, and thoracic surgery. The ISMICS, from its inception, has been committed to presenting the latest innovations in our field. This meeting will be a forum for the exchange of the new technology, techniques, and ideas that are changing our specialty.

A renowned program committee, under the direction of Chairpersons Niv Ad, MD, and Bob Kiaii, MD, for cardiac surgery and Franca M.A. Melfi, MD, and Daniel L. Miller, MD, for thoracic surgery, has put together an outstanding program of scientific presentations, posters, and discussions.

There are comprehensive sessions in both cardiovascular and thoracic surgery. All presenters are urged to prepare manuscripts of their presentations for submission to Innovations, our official journal, which is indexed in MEDLINE. Your submission can take the form of an original article, a video, a case report, a how-to-do-it article, or a review article. Manuscripts submitted in advance of our Prague meeting are eligible for a “Best Manuscript” award.

We start on Wednesday with a full-day Masters Day Program. The morning courses will feature concurrent sessions including Robotic Revascularization chaired by Husam H. Balkhy, MD; Off-Pump Surgery chaired by John D. Puskas, MD; and Atrial Fibrillation chaired by Piotr Suwalski, MD. The afternoon will feature Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery chaired by W. Randolph Chitwood, Jr, MD; Transcatheter Valves chaired by Gino Gerosa, MD; and Thoracic Robotic Surgery chaired by Franca M.A. Melfi, MD.

These sessions featuring an expert international faculty will provide an excellent review of subjects of great interest and direct awareness to our members. The format has been changed to allow for a more interactive experience, with significant time for discussion by attendees.

On Wednesday evening, we will feature the ever-popular Technical Challenges: Pitfalls and Disasters course chaired by Valavanur A. Subramanian, MD.

We will have a full slate of our major industry partners demonstrating their newest products in our Exhibit Hall. You are invited to “Sim City,” a special area in the Exhibit Hall reserved for hands-on simulation experience and training. Sim City will also figure prominently in our expanded International Residents and Fellows Program, which will be held on Thursday, June 13, 2013.

In Sim City, you will be able to practice with the technology you have or would like to have. It is not only interesting from the perspective of learning and assessing technology but it is also a glimpse of the world we will come to know in maintaining our own competency, similar to pilots who must go into flight simulators regularly to maintain competence (and their licenses).

The Kit Arom lecture will be given by Dr William E. “Billy” Cohn, Director of Minimally Invasive Surgical Technology and Associate Director, Laboratory Surgery Research, Center for Cardiac Support at Texas Heart Institute. He has been a leading innovator and remains one of the out-of-the-box thinkers in our field. I personally cannot wait to hear his address.

This year’s keynote address will be given by Dr Joseph E. Bavaria, Brooke Roberts/William Maul Measey, Professor of Surgery and the Director of the Thoracic Aortic Surgery Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a world leader and innovator in complex aortic surgery. Since becoming director and chairman of cardiac surgery, he has brought innovation to leadership of their department.

Our perennial highlight will be this year’s Consensus Statement chaired by Dr John D. Puskas, revisiting the seminal ISMICS topic of off-pump coronary artery bypass.

The Thoracic Program has been created by Professors Dr Franca Melfi and Dr Dan Miller and commences on Thursday, June 13, with a breakfast symposium followed by the Thoracic Masters Class. This will be chaired by Dan Miller and will deal with the advances in minimally invasive thoracic surgery. There will be morning and afternoon sessions. On Friday, there will be three thoracic sessions running in sequence for the entire day. Session 1 will deal with issues pertaining to lung surgery. There will be a multitheme session dealing with issues from surgical technique, new technology, and patient management. Thoracic session 3 will be devoted to esophageal disease. Saturday morning will have two thoracic movie day sessions dealing with robotic and minimally invasive thoracic surgery in a wide range of applications. The Saturday cardiac track will involve two sessions of short presentations, separated by a debate titled “Sutureless Aortic Valves: Has the Train Left the Station?”

In addition to the scientific program, there will be daily lunch symposia.

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The Social Program

Our Attendee Reception at the historic Sophia Palace on Friday evening will create an ambience of Old Europe for a social evening by the Vltava River. We will then rock into the night with Rekord!, the rock band led by ISMICS’s own recording artists Volkmar Falk, Piotr Suwalski, and colleagues.

Prague is a beautiful city with a rich cultural heritage. There is much to see including the classical architecture of its churches, bridges, and castles. The scientific meeting is at the very modern Hilton Prague Hotel, which is only a short walk to the Old Town, with its 1100-year-old history. It has great restaurants and many cultural attractions.

The President’s Nightcap will be held on Thursday evening in Cloud 9 Sky Bar & Lounge, with spectacular views of Prague.

On behalf of the ISMICS, I welcome you to Prague, Czech Republic, for what will surely be an experience you will remember for its value to your professional endeavors and for the beauty and charm of this great city.

Sincerely yours,



Alan H. Menkis, MD


International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery

©2013 by the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery