New year, New Opportunities

live case
Attendees at a recent conference watching live surgery

Welcome to 2020! 

Update! 4/8/2020: Editor’s note:

– 2020 is cancelled… well, maybe 2020 isn’t but it certainly feels like it with a large part of the world on lockdown as we fight this pandemic.  So – roll forward to 2021 for conferences..and stay safe everyone!

In answer to some of the most frequent inquiries on, we have compiled a list of this year’s recommended thoracic surgery conferences.

Recommendations are based on multiple factors:

Timely content and topics (let’s not rehash the indications for  3 port VATS anymore, it’s not a novel technique)

Utility of content (is it practice-changing information?  Is there a hands-on skills lab? Is it relevant?  Or is half the conference a group of pulmonologists showing off their toys and talking about making inappropriate referrals for SBAR?)

International content/ International participation – Is there a good mix of speakers?  Where are they from?  Are the experts actually the experts in that area?  Or is it just a bunch of North Americans talking to hear themselves talk?  What about audience participation?  

What about the topics themselves?  Do they represent a variety of practice settings and conditions?  Is there any discussion of relevant regional diseases or conditions (like XDR/ MDR TB cases and other regionally-based thoracic diseases)

Same old speakers on the thoracic surgery circuit? Or someone with something new to say? recommends:  (in date order)

March 5th – 7th, 2020  – 4th Vienna -ESTS Laryngotracheal course  in Vienna, Austria.  The course includes a cadaver lab to practice hands-on skills.  The full program is here, and includes a wide range of topics in laryngeal surgery, as well as presentation of data from several large centers.

April 6th – April 8th, 2020 –  2nd ESTS-ERS Collaborative Course on Thoracic Oncology: Pleura, Mediastinum, Rare Tumours in Hamburg, Germany.  Click here for full program.  (The website is clunky, so the links are set up to take readers directly to registration and program information).

November 13th – November 14th, 2020 – STS/ EACTS/ ESTS Latin American Thoracic Surgery– Rio de Janiero, Brazil.  There isn’t a lot of information published yet on this year’s conference, but STS has made a huge effort in the last few years to push this conference and be more inclusive of Latin America, so it’s probably worth a go.  (note: staff has attended the Latin American cardiac surgery conference in the past).

VATS International is always on the recommended list – once we have final date and program information, we will add it here.


Are you ready for VATS International 2018?

Out of all of the topics covered here at – one of the most popular topics among surgeons and surgical residents is minimally invasive surgery – uniportal, in particular.  There is a steady stream of inquiring readers wanting to know more – about the data, the current evidence, and state of uniportal surgery.  There is also a flood of inquiries on where to obtain training in these minimally invasive techniques.   With the annual VATS International conference, attendees can have it all – access to the leaders in the field, while listening and participating in (sometimes) heated discussions on evidence based data, surgical outcomes and relevant research. This year, the conference moves out of merry ole England, and over to Italy.  This year, the conference is being held in Monza, outside of Milan on September 28 – 29th.

Dr. Diego Gonzalez Rivas at VATS International 2017

It continues to be the best of all of the available surgical conferences for thoracic surgeons, with the opportunities to learn from the masters themselves, in the surgical lab that accompanies live surgery, panel discussions and formal presentations.

Tenative program for VATS International 2018

For information about past conferences, please see previous blog posts:

The Best of VATS International 2017: Dr. Marco Scarci & Dr. Diego Gonzalez Rivas

The best of VATS International 2017: Joel Dunning

At VATS International 2017

the 4th VATS International

Act differently or watch thoracic surgery die

Highlights from the 3rd VATS International




Postcard from Hong Kong

postcard from one of our readers from the 1st Asian Single Port Symposium & Live Surgery


1st Asian Single Port Symposium & Live Surgery  – Hong Kong

Here’s a postcard from one of our readers, who attended the 1st Asian Single Port Symposium & Live Surgery in Hong Kong, China.

Participants at the 1st Asian Single Port Symposium in Hong Kong, March 2013

Sociedad Mexicana de Neumologia y Cirugia de Torax

Cirugia de heads south of the border for the upcoming Sociedad Mexicana de Neumologia y Cirugia de Torax congreso (conference) this April. It’s also a chance for surgeons to find out more about the high altitude project.

The title of this post is apt in more ways that one.  The Mexican Society of Pulmonologists and Thoracic Surgeons is meeting for their 2012 annual meeting this April, and yes, Cirugia de is going to be there.  We’re hoping to interview and talk to some of Mexico’s greatest innovators and researchers in thoracic surgery during our visit this year.

We will be also talking about the high altitude lung surgery project with interested and potential participants – including prospective timelines, data collection tools (and validity of measurements), and expected responsibilities/ duties of site participants.

This year’s conference is being held in Cancun, from April 9th thru April 13th, 2012.  Check back in April for more news and conference coverage.