The EAU Robotic Urology Section (ERUS) is unabashedly a Robotic surgery conference. We have all drunk the Kool-Aid and we have all come for the robot. There is no need to rush between rooms deciding which session to attend. 3D Glasses are donned, we sit back and the education comes at you on the Cinemax style screen, three live surgeries at a time. This year, the 15th Annual Meeting of ERUS took place in Marseille from 5-7th September 2018 and was convened by Dr Jochen Walz, Director of GU Oncology at the Institut-Paoli Calmettes Cancer Centre. Over 650 delegates from all over the world attended what is the world’s leading robotic surgery conference in urology.
Three reasons you should have been there
The Rise of the new Robots
In a world exclusive we saw the first cadaveric prostatectomy using the Versius from CMR surgical (aka the Cambridge Robot)
In a candid presentation Prof Dasgupta gave his personal feedback on his experience. This helped grow the enthusiasm for this robotic platform that has been gaining widespread media exposure in recent times.
Invariably the talk of new robots spilled over into social media with a wish list and critique of the current landscape of robotic surgery.
ERAS at ERUS
If we are doing surgery minimally invasive then we should maximise recovery for our patients. A multi-disciplinary team of speakers highlighted the pathways for our patients. We should all be adopting these programs in our own centres. Rather then re-inventing the wheel in each centre we should utilise the great resources already available.
Surgeons like surgery and to watch ones craft is undoubtedly a form of education.
All of the 16 live surgery cases were performed by experts to an elite standard and were extremely informative. As per the EAU guidelines we were given updates from both the previous years patients and also the follow up of those performed during the conference.
But live surgery does walk a tightrope of ethics for surgeons and again we must be mindful of the sanctity of the surgeon – patient relationship and above all else patient safety comes first.
Hopefully the ERUS committee have a long-term diversity plan to ensure more (any) female surgeons are in the live surgery and on the podium. It is very much not for lack of high quality world class female surgeons, many who I have had the privilege to train or work with.
Make Friends not Robots
For all the robotic contact we got, we all crave that human touch and herein lies the key reason to consider ERUS2019 in sunny Portugal.
Prof Dasgupta editor of the BJUI tweeted it best and I wholeheartedly agree. The friends through out the world that I got to catch up with make all that travel worthwhile.
The 16th ERUS takes place in Lisbon from 11-13th September 2019 and will be convened by Dr Kris Maes. Check out Kris’ promo video here
Simon van Rij (@sivanrij) is a Urologist based in Auckland, New Zealand.