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Article of the month: SIMULATE: Protocol and curriculum development of the first multicentre international randomized controlled trial assessing the transferability of simulation‐based surgical training

Every month, the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Month from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

There is also a visual abstract created by a member of the team.

If you only have time to read one article this month, we recommend this one. 

Simulation in Urological Training and Education (SIMULATE): Protocol and curriculum development of the first multicentre international randomized controlled trial assessing the transferability of simulation‐based surgical training

Abdullatif Aydin*, Kamran Ahmed*, Mieke Van Hemelrijck, Hashim U. Ahmed§–, Muhammad Shamim Khan* ** and Prokar Dasgupta* ** on behalf of the SIMULATE Trial Group**

*MRC Centre for Transplantation, King’s College London, London, Department of Urology, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London,School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Studies, King’s College London, London, §Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, Department of Urology, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, and **Department of Urology, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

Abstract

Objectives

To report the study protocol for the first international multicentre randomized controlled trial investigating the effectiveness of simulation‐based surgical training and the development process for an evidence‐based training curriculum, to be delivered as an educational intervention.

Participants and Methods

This prospective, international, multicentre randomized controlled clinical and educational trial will recruit urology surgical trainees who must not have performed ≥10 of the selected index procedure, ureterorenoscopy (URS). Participants will be randomized to simulation‐based training (SBT) or non‐simulation‐based training (NSBT), the latter of which is the current sole standard of training globally. The primary outcome is the number of procedures required to achieve proficiency, where proficiency is defined as achieving a learning curve plateau of 28 or more on an Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills (OSATS) assessment scale, for three consecutive operations, without any complications. All participants will be followed up either until they complete 25 procedures or for 18 months. Development of the URS SBT curriculum took place through a two‐round Delphi process.

The SIMULATE ureteroscopy training curriculum, designed to be delivered as the educational intervention. The curriculum begins with introductory didactic lectures followed by virtual reality and dry‐lab simulation for semi‐rigid and flexible URS, respectively. If feasible, this is to be followed by full immersion simulation and cadaveric training, respectively. fURS, flexible ureterorenoscopy; NTS, non‐technical skills; OR, operating room; UO, ureteric access; URS, ureteroscopy; VR, virtual reality.

Results

A total of 47 respondents, consisting of trainees (= 24) with URS experience and urolithiasis specialists (= 23), participated in round 1 of the Delphi process. Specialists (= 10) finalized the content of the curriculum in round 2. The developed interventional curriculum consists of initial theoretic knowledge through didactic lectures followed by select tasks and cases on the URO‐Mentor (Simbionix, Lod, Israel) VR Simulator, Uro‐Scopic Trainer (Limbs & Things, Bristol, UK) and Scope Trainer (Mediskills, Manchester, UK) models for both semi‐rigid and flexible URS. Respondents also selected relevant non‐technical skills scenarios and cadaveric simulation tasks as additional components, with delivery subject to local availability.

Conclusions

SIMULATE is the first multicentre trial investigating the effect and transferability of supplementary SBT on operating performance and patient outcomes. An evidence‐based training curriculum is presented, developed with expert and trainee input. Participants will be followed and the primary outcome, number of procedures required to proficiency, will be reported alongside key clinical secondary outcomes, (ISCRTN 12260261).

BAUS 2018 Highlights Day Three

BAUS Day 3—Going home images and snippets…

On the final night of BAUS, I had the honor of giving a dinner talk to the IBUS group—International British Urology Society.  With BAUS contracting from 4 to 3 days, some of the previous joint sessions fell by the wayside, but IBUS president Subu Subramonian put together a nice evening program for the group.

The Day 3 morning session started with what is likely an original debate topic: “Consenting to Death.”  The pro/con centered around whether or not every circumcision operation should be consented for the possibility of death.  The idea was nominated by Jonathan Glass who also did a Twitter poll on the subject, which was similar to this audience poll—around 90% saying no.

The general flow of the debate was whether or not the rare incidence of a complication should be left off, so as not to alarm/concern the patient with minutia.  On the other had, severe complications and death should potentially be consented even if rare.

 

Note the risk of everyday life compared to surgery: soccer was 1: 50,000.  Mr. Glass had a nice display on how choices of driving routes to the hospital could affect the risk of dying.  Turns out the bus is safest.

At the end of the debate, the voting shifted slightly to around 30% saying they would consent for death for a circumcision.

As Mr. O’Brien asked—do you also have to show the patient some horrific picture of gangrene so they are truly informed as to the risk of serious infection?

My favorite phrase on the serious but rare event is “its low risk, but never zero…perhaps a lightning strike.” Never say “routine surgery,” as that is always what the newspaper says: “ He died after routine surgery.”  Routine sounds like zero risk.  I must say also that the risk of “bleeding, infection, cardiac event, stroke, and death” is on almost every U.S. hospital template consent.  So I think patients are used to it and will not freak out.  Also vis-a-vie the Day 2 Blog on Dr. Wachter’s talk, an unintended consequence of the EPIC EMR is that we rarely print consents for patient review—rather we shows them on a screen and they digitally sign.  But I bet they read the details less often than before.  Oddly, they are not able to view their consents with their personal accounts, yet they can read clinic notes, diagnostics, imaging, path ,etc.  Need a solution here.

Always good to have some humor in the slides.

Next, we heard a lecture from a truly unique individual. Mr. David Sellu gave us his personal account of how he was brought before a criminal court for manslaughter when a patient had a bowel perforation after a knee operation—he was in call coverage.  He served time but won his appeals to drop charges and clear his name.  I’m sure there were errors in the case, but in the U.S. this would likely have been a malpractice/civil court case and the hospital would have been co-defendant (system errors). Roger Kirby has tweeted the progress of this case for years, so it was interesting to hear from him personally.

Look at the multiple layers of jeopardy his case took him through over a 6 year period.

Here is a link to a previous blog on the case:

https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2018/03/20/the-case-of-david-sellu-a-criminal-court-is-not-the-right-place-to-determine-blame-in-complex-clinical-cases/

The Urology Foundation sponsored a session.  They recognized a recent research scholarship awarded to Mr. David Eldred-Evans “The PROSTAGRAM trial: a prospective cross-sectional study assessing the feasibility of novel imaging techniques to screen for prostate cancer.

Roger Kirby then gave a guest lecture on his personal journal with prostate cancer as a surgeon and patient.  He highlighted his actual biopsy specimens and RP path.  He is 5 years disease free.  He also showed some great nostalgia as he was being interviewed  >20 years ago at the launch of Proscar to the market.  He had 2 interviewers trying to gang up on him on conflict of interest and trying to make the drug sound toxic.  I wonder how he would have handled those two in this era.

Some highlights of his slides on advice to surgeons.  Thanks for all you do Roger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, there was an interesting session on the Global practice of urology with emphasis on training pathways and what has changed over the decade.   Alan Partin presented his department’s approach to urology training at Johns Hopkins and the US perspective.  James N’Dow outlined how diverse urologic training and credentialing is organize across Europe.  Sanjay Kulkarni gave in Indian perspective—noteworthy that the urologist does not have such constraining credentialing pathways, and often will have private practice across multiple hospitals.  He has attended over 60 and now owns one for his urethroplasty cases.  Times are changing globally for urologic training, and Dr. Partin summed it up well by pointing out that the process of training is highly scrutinized now and seemingly higher priority than the final trained product.  Does anyone think that a urology graduate in 2018 is better trained than 1998?

Ok—time to get back to work in Houston.

John W. Davis, MD, FACS

Associate Editor, BJUI.

 

NICE Guidance: Routine preoperative tests for elective surgery

Overview

This guideline covers routine preoperative tests for people aged over 16 who are having elective surgery. It aims to reduce unnecessary testing by advising which tests to offer people before minor, intermediate and major or complex surgery, taking into account specific comorbidities (cardiovascular, renal and respiratory conditions and diabetes and obesity). It does not cover pregnant women or people having cardiothoracic procedures or neurosurgery.

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • People having elective surgery, their families and carers

This guideline updates and replaces NICE guideline CG3 (published June 2003).

Recommendations

People have the right to be involved in discussions and make informed decisions about their care, as described in your care [https://www.nice.org.uk/about/nice-communities/public-involvement/your-care].

We expect you to take our guidance into account. But you should always base decisions on the person you are working with.

Making decisions using NICE guidelines [https://www.nice.org.uk/about/what-we-do/our-programmes/nice-guidance/nice-guidelines/using-NICE-guidelines-to-make-decisions] explains how we use words to show the strength (or certainty) of our recommendations, and has information about prescribing medicines (including off-label use), professional guidelines, standards and laws (including on consent and mental capacity), and safeguarding.

Guidance on consent for young people aged 16–17 is available from the reference guide to consent for examination or treatment [https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reference-guide-to-consent-for-examination-or-treatment-second-edition] (Department of Health).

The tests covered by this guideline are:

  • chest X-ray
  • echocardiography (resting)
  • electrocardiography (ECG; resting)
  • full blood count (haemoglobin, white blood cell count and platelet count)
  • glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) testing
  • haemostasis tests
  • kidney function (estimated glomerular filtration rate, electrolytes, creatinine and sometimes urea levels)
  • lung function tests (spirometry, including peak expiratory flow rate, forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume) and arterial blood gas analysis
  • polysomnography
  • pregnancy testing
  • sickle cell disease/trait tests
  • urine tests.

The recommendations were developed in relation to the following comorbidities:

  • cardiovascular
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • renal
  • respiratory.

Recommendations relevant for all types of surgery

A colour poster version of these recommendations can be downloaded from tools and resources [https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng45/resources].

  • 1.1

    Communication

    • 1.1.1
      When offering tests before surgery, give people information in line with recommendations (including those on consent and capacity) made in the NICE guideline on patient experience in adult NHS services [https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg138].
    • 1.1.2
      Ensure that the results of any preoperative tests undertaken in primary care are included when referring people for surgical consultation.
  • 1.2

    Considering existing medicines

    • 1.2.1
      Take into account any medicines people are taking when considering whether to offer any preoperative test.
  • 1.3

    Pregnancy tests

    • 1.3.1
      On the day of surgery, sensitively ask all women of childbearing potential whether there is any possibility they could be pregnant.
    • 1.3.2
      Make sure women who could possibly be pregnant are aware of the risks of the anaesthetic and the procedure to the fetus.
    • 1.3.3
      Document all discussions with women about whether or not to carry out a pregnancy test.
    • 1.3.4
      Carry out a pregnancy test with the woman’s consent if there is any doubt about whether she could be pregnant.
    • 1.3.5
      Develop locally agreed protocols for checking pregnancy status before surgery.
    • 1.3.6
      Make sure protocols are documented and audited, and in line with statutory and professional guidance.
  • 1.4

    Sickle cell disease or sickle cell trait tests

    • 1.4.1
      Do not routinely offer testing for sickle cell disease or sickle cell trait before surgery.
    • 1.4.2
      Ask the person having surgery if they or any member of their family have sickle cell disease.
    • 1.4.3
      If the person is known to have sickle cell disease and has their disease managed by a specialist sickle cell service, liaise with this team before surgery.
  • 1.5

    HbA1c testing for people without diagnosed diabetes

    • 1.5.1
      Do not routinely offer HbA1c testing before surgery to people without diagnosed diabetes.
  • 1.6

    HbA1c testing for people with diabetes

    • 1.6.1
      People with diabetes who are being referred for surgical consultation from primary care should have their most recent HbA1c test results included in their referral information.
    • 1.6.2
      Offer HbA1c testing to people with diabetes having surgery if they have not been tested in the last 3 months.
  • 1.7

    Urine tests

    • 1.7.1
      Do not routinely offer urine dipstick tests before surgery.
    • 1.7.2
      Consider microscopy and culture of midstream urine sample before surgery if the presence of a urinary tract infection would influence the decision to operate.
  • 1.8

    Chest X-ray

    • 1.8.1
      Do not routinely offer chest X-rays before surgery.
  • 1.9

    Echocardiography

    • 1.9.1
      Do not routinely offer resting echocardiography before surgery.
    • 1.9.2

      Consider resting echocardiography if the person has:

      • a heart murmur and any cardiac symptom (including breathlessness, pre-syncope, syncope or chest pain) or
      • signs or symptoms of heart failure.

Before ordering the resting echocardiogram, carry out a resting electrocardiogram (ECG) and discuss the findings with an anaesthetist.

Recommendations for specific surgery grades (minor, intermediate, and major or complex) and ASA grades

The following recommendations are specific to surgery grade and ASA grade.

Surgery grades
Surgery grades Examples
Minor
  • excising skin lesion
  • draining breast abscess
Intermediate
  • primary repair of inguinal hernia
  • excising varicose veins in the leg
  • tonsillectomy or adenotonsillectomy
  • knee arthroscopy
Major or complex
  • total abdominal hysterectomy
  • endoscopic resection of prostate
  • lumbar discectomy
  • thyroidectomy
  • total joint replacement
  • lung operations
  • colonic resection
  • radical neck dissection
ASA grades

The ASA (American Society of Anesthesiologists) Physical Status Classification System [https://www.asahq.org/resources/clinical-information/asa-physical-status-classification-system] is a simple scale describing fitness to undergo an anaesthetic. The ASA states that it does not endorse any elaboration of these definitions. However, anaesthetists in the UK often qualify (or interpret) these grades as relating to functional capacity – that is, comorbidity that does not (ASA 2) or that does (ASA 3) limit a person’s activity.

ASA 1 A normal healthy patient
ASA 2 A patient with mild systemic disease
ASA 3 A patient with severe systemic disease
ASA 4 A patient with severe systemic disease that is a constant threat to life
Key to recommendations in tables

[Yes] Offer the test

[Not routinely] Do not routinely offer the test

[Consider] Consider the test (the value of carrying out the test may depend on specific patient characteristics)

Table 1. Minor surgery
Test ASA grade
ASA 1 ASA 2 ASA 3 or ASA 4
  1. AKI, acute kidney injury. 1See recommendation 1.1.8 of the NICE guideline on acute kidney injury [https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg169/chapter/1-Recommendations#assessing-risk-factors-in-adults-having-surgery].

Full blood count Not routinely Not routinely Not routinely
Haemostasis Not routinely Not routinely Not routinely
Kidney function Not routinely Not routinely Consider in people at risk of AKI1
ECG Not routinely Not routinely Consider if no ECG results available from past 12 months
Lung function/arterial blood gas Not routinely Not routinely Not routinely
Table 2. Intermediate surgery
Test ASA grade
ASA 1 ASA 2 ASA 3 or ASA 4
  1. AKI, acute kidney injury. 1Note that currently the effects of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) cannot be measured by routine testing. 2See recommendation 1.1.8 of the NICE guideline on acute kidney injury [https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg169/chapter/1-Recommendations#assessing-risk-factors-in-adults-having-surgery].

Full blood count Not routinely Not routinely Consider for people with cardiovascular or renal disease if any symptoms not recently investigated
Haemostasis Not routinely Not routinely Consider in people with chronic liver disease

  • If people taking anticoagulants need modification of their treatment regimen, make an individualised plan in line with local guidance
  • If clotting status needs to be tested before surgery (depending on local guidance) use point-of-care testing1
Kidney function Not routinely Consider in people at risk of AKI2 Yes
ECG Not routinely Consider for people with cardiovascular, renal or diabetes comorbidities Yes
Lung function/arterial blood gas Not routinely Not routinely Consider seeking advice from a senior anaesthetist as soon as possible after assessment for people who are ASA grade 3 or 4 due to known or suspected respiratory disease
Table 3. Major or complex surgery
Test ASA grade
ASA 1 ASA 2 ASA 3 or ASA 4
  1. AKI, acute kidney injury. 1Note that currently the effects of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) cannot be measured by routine testing. 2See recommendation 1.1.8 of the NICE guideline on acute kidney injury [https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg169/chapter/1-Recommendations#assessing-risk-factors-in-adults-having-surgery].

Full blood count Yes Yes Yes
Haemostasis Not routinely Not routinely Consider in people with chronic liver disease

  • If people taking anticoagulants need modification of their treatment regimen, make an individualised plan in line with local guidance
  • If clotting status needs to be tested before surgery (depending on local guidance) use point-of-care testing1
Kidney function Consider in people at risk of AKI2 Yes Yes
ECG Consider for people aged over 65 if no ECG results available from past 12 months Yes Yes
Lung function/arterial blood gas Not routinely Not routinely Consider seeking advice from a senior anaesthetist as soon as possible after assessment for people who are ASA grade 3 or 4 due to known or suspected respiratory disease

Article of the Month: NICE Guidance – Routine preoperative tests for elective surgery

Every Month the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Month from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

NICE Guidance – Routine preoperative tests for elective surgery

 

Overview

This guideline covers routine preoperative tests for people aged over 16 who are having elective surgery. It aims to reduce unnecessary testing by advising which tests to offer people before minor, intermediate and major or complex surgery, taking into account specific comorbidities (cardiovascular, renal and respiratory conditions and diabetes and obesity). It does not cover pregnant women or people having cardiothoracic procedures or neurosurgery.

Who is it for?

  • Healthcare professionals
  • People having elective surgery, their families and carers

This guideline updates and replaces NICE guideline CG3 (published June 2003).

Recommendations

People have the right to be involved in discussions and make informed decisions about their care, as described in your care [https://www.nice.org.uk/about/nice-communities/public-involvement/your-care].

We expect you to take our guidance into account. But you should always base decisions on the person you are working with.

Making decisions using NICE guidelines [https://www.nice.org.uk/about/what-we-do/our-programmes/nice-guidance/nice-guidelines/using-NICE-guidelines-to-make-decisions] explains how we use words to show the strength (or certainty) of our recommendations, and has information about prescribing medicines (including off-label use), professional guidelines, standards and laws (including on consent and mental capacity), and safeguarding.

Guidance on consent for young people aged 16–17 is available from the reference guide to consent for examination or treatment [https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reference-guide-to-consent-for-examination-or-treatment-second-edition] (Department of Health).

The tests covered by this guideline are:

  • chest X-ray
  • echocardiography (resting)
  • electrocardiography (ECG; resting)
  • full blood count (haemoglobin, white blood cell count and platelet count)
  • glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) testing
  • haemostasis tests
  • kidney function (estimated glomerular filtration rate, electrolytes, creatinine and sometimes urea levels)
  • lung function tests (spirometry, including peak expiratory flow rate, forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume) and arterial blood gas analysis
  • polysomnography
  • pregnancy testing
  • sickle cell disease/trait tests
  • urine tests.

The recommendations were developed in relation to the following comorbidities:

  • cardiovascular
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • renal
  • respiratory.

 

The Surgical Safety Check List – May #urojc

Ever since the World Health Organisation launched the Safe Surgery Saves Lives campaign in 2007, surgical safety has been drawn to the forefront of the daily surgical routine. The introduction of the 19-point Surgical Safety Checklist, aimed at reducing preventable complications, has become key, with shouts of ‘time-out’ or ‘checklist’ becoming the norm at the start of each case. Equally whether known as the ‘huddle’ or ‘team brief’, the meeting of all team members at the beginning of the list not only helps plan for any changes from the normal routine, but gives a good chance to get to know any new members of staff and helps to promote the team-based atmosphere that encompasses a productive operating list. In the 2009 study evaluating the benefits of the Surgical Safety Checklist, a reduction in both the mortality rate and rate of inpatient complications were found to be significantly reduced1. Implementation of these safety protocols however requires effort and engagement from all members of the theatre team.

In the May, the International Urology Journal Club (@iurojc) #urojc debated a study by Haynes et al in which the reduction of 30-day mortality following the implementation of a voluntary, checklist-based surgical quality improvement program2. The study identified that hospitals completing the program had a significantly lower rate of 30-day mortality following inpatient surgery.

One of the first topics brought up in the debate is the variability in the implementation of safety checklists.

1-1

@StorkBrian raised the possibility that due to the addition of more items at the surgical time out, effectiveness decreases. Whether there is a lack of ability to concentrate on too much paper work was discussed

Conflicting evidence regarding the effect surgical checklists have on mortality was identified, with @WallisCJD bringing up the paper by Urbach et al as an example3.

The different outcomes from the two studies may however be attributed to the difference in follow up period and study design.

1-4

Another aspect of study design discussed was the inclusion criteria – which excluded day case procedures. Whether the outcome in 30-day mortality would be different if these are included, as they are more likely to be lower-risk surgery, is unclear.

Equally whether 30-day mortality is the most appropriate endpoint for the study was questioned – although clearly very important, it would be interesting to know if other factors, such as significant morbidity, altered following the quality improvement program.

1-6

Although the surgical checklist has become part of our daily life, the question as to why they are important was raised by @CanesDavid, with a variety of responses.

For many, it seemed that alongside the safety promotion, it helps to promote cohesive teamwork and communication, which may give all team members the confidence to voice any concerns.

1

Giving all team members the ability to speak up with confidence if they identify any concerns will only benefit patients and staff.

Equally, the culture of safety promoted in teams who engage with the surgical checklist process may not be limited to the checklist itself, but to the surgical environment in general

1-10

One clear concern some have with the mandating of the surgical checklist is ensuring it does not just become a ‘tick-box’ exercise

1-11

Regardless of whether you find the checklist another form to fill, or a key part of your operating list, the goal of the process is clear: to protect our patients from preventable mistakes.

This study, confirming the original findings from the 2009 study that surgical safety checklists improve operative mortality, adds to the argument that this must become an inherent part of our practice. Key in this study however was the entire program promoting engagement in the concept of surgical safety, and supporting the team as a unit in this. The debate around this paper has highlighted that although the process of completing the mandatory checklists is important, perhaps the more important aspect is creating a culture of safety, openness and honest communication in which all team members can work together to promote safe surgery.

 

Sophia Cashman is a urology trainee working in the East of England region, UK. Her main areas of interest are female and functional urology. @soph_cash

 

References

1. Haynes AB, Weiser TG, Berry WR, et al. A Surgical Safety Checklist to Reduce Morbidity and Mortality in a Global Population. New England Journal of Medicine 2009;360(5):491-9
2. Haynes AB, Edmondson LBA, Lipsitz SR, et al. Mortality Trends After a Voluntary Checklist-based Surgical Safety Collaborative. Annals of Surgery 2017. Published Ahead-of-Print
3. Urbach DR, Govindarajan A, Saskin R, et al. Introduction of Surgical Safety Checklists in Ontario, Canada. New England Journal of Medicine 2014;370(11):1029-1038

 

TRoMbone is launched!

TRoMbone is launched! The UK feasibility randomised trial Testing radical prostatectomy in men with prostate cancer and oligoMetastases to the bone has opened at Oxford University Hospitals (PI Freddie Hamdy), University College London Hospitals (PI John Kelly) and Royal Surrey County Hospital (PI Chris Eden). Men <75 with newly-diagnosed prostate cancer and 1-3 skeletal lesions on any standard-of-care imaging (CT, bone scan, MRI, or PET) who are fit for surgery and deemed to be technically operable are eligible. Emerging but lower-quality data suggests a role for treatment of the primary tumour in men with oligo-metastatic prostate cancer and this UK study will investigate this question with level 1 evidence.

Participants will be randomly allocated to standard-of-care treatment (hormones +/- chemotherapy) versus standard-of-care treatment plus surgery to remove the prostate and draining lymph nodes (radical prostatectomy plus extended pelvic lymphadenectomy). A qualitative recruitment investigation to optimise accrual will be conducted by the University of Bristol (Caroline Wilson) and biologic samples will be collected, processed and stored in a repository at the Institute of Cancer Research (Gerhardt Attard).

We will assess technical feasibility, safety and complications of surgery in oligo-metastatic prostate cancer, and examine ways to improve recruitment in this pilot study. TRoMbone is managed by the Surgical Intervention Trials Unit at the University of Oxford and funded by the Prostate Cancer Foundation and The Urology Foundation.

We need to recruit 50 men over a 12-month period, and are seeking referrals from other centres to increase accrual. Centres that demonstrate ability to refer eligible patients will be able to take part in the main trial if we can demonstrate feasibility in this phase and get funding for the larger study.

So please look out for these patients and send them to me at UCLH, Freddie in Oxford, or Chris in Guildford. One of the three of us will do the surgery if they get randomised to it, but of course you’re welcome to come with the patients. If you have any queries please contact me, the study CI (P. Sooriakumaran (PS); [email protected]) or the study co-ordinator (Neelam Hassanali; [email protected]). You can start them on androgen deprivation and ‘stop the clock’ before you refer them to us. The extra burden of participating in this study is minimal. They will require one visit for consent, and one follow-up visit at 3 months after randomisation. The surgical group will also have two other visits for their surgery and catheter removal. The rest of the follow-up can be done back at your referring centre or with us, whatever you and the patient prefer. If it’s your standard policy to give them chemotherapy or metastasis-directed therapy with SBRT then you can still do that as part of the study.

 

With your help we can demonstrate that this study is feasible in the UK and we can lead the way in the surgical management of oligo-metastatic prostate cancer.

 

P. Sooriakumaran [social type=”facebook” opacity=”dark’ label=’PLACE_LINK_HERE[/social]

BMedSci(Hons) BMBS(Hons) PhD PGCMedLaw ADCClinInv FRCS(Urol) FEBU USLME

Consultant Urological Surgeon, UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & Honorary Clinical Senior Researcher, University of Oxford

 

Capitalising On Our Strengths: The 70th USANZ ASM

Canberra, our nation’s capital and the host city for the 2017 USANZ ASM, is a gem in its own right, but one which was created to satiate two feuding states locked in a bitter rivalry. In 1908, Canberra embodied the very meaning of compromise and collaboration, a technique which has garnered much success for our Country over the ensuing 100 odd years. Arguably the first official Australian collaborative effort, this way of thinking has become an almost uniquely Australian attribute and a strength imbued in our national pride.

USANZ 2017 was held in CanberraCanberra from up high, a breathtaking backdrop for a fantastic USANZ ASM.

Given this year’s mantra of: “Capitalising on our strengths” It is perhaps fitting then, that the 70th anniversary of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ) Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) including the Australia and New Zealand Urological Nurses Society (ANZUNS) 22nd ASM, should be held in such a location. In addition to providing some wonderful tourist opportunities for guests including the War Memorial, the National Gallery and Parliament House.

Convenors A/Prof Nathan Lawrentschuk and Kath Schubach went to great efforts to successfully welcome both national and international guests and Scientific Program Directors A/Prof Shomik Sengupta and Carla D’Amico ensured a star-studded academic program addressing contemporary updates in Urological evidence based practice, which were aptly discussed both inside and outside the confines of the National Convention Centre.

1-2Senior YURO members standing outside Parliament House (from left to right): Dr. Daniel Christidis, Dr. Tatenda Nzenza, Dr. Todd Manning, Dr. Shannon McGrath

 

The representation by International faculty was exceptional, with countless urological household names from world leading centres across the globe both involved in the academic program and socially. Urological goliaths including Prof. Christopher Chapple, Prof. Prokar Dasgupta and Prof. Laurence Klotz weighed in on various topical issues providing an intercontinental perspective that complimented the equally impressive national line-up of speakers.

As with previous years, use of social media was rife, with those not able to attend kept in the loop via #Usanz17 and a steady stream from the ever focused twitterati. The ASM provided more than 5 million impressions and over 2800 individual tweets from more than 400 participants. The usual suspects were eminent as always, along with a few newcomers who provided impact in their own right. The official USANZ 2017 App also kept participants up to date via timely notifications and was user friendly.

Guests were spoilt for choice in the convention centre during well timed breaks, which was perpetually abuzz with attendees networking. In the background the ‘Talking Urology’ team headed by Mr Joseph Ischia and A/Prof Nathan Lawrentschuk provided a steady stream of captivating interviews with guests, regarding a myriad of urological topics. Simultaneously, numerous academics gave brief summaries of research posters during allocated presentation sessions. Exhibitors provided a captivating backdrop for these activities including many hands-on simulators and challenges for those keen to test their dextrous mettle. All the while guests relished a variety of delectable culinary options.

1-3Guests networking at the Gala Dinner, whilst being entertained by opera classics in the Great Hall foyer of Parliament House

 

The meeting’s common themes were strong and pertinent to contemporary urology. They centred around collaborative research efforts such as the ANZUP trials group and the Young Urology Researchers Organisation (YURO), technology especially PSMA PET and social media and social justice including women in urology and operating with respect. Discussions were directed by chairpersons during purposefully allocated Q&A times at the conclusion of each session, a new and well received addition to this years meeting. This was generously embraced by both senior and junior academics and led to intriguing symposiums and at times heated debate.

 

USANZ 2017 Friday Highlights

The first official day of proceedings provided a smorgasbord of morning and afternoon workshops ranging from technical skills courses to the medico-legal implications of E-Health and technology. This was followed by an allocated networking session for Urology trainees with International faculty.

Officially opening the conference in the Royal Theatre of the convention centre, A/Prof Lawrentschuk introduced this year’s Harry Harris orator; Elizabeth Cosson, AM CSC.  Her speech entitled “leading with grit and grace” eloquently detailed her journey in the armed forces and highlighted the difficulties of the unmistakably imbalanced workplace for women in the military. Her talk clearly underlined her role in not only forging a highly successful career for herself but also for those women following in her footsteps. Her inspiring dialogue was synchronous with contemporary issues surrounding Urological practice, especially concerning equality for women but more resolutely, appropriate equity both in training and established practice.

With the tone well established for an exceptional meeting, guests enjoyed a variety of canapés and drinks in the exhibition hall, unwinding with social discussion.

1-4YURO President, Dr Todd Manning talks to young researchers with help from Prof. Henry Woo and A/Prof. Lawrentschuk during the YURO annual meeting

 

Saturday Highlights

Plenary sessions aplenty began the second day of proceedings with International academic giants including Prof. Klotz, Prof. Chapple, Prof. Traxer and Prof Nitti mixed in with National heavy hitters such as Prof Frank Gardiner, Mr Daniel Moon and outgoing USANZ president Prof. Mark Frydenberg.

Afternoon sessions included subspecialty discussions and some stellar Podium Poster presentations, with an especially impressive mix of senior and junior researchers regarding countless and diverse urological topics.

 

Sunday Highlights

Heralding the beginning of another exceptional day, the ‘Women in Urology’ breakfast symposium chaired by Dr Anita Clark along side distinguished panellists including Dr Caroline Dowling and Dr Eva Fong was a conference stand out for many.

Following this, more plenary sessions filled the remainder of the pre-lunch program, leading into the highly anticipated Keith Kirkland and Villis Marshall presentations by Urology SET trainees. The presentations did not disappoint. As in previous years, research of unyielding professional and academic quality was offered by the group of future urologists, who as is tradition weathered the gauntlet of probing and tough questions from the floor. All presentations were captivating in their own right.  2017 Villis Marshall winner Dr Marlon Perera presented ground-breaking research regarding the reno-protective role of zinc in contrast nephropathy. Dr Amila Siriwardana was deservedly awarded the Keith Kirkland

award for his multicentre retrospective review on Robot assisted salvage node dissection to treat recurrences detected by PSMA PET.

Following these presentations, the YURO annual meeting once again heralded a complement of enthusiastic, innovative and clever minds from all Australian states, eager to pursue research opportunities through collaborative means. Joined this year by Prof. Henry Woo, the group was fortunate to receive his valuable insight and feedback regarding past success and future direction. The group solidified upcoming positions of leadership and highlighted new directions in educational, research and mentorship avenues for younger members.

The Gala Dinner is a stand out affair during each ASM and this year was no exception. Guests were provided with the unique opportunity to see Australia’s Parliament House from the inside. The night began with surprise operatic renditions of many well known classics in the spacious foyer of the Great Hall and culminated with a climactic performance of Nesson Dorma. Guests then enjoyed a delectable 3 course meal in identical fashion to a rare collection of political royalty including; Barack Obama, Prince William and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

1-5Twitter metrics tabulated from the conference via the #Usanz17 (courtesy of Symplur LLC)

 

Monday Highlights

The final day of proceedings saw once again provided an array of interesting and thought provoking topics.  The clear highlight of the morning was the metaphorical prize fight between Mr Joseph Ischia and Dr Shankar Siva debating the roles of surgery and radiotherapy in Oligometastatic disease. Although these two went toe to toe over many rounds, the inevitable conclusion was understandably a draw. Although on PowerPoint slide pictures alone, Dr Siva’s extensive use of Star Wars based analogies won my vote.

Insight and introduction to the 71st USANZ ASM was then delivered and as a Melbournian my bias was admittedly hard to hide. Attendees received a taste of the excitement to come, with what is assured to be another blockbuster cast of national and international urologists led boldly by Convenor Mr Daniel Moon and Scientific Program Director Prof. Declan Murphy. I for one, eagerly anticipate the return of the ASM to out Nation’s culinary and cultural capitol and I’m sure guests in 2018 will be captivated by the world most liveable city!

It can be said with certainty that this years USANZ 70th ASM presented a scientific program as strong as ever within a fascinating and historical backdrop and complimented by a lively social atmosphere. This consensus of a highly successful meeting, I’m sure was shared by all.

I look forward to seeing you all next year and hope you are eagerly anticipating the ‘flat whites’.

 

Dr. Todd G Manning, Department of Surgery, Austin Health, Melbourne, and Young Urology Researchers Organisation (YURO), Australia. Twitter: @DocToddManning

 

Should we abandon live surgery: reflections after Semi-Live 2017

Prokar_v2Ever since 2002, I have performed live surgery almost every year where it is transmitted to an audience eager to learn. This year I was invited by Markus Hohenfellner to the unique conference, Semi Live 2017 in Heidelberg. To say that it was an eye opener is perhaps stating the obvious. One look at the program will show you that the worlds most respected Urological surgeons had been invited to participate, but with a difference. There was no live surgery. Instead videos of operations – open, laparoscopic and robotic were shared with the attendees “warts and all” as a learning experience. These were not videos designed to show the best parts of an operation. There were plenty of difficult moments, do’s and don’ts and troubleshooting, but all this was achieved without causing harm or potential harm to a single patient.

My highlights were laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy (Gaston), robotic IVC thrombectomy up to the right atrium (Zhang) and reconstructive surgery for the buried penis (Santucci). The event takes place every 2 years and the videos are all available on the meeting app which can be downloaded here and is an outstanding educational resource.

We were treated to a heritage session which included the superstars Walsh, Hautmann, Clayman, Mundy, Schroder and Ghoneim. This was followed by our host Markus Hohenfellner comparing and contrasting the art of Cystectomy and reconstruction by Ghoneim, Stenzl and Studer.

 

Open surgery is certainly not dead yet. The session ended with Seven Pillars of Wisdom from Egypt which turned out to be a big hit on Twitter.

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The editor’s choice session, a new innovation for 2017, allowed me to showcase the Best of BJUI Step by Step, a section that has now replaced Surgery Illustrated with fully indexed and citable HD videos and short papers.

Has live surgery had its day?

Many on Twitter seemed to agree that in 20 years time we might look back and say that it was not the right thing to do.

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Surgeons do not operate “live” every day. Most doctors in a survey, would not subject themselves or their families to be patients during live surgery. Talk about hypocrisy!! Why should it be any different for our patients? Live surgery is NOT a blood sport practised in Roman times….

The counterpoint is that patients often have the services of the best surgeons during live surgery, recorded, edited videos are not quite the same and that the whole affair has become safer thanks to patient advocates and strict guidelines from some organisations like the EAU. Others have banned the practice for good reason. While the debate continues, I for one came away feeling that Semi-Live was as educational, less stressful and much safer for our patients.

 

Prokar Dasgupta @prokarurol
Editor-in-Chief, BJUI 

 

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