Dear Colleagues

The 55th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Cardiovascular Surgery in St. Petersburg was a great success. With more than 1500 participants and more than 700 Abstracts submitted it was one of the biggest meetings in the history of the Society. The Scientific content in cardiovascular areas was outstanding.

Highlight this year was the day of live surgery including highly innovative surgical techniques which were performed by internationally renowned surgeons from throughout the world. The interdisciplinary sessions between the ESCVS and the Russian Society for Cardiovascular surgery on controversial issues in cardiac surgery and on diseases of the abdominal aorta were very well received. Interdisciplinary symposia between cardiac and vascular surgeons on diseases of the aorta revealed a high standard of multidisciplinary team approaches amongst different specialities of surgeons, radiologists and cardiologists.

A further highlight of the meeting was the Leriche lecture given by the past President, Professor Edouard Kieffer on aortic infections who gave a brilliant insight into this very difficult topic. High interest was shown especially amongst young surgeons on the newly introduced wet lab focusing on implantation of stentless aortic valves. I think this will be an area which will be expanded in the next few meetings. Another highly important presentation was given by Professor Hanni Shennib from Montreal on his vision of new perspectives in cardiac surgery who demonstrated the present situation of cardiac surgery and its future perspectives, particularly the aspect of re-organising training systems for cardiac and vascular surgeons in the future on the background of a changing pattern of diseases and availability of new technologies.

The success of this meeting would not have been possible without the incredible support of all the major companies who made a tremendous effort this year to be present and introduce new products to the scientific community. Our Society has proved to be a liable and efficient partner to industry and that the vision for future collaboration is based on mutual understanding and respect. For the first time our society has used a professional organisation to manage the annual meeting. Meet and Work under the leadership of Mr. Sbalchiero has taken the quality of our meeting to a higher level. Even under the most difficult circumstances Mr. Sbalchiero and his group have proved to be capable of controlling the meeting always with a smile on their faces.

Overall I think we can be proud of this year’s achievements in St. Petersburg and we also have to thank the local Russian colleagues for their tremendous involvement and support.

For the next years we will strengthen our activities in endovascular surgery. We will liaise with other surgeons from other societies with similar interests to introduce joint task forces in this field. This also includes the involvement in international regulation and aspects of future training systems. By doing this we will be able to improve the future perspective of our younger colleagues within our specialities.

On behalf of the Executive Committee of the European Society of Cardiovascular Surgery, I would like to thank you all for participating in St. Petersburg and I am very much looking forward to seeing you all again at our 56th meeting in Venice in 2007.

Professor Stephan Schueler


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