For 2023, the EAU Section Office is organising a Joint Meeting of the EAU Sections of Genito-Urinary Reconstructive Surgeons and Andrological Urology, ESGURS-ESAU23. Delegates can look forward to two days of andrological and live reconstructive surgery in Florence, Italy on 23-24 November 2023. Several hot topics will be covered in an inspiring setting that combines the history of Florence with its top-notch hospital facilities.
The two sections’ scientific programmes will run in parallel on both days, and delegates can attend either meeting freely. We spoke to ESGURS board member Dr. Andrea Cocci (Florence, IT) who is chairing the meeting’s Local Organising Committee and looking forward to welcoming Europe’s urological surgeons to his hometown.
The ESGURS23 scientific programme will feature a three-screen set-up that allows for delegates to see the same disease treated with three different techniques simultaneously. Robotic surgery will also be receiving more attention at the meeting.
“From my point of view, reconstructive surgery, like robotic urology, is constantly evolving, both as a surgical technique and as a result of the technology that is involved. As an example: during our upcoming meeting, new models of malleable and inflatable penile prosthesis will be presented, both for men and, interestingly, for patients with a neophallus, gender reassignment patients. The market had become dominated by two large companies in the past two decades and now there’s a new player.”
“These new prostheses will be compared to those currently on the market. Thanks to our three-screen set-up, we will be seeing three kinds of prosthesis being implanted at the same time, which should make for a very interesting comparison. ESGURSESAU23 will also be the occasion at which we will see the presentation of new drugs for Peyronie’s disease.”
From plastic surgery to urology
The presentation of these new prostheses and the involvement of robotic surgery represents a shift that reconstructive urology has been undergoing in recent years.
“I think within urology and the scientific committees that determine the contents of our meetings, there is increased attention for reconstructive surgery. Historically, the reconstructive branch represented most within urology was urethral reconstruction. At ESGURS-ESAU23 you will see that topics like phalloplasty or vaginoplasty, will also receive a lot of attention.”
“Our Section Chair Prof. David Ralph and the ESGURS board gave us a lot of space for sex-change patients at this meeting. This is also a reflection of increasing interest at medical schools and from residents in this type of surgery. In a way, it is also a social change. There is more attention for the procedure, but it has also increasingly become performed by urologists.”
“Historically, this type of surgery was performed by plastic surgeons but at the moment that’s shifting to urologists. I’m not sure why this shift is taking place. Mr. John Pryor, the father of andrology and reconstructive urology, had a background in plastic surgery. Right now, the field of penile surgery, genital surgery, is for urological surgeons, it’s a change of mindset.”
“A major change we wanted in our meeting this year is the involvement of robotic reconstructive surgery in the programme. We believe that robotics has become an integral part of our profession and many urologists are interested in it.”
“ESGURS is by nature a pure, live surgery congress. This is what our audience and what the ESGURS board wants. We are aiming to include 19 procedures in two days. As it stands now, we will be welcoming surgeons from Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Turkey and the UK to operate in Florence. We will see top surgeons at work in prosthetic surgery, incontinence surgery, urethral stricture, bladder reconstruction, and robotic surgery for ureteral reconstruction. The scientific programme will be two days of three theaters, starting at 8:00, finishing at 19:00, with pure surgery and expert moderation.”
“Another major change we decided on is to feature a younger generation of surgeons. Most of those performing the procedures are under 40, and most are female. This is an important message that the EAU wants to give. The present belongs to this generation, where we don’t have gender differences in our hospitals. The surgical schools, medicine in general, universities, are all roughly equally represented by male and female students and residents.”
“With our meeting, we didn’t just want female representation in panels of moderators, but crucially also in the theatres. I’m very proud to host an event like that. We’re not talking about some vague point in the future, we want to showcase how diverse our field is already at present.”
“Every urology meeting is an opportunity to talk, to develop new ideas, socialise and create connections. Florence will also be hosting the ESU-ESAU-ESGURS Masterclass on Erectile restoration and Peyronie’s disease on 22-23 November. In the masterclass we will cover Peyronie’s disease and treatment options for erectile dysfunction. This is aimed at younger colleagues, but we hope they stay for the rest of ESGURS-ESAU23.”
More details about the ESAU scientific programme will be announced on the meeting website shortly.
“All of the live surgery will be performed in Florence’s Careggi University Hospital! This is my chief, Prof. Andrea Minervini’s department. He used to be a fellow of current ESGURS chair David Ralphe. We are very honored to continue this historical tradition, and to host this kind of event.”
“Florence has a great urological history, it’s one of the main Italian centres for robotic and reconstructive surgery. From our university, came several huge names in reconstructive urology like Dr. Barbagli, for instance. We have five ORs dedicated to urology and all five will be used to create a seamless three-screen programme for the attendees.
“Florence is a city full of beauty, good food, and history. When the congress is finished for the day, all participants will be able to enjoy the city. It will be hard work for our department in the coming months but we’re happy and honoured to host.”