The Société International d'Urologie (SIU) Congress was held in the historic city of Athens, Greece from October 17-20, 2019. The Congress, true to its motto ‘SIU Around the World’, attracted 2,500+ registrants from more than 100 countries. Urologists, trainees, nurses and industry leaders representing different religions, cultures, healthcare systems and surgical practice came together to share their experiences. By celebrating diversity, SIU Athens distinguished itself as a truly global forum for discussing innovation in urology.
The Scientific Programme included over 20 Urological Society symposia and joint plenary sessions, which showcased regional and sub-specialist urology. The SANTU meeting demonstrated the ingenuity of our colleagues and re-iterated our responsibility as a profession to deliver more affordable technology and urological surgery to those who most need it. The discussions throughout these sessions developed the conference’s overarching theme: advancing urologic practice through international collaboration.
The ‘Live Surgery’ sessions brought an exciting element to this year’s conference. Delegates had the unique opportunity to interact with on-site moderators and technical experts while they performed robotic oncology, reconstructive and endo-urology cases in real time. Many were impressed with penile prosthesis surgery as demonstrated by David Ralph. These live sessions were well attended, with the fURS ‘tips and tricks’ being standing room only!
The SIU Innovators section opened with a touching tribute to a wonderful friend and colleague Dan Christidis. Peter Black was thanked for his impactful leadership within this section. Following the SIU General Assembly on October 19, Ashish Kamat was welcomed as the next chair but has, quite literally, big shoes to fill! The Innovators programme discussed current trends in andrology, social media and ‘Oncology for Dummies’ which was enthusiastically presented by Joe Ischia and Siska Van Bruwaene.
SIU 2019 had many opportunities aimed at Residents, beyond just the chance to present their hard work. They were put through their paces with the ‘Rapid Fire uChallenge’: the annual high-stakes competition hosted by SIU’s very own Alex Trebek: Dean Elterman with the help of judge, Kevin Zorn (2 of next year’s Local Organizing Committee Co-Chairs!). India’s Pratikkumar Shah was able to hold onto the top prize again this year. The resident mentoring session was a popular opportunity to meet senior urologists and gain insight on making the most of training and future career pathways.
Plenary sessions were well attended and showcased the subspecialties of urology; from stones to paediatric urology, from functional urology to urological oncology. Of particular relevance, the ongoing debate of novel technologies in BPH was debated; with arguments for PVP, UroLift, HoLEP, Rezum and Aquablation all fiercely deliberated and debated. Breakout theory and instructional sessions provided further hands-on education on this rapidly expanding field.
SIU Athens had a new and improved smartphone application to help plan and navigate the program. Content from SIU@U including highlights from the Congress and recorded live sessions can also be accessed online via www.siu-urology.org/siuatu. Twitter users shared conference highlights using the appropriate hashtag #SIUWorld.
Friends were made over coffee and lunch discussions as well as at the opening ceremony, which showcased Greek dancing and music. Additionally, we were welcomed to Athens by the Health Minster for Greece, Dr Vasilis Kikilias, who emphasised the importance of hosting event such as SIU to his healthcare system after times of austerity. At the end of the Congress, Simon Tanguay was thanked for his service to SIU and the Society welcomed esteemed Professor Sanjay Kulkarni as new SIU President, 2019-2020.
Just as Athens brought us mythological stories, historic landmarks and blue skies; SIU World Congress showcased heroes of contemporary urology who champion the spirit of collaboration. The knowledge shared at SIU Athens will ensure that we as a global collective of urologists are better able to care for our patients.
We look forward to SIU 2020 in Montreal - October 7-11.Coming Soon: The Joint SIU-ICUD 2019 on Congenital Lifelong Urology pu Faculty Feature - Upcoming B2B GU Cancer Triad