20th ERUS meeting in Florence: Robotic Urology Beyond Europe

20th ERUS meeting in Florence: Robotic Urology Beyond Europe

The EAU Robotic Urology Section is hosting its 20th meeting in Florence this summer. Beyond offering a platform for Europe’s robotic surgeons, the meeting has always attracted a global faculty and audience. This year, ERUS23 features a “Europe meets America” NARUS-SURS joint session on its third day, with speakers representing two North American scientific platforms on robotic urology.

Prof. Ketan Badani (New York City, USA) is one of several American surgeons who will travel to Europe to participate in ERUS23. He explains the landscape for North American robotic urologists who are looking to meet their colleagues in a congress setting: “NARUS and SURS are very different venues for robotic surgeons in the USA. The North American Robotic Urology Symposium (NARUS) is not a society, but has been an annual robotic surgery symposium for nearly a decade focusing on live surgery and video based techniques and tips and tricks.”

“The Society of Robotic Surgeons (SURS) has not had a standalone meeting until last year, but the focus is not live surgery-based, but more didactic and academic in nature as part of the wider Endourological Society and its membership. Both are high-quality meetings, but NARUS definitely is more similar to ERUS in terms of the live content and focus.”

Prof. Badani teaches at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is Vice Chairman of Urology and Robotic Operations at Mount Sinai Health System and Director of Surgery at Mount Sinai West. He is one of the most experienced robotic urologists in the world. In Florence, Prof. Badani will be performing a Transperitoneal robot-assisted partial nephrectomy (RAPN) for highly complex renal mass, and at the NARUS-SURS joint session he will be speaking on an evolving decision algorithm for multi-port and single-port approaches.

ERUS23 is the Europe’s (and arguably the world’s) foremost robotic urology surgeons in the Italian city, with a scientific programme that demonstrates the wide range of applications for robotic surgery, as well as the wide range of the systems themselves. The meeting is famous for its wide live surgery programme and this year features additional programmes for robotic urology nurses and young urologists, as well as four free-to-attend ESU Courses.

Similarities and differences across the ocean
Apart from the great differences in healthcare systems between the United States and European countries, there are some very real technical differences in the robotic systems that are available for surgeons on either side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Prof. Badani: “As it currently stands, there is definitely a big difference between the USA and Europe in terms of systems available. On the one hand, Europe has approval for new robotic platforms that are not FDA-approved in the US. On the other, in the US, the Single Port Da Vinci system has been in clinical use for 3 years, but not yet available in Europe. As you can imagine, we have much to discuss and share between these two experiences.”

Topics that affect both groups equally, and where collaboration can play a part are both medical and strategic, says Prof. Badani:

“Surgical innovation and strategy comes in many different forms: technical improvements in approach, access, outcomes, and so on. Robotic technology and instrumentation, imaging, diagnostics on both hardware and software side of devices continue to be developed in both the USA and Europe.”

“There are several other hot topics in robotics that I look forward to discussing in Florence. Definitely covering all the new systems and their role in our current practice, this will be vital to better understand as surgeons get their first experiences. The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) will be an exciting aspect of robotic surgery. Finally, tele-mentoring, training, and remote surgery rounds out the top of the list.”

ERUS Chairman Prof. Breda (Barcelona, ES), who is also one of the moderators of the NARUS-SURS Joint Session at ERUS23 has been a big proponent of international cooperation between ERUS and the North American societies. “At these joint sessions, over the years we’ve seen prominent speakers representing both sides of the Atlantic. We should all be working together! American surgeons who visit our meeting or participate as faculty want to stay with us, to learn from us, and we want to learn from them as much as possible.”

Since ERUS22 in Barcelona, Prof. Breda has attended the SURS meeting in New York City and the NARUS in Las Vegas to deliver the ERUS lecture there. “International ties work, particularly in robotic surgery, now that robotic platforms are entering the market so strongly and telesurgery and telementoring are becoming a reality. It makes complete sense to have international collaboration, for instance with a surgeon in Europe and the patient in the United States. It’s only a matter of time…”

The “Europe meets America” session, aside from Prof. Badani’s talk will also cover topics like retroperiteneal robotic surgery, robotic prostatectomy and the use of single-port systems for transvesical robotic radical prostatectomy. The session is chaired by Prof. Breda and Profs. Minervini  (Florence, IT) and Nathan (London, GB).

  • Find the complete ERUS23 Scientific Programme here

Anniversary of a respected meeting

Florence will be the 20th edition of the ERUS meeting, an informal anniversary for what began as an independent society and joined the EAU as a Section in 2014. How does Prof. Badani, as an American surgeon, look at ERUS’s achievements and its relationship with its American counterparts over the years?

“This is a truly impressive milestone, and ERUS has definitely led the way in terms of live robotic surgery symposia. The attendance and interest in ERUS continue to remain strong and it’s the largest standalone robotic surgery meeting in the world. As an American I am proud that robotic surgery unites us across geography to continue to push the field forward.”

“The relationship between ERUS and NARUS is a more recent development, but it has so far been a highly successful partnership and we are delighted to continue this amazing collaborative spirit.”