Randolph Martin, MD discusses the 2023 AATS Mitral Conclave with Co-Program Director, David Adams, MD. Over 900 registrants from over 50 countries came together to share best practices for taking care of patients with mitral valve disease.
Here, Dr. Adams discusses the importance of fellowship and friendship within the field, and provides a platform for the next generation of rising stars. Topics included the impact of Carpentier’s early days of mitral valve repair and the energy, enthusiasm and dedication that is the foundation of the field of mitral valve repair. As the field expands with transcatheter therapies, imaging, and the treatment of atrial fibrillation – this meeting underlines the importance of innovation to benefit patients. Whether one is at the beginning of their journey in mitral valve disease or at the very advanced level, there’s always something to learn when surgeons get together in-person, away from distractions to talk and work together.
About the AATS Mitral Conclave: David H. Adams, MD, and Anelechi C. Anyanwu, MD, serve as the Program Directors of the AATS Mitral Conclave – a meeting that Dr. Adams created with the American Association for Thoracic Surgery in 2011. The biennial meeting brings the world’s leading experts together to examine all aspects of mitral valve disease, associated conditions, and treatment. The meeting featured more than 350 presentations, 40 focused breakout or lunch sessions, combined with four main plenary sessions – with over 900 attendees from 52 countries. So I'm joined by Doctor Adams here. We're at the 2023 A ATS micro conclave, David, another packed house today. It's phenomenal, Randy. You know, it's amazing and thank you for your help on the journey and making the nitro conclave what it is. But it was a really special day today. You know, for me personally and I think for the specialty again, this is a, you know, it's getting increasingly hard to do meetings like this, the the commitments for travel, the expense, the innumerable visa issues and all of the challenges to have people be able to come here. And, you know, we had people from 52 countries today in the room. We have over 870 almost over 900 I guess. Now, registrants and, you know, they all come with for a single reason and that's to get more educated about how to take care of patients with microvalve disease. And I think what I was so proud of and you know, over the years in this meeting is not only the fellowship and friendship which you and I believe so much in very important in this room and it was so obvious again today, particularly after the pandemic of having so many colleagues from around the world get together because we've all sort of grown up together in this space that was really meaningful. It was also meaningful and I'm sure you appreciated it on the stage, the sort of progression to the next generation, a lot of new rising stars in the field. And um all presenting really exciting sort of new ideas and thoughts particularly in the trans cat that are arena and in the imaging arena. So, so many good things are happening in this disease and it still comes back to the commonality. You and I care so much about which is the individual patient and these meetings really are about patients. I think that the not always their exciting learning and education, but I think being together and learning and being able to, you know, the being able to see people and who, who've been giants in the field or be able to talk to them and interact with them and al also being able to see friends and learn about new advances. There's a continual push for improvement and excellence in what you're doing. I think that talking about the 40 year anniversary of the French Correction having Octavio Alfie, you get the your lifetime achievement award shows the innovation and excellence can push the field to do. And that, that's what was so spectacular to today. It was, it was a super special opening plenary session because to have those surgeons have Patrick and Jills and, and Didier, Lema and President Phil, they're talking about the, the early days at Bruce and being around Cartier. And the thing I remember from this morning, this emphasis of just Carp's willing outcomes, you know, his energy and his enthusiasm and his dedication. And it's, it's something that, like I said in the in the session, I was so happy that those messages are being delivered because it is the foundation of what we all do. And today we really celebrated a lot of history and cardiac surgery in that session, not just with the car, but with all of these incredibly courageous surgeons that were really pioneering, I mean, before bypass. And I think that I don't ever want to take for granted all the, all the pressure and vision and sacrifice, all these surgeons were under for outcomes in the early era. And of course, we just, you know, carry the banner on if we're fortunate and then we get ready to hand the banner off to someone else. And it's just, it was really meaningful. I think today to watch this. And I, I can't agree with you more about Octavia getting this award. He's just an incredibly humble, generous, incredible vitro valve surgeon and he's a um someone that's always been so supportive of this meeting and these kinds of efforts, you know, he's been here from the very beginning. He's been to all the conclaves. He was on the first program committee and I, I thought it was a really special time. I mean, he's an incredible gentleman besides being a giant in the field. I think that the concept that you're right that we now have a field that's really expanding, you know, with the, the transcatheter therapies, the Tricuspid the whole way that it's going and the treatment of a fib, all of those sort of things and heart failure patients coming together, the thing that's really striking to me and listening. And I think back on people is that people did this to help the patient and to innovate not to have how many followers you have on Twitter or something like that. And so that, that he has been the message that you're putting out is really innovate to have advances of help and outcomes, not your notoriety. And I think we've struck a really nice balance with the program. Um And I think Annie and who's the, you know, my co-director and really my right hand partner in this educational effort. I think we've struck a great balance between this meeting between coming and learning basics like annual plasty leaflet resection, cortex, corals, the very basics, the tools you have to know to do valve repair. But then for instance, in the session that we were just in, we're talking about microvalve re repair in the setting of minimal tissue. And Gerena Curry was talking about tricuspid translocation to reconstruction of mit comma. So whether you're at the beginning of your journey of microbial disease or at the very advanced level, there's always things that we can, can learn when we get together from around the world and spend two days without the distractions in person and really, you know, talk and work together. And I must say Randy and I know you saw them, some of the breakouts were really quite a lot of fun this year because I do love getting together with cardiac surgeons in a very special field where you have a lot of specialists because it really is fun to hear all of the agreements as well as disagreements. I had to get up and disagree with my good friend Tyrone David more than once today. So it was a lot of fun. I think everybody enjoyed it. So now the focus is really on moving forward. I mean, this has been a not that you would leave this fabulous model but, but education now there's nothing that replaces in person, obviously when she went and learned from carpenter and people in learning in person or learning in a meeting like this. But there are now some really innovative ways to educate people. Do you see that being an adjunct to what the, the large in person meeting would be? I think it's gonna be continuation. I think that the large meetings are gonna be really, really will always be important. And I think this meeting will continue to, you know, evolve. I've already had a lot of ideas watching today about the next conclave about how we could even cover some other topics. For example, we did it, we had a session today on aortic valve repair for moderate A I and the setting of microvalve deficient and how that impacts felt decision making. And that room was absolutely packed and it went way over because there was a lot of discussion. So I think that we still have topics we need to cover to help patients with microvalve disease. That's one thing. But also as you're, I think hinting to, I think the era of videos and libraries as well as the ability to communicate, we did learn one useful thing in the pandemic that zoom actually is an adjunct. It's a good adjunct. It can't replace what we're doing here, but it's a good adjunct for a follow up. And I hope in the future will be able to do that. And I know that we have some real industry partners that believe in that and that would help us do that because they're always asking for content that they can share. And remember they live in a different sphere, they have access to all heart surgeons in a community. So it it also is very useful those partnerships to try to reach a broader audience of surgeon with some of these concepts as well as some of these techniques and tricks that we've been talking about today. And the interesting thing is that people, when they're around John in the field around people, they want to feel like you're speaking to them. OK, that you're, you're really helping them and they, they can believe that. And I think the same thing occurs in, in a video format is that if you incorporate the viewer and the the viewer is with you, then, then you really learn better than having AAA video didactic lecture. So there are tricks with that. But listen, this has been not something that you threw together overnight. It's a, it's a, it's a lot of work. It's a lot of work, but it's, it's always worth it. It's an incredible honor to get to do it for the American Association for their Asic surgery as, as the slide that Annie showed today of Caron making a comment about the role of the A TS and his own career and not only the fellowship and friendship, but the real commitment to science and advancing patient care is very meaningful to me. And that's why this meeting has always been so special to me because this is a very special association and this is an incredible honor to get to do this for the A TF on steroids. It's a, uh, it's a, we have some more work to do Randy. I also think we're gonna, you know, we need to get reinvested into these satellite workshops that we've done, we've done them, we're gonna do a micro conclave work shop next year in Japan who might get approached by several people by doing it, you know, regionally. And I think it's something that I'm really interested in seeing us invest in because I do think as great as this meeting is and as many people as we can get here, there are many more people that will be educated if we can come to get them. So I do think that you'll see some, yeah, re re I gotta invest some new energy in trying to have some interesting because you, you are, you know, you remember Octavio showed that picture today of his daughter in the park and you know, beauty and the differences and that's really when we are with people in other countries, countries and other experiences you learn from them and they from you. So I think that's a, that's an excellent idea. It should be part of the, the next several years for the conclave. Well, congratulations, a lot of hard work. You and Annie did a super job. You have a wildly successful meeting that is advancing the field to help fish. And I know that a and I helped put it together with a program committee, but it's all of the faculty and all of these presenters that come that really make this meeting special because we it's just amazing Randy despite all the hardships including our A TS annual meeting in Los Angeles, which is really sort of starting tomorrow. You've seen all the people trying to, you gotta be there. But, but in spite of all that, all these people coming here and participating is what really makes this, you know, meeting very special. And then, and they've, and they've coming in and they've done it and yeah, it's just, it's just an absolute honor to be here today and be with all them. Congratulations. Thank you, Randy for what you did. Thank you. See you, my friend. Thank you. Bye.