37th Annual VEITHsymposium (2010)

Once again, the 37th Annual VEITHsymposium, held November 17-21 at the Hilton New York, was a huge success, drawing in over 3,000 attendees eager to hear the latest in research and techniques from world-renowned experts. In fact, the symposium has become so well attended that program managers successfully debuted a new fast-track registration area in order to keep the otherwise time-consuming and arduous process in check.

The entire five-day event included more than 400 fast-paced presentations in 47 sessions, featuring program tracks on Endovenous Management of Varicose Veins, moderated by Jose Almeida, MD and Lowell Kabnick, MD, and WOUNDS moderated by Dieter O. Mayer, MD, Head of Wound Care at the Clinic for Cardiovascular Surgery in Zurich, Switzerland.

VEITHsymposium sessions

Bringing together more than 22 presenters and panelists for the vein track, the sessions included discussions on “Comparative Effectiveness”, techniques for endovenous thermal ablation, sclerotherapy, office-based phlebectomy, endovascular venous stenting, as well as updates on technologies, including a randomized trial comparing RF, laser, foam sclerotherapy and stripping in varicose veins.

“The vein portion is dedicated to a day-and-a-half of nothing but venous disease. I’ve been doing this event with Dr. Almeida for six years, and the quality of the event just keeps improving,” says Kabnick. “The meeting covers all phases: superficial, deep vein and ulcers, but the New Frontier is the deep vein system for interventionalists.” Particular hot topics, according to Kabnick, were pharmomechanical advances, venous stenting, DVT and filter replacement use in the U.S. compared to Europe.

“Every time I go to these meetings, I learn more from them – that’s the beauty of it,” reflects Kabnick. “The interest is certainly growing and we are gaining a lot more attention. This year the main ballroom (for venous sessions) was standing room only – some even sitting in the back on the floor. Mainline knowledge that is up-todate, live, current information as opposed to what’s in the textbook – that is the importance of these meetings. It was superb.”

VEITHsymposium's WOUNDS

The WOUNDS track, comprised of 25 presenters, provided ample information and updates in the treatment of chronic wounds. Topics such as pyoderma gangraenosum with imunosuppression and a bi-layered skin substitute, evidence-based medicine in vascular surgery and wound care, effectiveness and safety of electrotherapy in hard-to-heal wounds, and keratinocytes in wound healing brought the most current research and controversies to light.

Dr. Mayer reflects, “I expected this 5th WOUNDS event to be a very special event as we not only focused on new knowledge and techniques, but above all, on evidence-based medicine (EBM) in wound healing. The goal was certainly achieved - for the first time in 5 years there was consensus that instead of just saying ‘there is no proof,’ it would be more productive to create new guidelines about which parameters and in what form it should be published in any paper about wound healing in order to make them comparable. This should ultimately lead to the requested evidence.”

“I have excellent feedback from various sides,” Mayer goes on to say, “‘One of the best wound meetings I have attended’, ‘Really different from other wound meetings,’ and so on.” Participants also pointed out that the shorter talks and longer discussions were most beneficial in disseminating such a large amount of information. One participant summed it up by saying, “Finally, there is time for the very important questions to be answered.”

Meanwhile, the Hilton’s main exhibition hall was sold out, providing attendees with the latest information and demonstrations on the tools of the trade. Attendees were also delighted to discover the American Venous Forum’s new Venous Registry being demonstrated before its big debut at the upcoming AVF Meeting in February. According to Uchenna Onyeachom, Registry Administrator, “Attendees were noticeably enthusiastic about the Registry. Many registered onsite and booked online meetings for their staff to see a demonstration to help them get started.”

VEITHsymposium video streaming

Perhaps the most news-worthy is that VEITHsymposium has also upped the ante with their new streaming video of the entire symposium, available online here. The streaming video presentations offer a full menu of all the talks and sessions. This is a new offering to attendees and non-attendees alike, allowing for the first time the opportunity for access to all of the sessions and discussions they may have missed, but will surely want to take in.

Non-attendees are invited to check out the special introductory offer, allowing access to the entire webcast catalog, up to 51 times, for up to one hour per session. Attendees need only to use their access code from the event, and then create a login and password for subsequent visits.

“The fact that ALL of the lectures and slides are captured on video and that attendees, for no added cost, can access the information over and over again, is huge,” stated Kabnick. “This is a real breakthrough in technology for physicians and it is truly invaluable.”

All in all, the VEITHsymposium accomplished what it sets out to do each year – bringing “the most current information about new developments in clinical practice and relevant research” to a growing number of attendees in vascular surgery and vascular specialties. The symposium draws media attention from all points of the globe.