The annual symposium honours Sylvester O’Halloran, the Paris-trained Irish surgeon and author of Proposals for the Advancement of Surgery in Ireland. This French-influenced document became a cornerstone to the foundation of the College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1784. Considering the scourge of waiting lists for outpatients and elective surgery that plague our specialty, we should bemoan the fact that the French system of training and ENT in primary care was not also adopted.
The first meeting of this annual multidisciplinary perioperative symposium was held in 1992, while the head and neck section was initiated by Professor John Fenton in 2005 and continues to be a shining example of how the four main head and neck surgical disciplines of ORL-HNS, OMFS, PRAS and general surgery can amicably share their clinical and research outcomes.
This year’s conference promises to be one of the best yet, with the largest number of abstracts ever received, representing all the most important institutions nationally for oral or oral-poster presentations. Traditionally the emphasis has been on providing the most junior trainees and medical students an opportunity to present in an easy-going forum.
ORL-HNS contributions include referred otalgia in tweenagers and a proposal to consider otitis externa as a dermatological problem with a classification involving seven degrees of separation. There will also be reviews of a university hospital’s otology workload and incidental findings in MRI internal auditory meatus (IAM), with a further talk on endoscopy techniques in middle-ear cholesteatoma management.
Other highlights include a discussion of nasopharyngitis, including its lexicographical clarification, and findings on oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy (OGD). As well as sharing their experiences in neonatal tongue-tie and emergency management of adult subglottic lesions, ENT authors will talk about elevated PTH post-parathyoidectomy and on the non-recurrent laryngeal nerve in thyroid surgery.
A good meeting is one that everyone enjoys, a better one is one that we enjoy, share and learn, whilst the best one is where we enjoy, share and learn with a resultant change in practice. The symposium’s collaborative, holistic and, in parts, somewhat unconventional content will ultimately benefit all of us and our patients.