Share This


Putting together the academic programme for BACO is a monumental task. Academic Chairman Shakeel Saeed and Peter Andrews, the Academic Secretary of the conference, tell us how to make it a success.


Conference season is nearly upon us, and Liverpool open their campaign with BACO 2015 on the 8-10 July, while neighbouring football rivals Manchester go quiet with expectation (although as usual, no doubt planning ahead). BACO 2015 ( takes place in the glorious BT Convention Centre in Liverpool, arguably the best in the UK, nestled along the banks of the Merseyside and embraced by an impressive assortment of hotels, churches, stadium and other amenities.


The BT Convention Centre, Kings Dock, Waterfront, Liverpool.


On the academic side of things I’m pleased to report that BACO 2015 has ripened beautifully under the watchful eye of Professor Shak Saeed, offering up a bounty of choice and necessitating the need for delegates to plan ahead. All delegates will have received in advance a planner pack from our superb conference organisers, spearheaded by Anne Haylock and Alan Williamson.

All our speciality sections will proudly showcase their excellence through an array of symposia, keynote talks, conferences, instructional sessions and video sessions which will be populated with speakers from the UK and abroad, with overarching orchestration from the Master, Mr Ian Mackay and unreserved support from our local host, Mr Andrew Swift. Andrew has underwritten this venture with unique skills and attributes ranging from the individual selection of local fresh frozen cadaver heads to ensuring the event is equally fun and entertaining for the delegates’ partners. Credit is also due to Sharon Swift for her impressive local knowledge and ability to make things happen.

“All our speciality sections will proudly showcase their excellence through an array of symposia, keynote talks, conferences, instructional sessions and video sessions which will be populated with speakers from the UK and abroad.”

I’m very proud to announce that our abstract submissions have reached record levels, with over 1000 to date, and I’m very grateful to the trainees, consultants and allied professionals for their enthusiasm and brilliance. This will be our first year showcasing electronic posters as well as continuing with the 2012 Past Academic Chairman, Tim Woolford’s idea of allowing the best abstracts to be orally presented. You’ll notice two new allocated areas within the exhibition hall which will be dedicated to showcasing our ‘e’ posters and I urge you to have a look whilst sipping your cappuccinos. I have also brought into the fold Vicki Ward to help further exhibit our posters on the e-lefENT platform (, which will be a new experience for everyone, but more importantly will allow further exposure and publication for the top 10 abstracts. I’ve handed over the responsibility for abstract judging to the sectional leads (which also include me) and I’m very grateful for their help and patience in delivering this.

The fresh frozen cadaver sessions will involve image guidance technology for the first time, which will embrace the future of sinus surgery and other sub-specialities incorporating this technology. The dissection sessions will be broadcast onto multiple wide screens with audience interaction.


The BACO 2015 academic team, Peter Andrews, Chris Potter, Ian Mackay and Andrew Swift.
(Photo taken by Shak Saeed.)


The clinical skills centre (CSC) has been a resounding success and the highlights include laser procedures to the larynx, endoscopic ear surgery, new simulators for ear surgery and dedicated medical student and foundation year sections. It will be running daily under the successful partnership of Nirmal Kumar and Tim Woolford, and will not only target our trainees but also consultants and other professionals who may be attending BACO, such as audiologists, speech therapists, nursing and allied professionals. The CSC has further expanded owing to its popularity in BACO 2012 and will additionally house a dedicated session for medical students and basic surgical trainees.

The Paediatric CSC will showcase ‘practical emergency’ and will be lead by Professor Iain Bruce and Mr M Rothera. The aim of this station is to teach and refresh consultants and trainees on emergency airway and resuscitation skills in a fully supported environment. The station includes practical skills covering the use of ventilating bronchoscopes and tracheal foreign body retrieval. Simulators will be used to allow the participants to lead the management of resuscitation scenarios.

The Otology CSC led by Simon Lloyd includes hands on training with the 3D Voxelman simulator (Azher Siddiq) for temporal bone surgery. There will be a new software based simulation for ear surgery (VES). Plastic temporal bone stations will enable ossiculoplasty, stapedectomy and tympanoplasty procedures as well as cochlear implant, middle ear implant and BAHA stations.

The Rhinoplasty and Facial Plastics CSC, led by Ullas Raghavan will provide training in the basic steps of rhinoplasty using plastic models. Pig trotters will also be used to provide training in various skin flaps such as advancement, rotation, bilobe, rhomboid flaps and Z plasty.


Inside the BT Convention Centre.


The Laryngology Injection and Laser CSC will be led by Mered Harries and the session will mimic an ENT theatre environment, whereby candidates will perform micro laryngeal surgery and use a CO2 laser. Candidates will perform every step of the procedure including insertion of the laryngoscope, microscope set-up and use of laryngeal micro instruments. This will be a unique opportunity to perform simulated laser surgery before moving on to live patients.

This session also allows the candidate to perform transcutaneous and endoscopic laryngeal injections. This mimics the outpatient setting and candidates will be able to use both techniques in this session. With the newest endoscopes there will be visual feedback and each candidate will be recorded and quantitatively assessed and will be able to take this data with them for future validation.

The Laryngology Injection and TNO Balloon CSC will be led by Mr Yakubu Karagama, and will be a hands-on workshop focussing on injection laryngoplasty, transnasal oesophagoscopy and balloon dilatation using mannequins.

‘Transnasal Oesophagoscopy (TNO): a practical workshop to expand your diagnostic ability and clinical practice’ will be led Mr Mriganka De and Mr Vin Paleri. This multi-disciplinary instruction course is appropriate for established consultants, trainees and allied health professionals alike. Designed and run by three ENT surgeons and a speech and language therapist with extensive experience in TNO, the workshop will consist of didactic lectures incorporating live demonstration and videos followed by hands-on live practice by the delegates under the guidance of the faculty members.

“The clinical skills centre (CSC) has been a resounding success and the highlights include laser procedures to the larynx, endoscopic ear surgery, new simulators for ear surgery and dedicated medical student and foundation year sections.”

The Sinus Navigation CSC will be lead by Raj Bhalla and will use the latest in sinus simulation models, stereotactic navigation systems, powered instrumentation and balloon technology to enable participants to learn or refresh dissection techniques in sinus surgery. The models used are the next best things to human cadaveric tissue. Hence, an excellent opportunity to update on technology and instrumentation used currently in sinus surgery.

The Endoscopic Ear Surgery CSC will be lead by Mr A Lyer and Mr C Lobo. This session will introduce basic concepts and instrumentation in endoscopic ear surgery (EES). There will be videos of endoscopic cadaveric dissection from external to internal acoustic meatus but the main focus will be on the middle ear anatomy and principles of EES. This is followed by endoscopic ear dissection practice on plastic temporal bones using equipment from Storz, to allow delegates hands on experience of endoscopes for ear surgery and anatomy. A variety of videos of live surgery will be available as well.

The Medical Students CSC will be lead by Mr Jay Doshi and will provide the opportunity for students to practise common procedures undertaken by FY and CT doctors. This includes flexible endoscopy of the upper airway, grommet insertion, tonsillectomy trainers, epistaxis management, tracheostomy and suturing techniques.

I hope this article whets your appetite for the BACO 2015 academic programme. We look forward to seeing you there!

Declaration of Competing Interests: None declared.

Share This
Peter Andrews

Consultant Rhinologist and Anterior Skull Base Surgeon, Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital; National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery; Senior Lecturer, University College London, London, UK.

View Full Profile
Shakeel R Saeed

MD, FRCS (ORL), UCL Ear Institute; Consultant ENT and Skullbase Surgeon, The Royal National Throat, Nose & Ear Hospital and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery; Clinical Director, RNTNEH, London, UK.

View Full Profile