Report By: Gauri Mankekar, OLOL Hearing and Balance Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
The 29th Annual North American Skull Base Society (NASBS) Meeting was organised by President James Evans with co-chairs, Amir Dehdashti and Adam Zanation. Delegates consisted of neurosurgeons, neurotologists, rhinologists and skull base surgeons from all the continents. The meeting was preceded by pre-conference courses on skull base dissection and pituitary education. The guest speakers, Jeff James from the Disney Institute and Charlie Ireland of the Advocate Medical Group, spoke about the changing trends in medical practice, and the importance of the 'customer (patient) experience' in view of the democratisation by social media.
Topics for the informative panel discussions included controversies in surgical approach to the pituitary, role of surgical treatment in aggressive sinonasal cancer, managing complications after craniopharyngioma surgery, augmented reality in skull base surgery, orbital tumour surgery, hearing restoration options in 2019, role of genomics, molecular biology and targeted therapy for skull base tumours, avoiding complications in skull base surgery and several more. The 'Rhoton Room' featured endonasal skull base surgery dissection on day one, open lateral skull base dissection by a neurosurgeon and a neurotologist simultaneously on either side of the room on day two and a very interesting, nail-biting simulation of bleeding carotid injury on day three. The emphasis of the meeting was on the multidisciplinary management of skull base lesions, management of complications and reconstruction of the skull base. The poster session provided an opportunity for budding skull base surgeons to show case their research. The Stryker-sponsored evening entertainment at the Disney studios and the official conference dinner with live music on the second evening provided the much-needed distraction from the serious daytime discussions.
The NASBS International Travel Scholarships, 2019, were awarded to Mardjono Tjahjadi, Sasan Adib and January Gelera. The scholarship aims to encourage international participation and enables academic skull base surgeons from all over the world to study at an NASBS Fellowship programme in the United States. Awardees receive $2000 in travel funds as well as free registration to attend the annual meeting. Those interested in applying for the scholarship can contact NASBS.
Check the NASBS Website for more information for when the 2020 applications open: www.nasbs.org/
Also check the website for the NASBS Skull Base Fellowship Registry: www.nasbs.org/nasbs-skull-base-fellowship-registry/