The 8th ERAS® World Congress was held between 1st – 3rd June 2022, at the Hotel Meila Castilla, Madrid, Spain.
It was our first face to face congress since 2019 in Liverpool, and it was lovely to see so many delegates from all over the world
The congress was jointly organised by the ERAS Society and GERM the Spanish ERAS Chapter.
As in previous years, it consisted of the ERAS® Course followed by the Scientific Programme. Throughout the Congress, they were many excellent lectures from experts from around the World including Europe, North & South America, Africa and Asia.
The ERAS® course was again a hugely popular event, and with the delegates learning about the relevant physiology underpinning the concepts of ERAS®. This year it was condensed into a morning course. This allowed time to have a number of different break out specialty meetings. Which consisted of the nursing, ANP & AHP group (including a separate French nurses meeting), Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatric, Cardiac, Urology and Orthopaedic/Spine group meetings. All of which were hugely popular and provided a great opportunity for different groups to discuss how they deal with current and post-pandemic issues relevant to that speciality.
The Main Scientific Programme started the next day, with a session devoted to the issues surrounding the COVID-19 and surgery (both elective and emergency), and how ERAS might be able to help.
The prestigious Henrik Kehlet Lecture by Professor Carol Peden from the US, entitled Quality improvement programmes: Do they work? Giving a fascinating insight to the many (successful) international QI projects that Carol has been involved with over the years.
This was followed by an interactive session on “When things go wrong” with experts from surgery, anesthesia and nursing discussing a number of different patient scenarios.
The afternoon session started off with a hugely important sessions on the role of ERAS in Global Surgery, particularly in its role for Low- and middle-income countries. Especially important with the recent publication of ERAS guidelines for LMICs. The day closed with sessions on ERAS and the high- risk patient, abstract presentations and hospital and care environment, which was followed by a highly enjoyable drinks reception, where everyone was able to network, view posters and meet with our sponsors.
The second day of the Congress began with a session on relevant end points of outcomes (including quality of life and patient reported outcomes).
This was followed by a Presidential address by our outgoing chairman Professor Olle Ljungqvist, who made the point that standard of care does not exist and that there are no shortcuts to best care. As thanks to all of Olles hard work and dedication to the ERAS Society the Presidential address will now be known as the Olle Ljungqvist Lecture.
The morning session continued with sessions on the ‘stakeholder’ in ERAS (including the patients voice as well as the manager and industry. This was followed by a session on nutrition and then closed with 5 ‘rapid fire’ oral research presentations.
The afternoon session started with Ken Fearon lecture, in memory Co-founder and Chairman of the ERAS Society Board. In fitting memory, Professor Sanjeev Arora, from New Mexico, gave a fascinating talk about his ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) program and how it might help amplify ERAS across the world.
Professors Lobo, Arora and Ljungqvist.
The final sessions were on pain management and the opioid crisis, current controversies including carbohydrate loading, immune modulating nutrition, anesthesia and cancer outcomes and if prehabilitation delays cancer surgery?
The Congress concluded with our Scientific Chairman Professor Dileep Lobo awarding prizes to Lesley Coots wining the nursing ANP & AHP Abstract Prize with a talk entitled “ERAS: Impact and outcomes in an implant-based breast reconstruction population”. Dr Connie Shao won the best abstract for her presentation entitled “Health literacy is associated with enhanced recovery adherence and post-operative outcomes”. Mr Steve Chapman won the rapid-fire abstract competition with his talk entitled: “Non-invasive, self-administered, electrical vagus nerve stimulation to reduce ileus after colorectal surgery: feasibility randomised controlled trial”.
What were the highlights of the Congress? It is impossible to say with nearly three days with world experts, an enthusiastic and engaged delegates and talented researchers all meeting to exchange experiences. Certainly, the Henrik Kehlet and Ken Fearon Lectures were outstanding. In addition, the presentation of new and original work and ideas is always a very exciting and were of a very high standard this year, for it is with these talented researchers that the evidence base which underpins the future success is fundamental for ERAS®.
Emotional tributes were given to Professor Olle Ljungqvist our outgoing chairman who takes up a new role as past-chairman. We thanked Hans de Boer for all his work as Treasurer and welcomed him into his new role as Chairman of the ERAS Society. We know that he will do an excellent job and that the society is in safe hands. Similarly we thanked Gregg Nelson for all his hard work as Secretary and again welcomed him into his new role as Treasurer. We also welcomed Mary Brindle to her new role as Secretary and Martin Hubner as the new Education Chair. Thanks were also given to Bill Fawcett as the Webinar editor and previous Website editor, and also to Mike Scott who had given so much as Chair of the Education Committee.
Professors Henrik Kehlet and Olle Ljungqvist
Our Secretary (and new Treasurer) Gregg Nelson congratulating Bill Fawcett
Gregg Nelson thanking Hans de Boer for all his hard work as outgoing Treasurer
Olle Ljungqvist handing over to our new Chairman Hans de Boer
We were also able to welcome Marianna Sioson (PH), Michael Grant (US) and Kwang Yeong How (SG) to their new positions of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Officer, Scientific Committee member and Education Committee member respectively.
The huge success of the Congress is made possible only by the hard work of the Organising Committee and the Local Committee, to whom we express our sincere gratitude. In addition, we are most grateful to the sponsorship we receive from industry and the expert assistance from MCI.
The 9th ERAS® World Congress is already being planned for, and the location will be announced soon and we look forward to welcoming you and your teams there!