Annual Meeting Preview

Looking Forward to Austin

Dr. WalkerBy Scott G. Walker, MD
Program Chair

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to the 11th Annual Meeting of the Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Society (CCAS)! This meeting has special significance as the 10th anniversary of the first annual meeting of the CCAS in 2007. Our host city of Austin, Texas provides a vibrant backdrop for our meeting, and the recently opened JW Marriott is our luxurious home. Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States and is known as the Live Music Capital of the World, with more than 250 live music venues providing entertainment at nearly every corner. We are sure to have “music in our hearts” as we explore congenital cardiac anesthesia together.

This year we will sustain the successful format of past programs, with an exciting new addition: morning PBLD sessions. These small-group, interactive discussions will kick off the meeting and allow registrants a chance to gain first-hand insights from leaders in our field, with a variety of clinically relevant topics to choose from. These will include point-of-care coagulation testing to manage transfusion therapy, the Norwood patient for non-cardiac surgery, anesthesia and William’s syndrome, adults with congenital heart disease, and managing risk in the cath lab.

Once our brains are revved up from this early morning exercise, we will begin the General Meeting with our traditional Basic Science and Clinical Application session. We will hear from a pair of ground-breaking researchers who are exploring congenital heart disease and its management from two contrasting perspectives: molecular genetics and biomechanics. We will first learn how modern genetic technology can elucidate the mechanisms for congenital cardiac defects and be applied to prevention of disease and cardiac regeneration. We will then discover an innovative proposed solution to the greatest challenge of Fontan physiology: the lack of a mechanical sub-pulmonic energy source.

Our next session is Practice Updates in Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia. This will be led off with an important overview of the current state of advanced training in our specialty. We will then hear about the transplanted heart and the special challenges it presents to the anesthesiologist. This session concludes with a look at new and innovative interventional procedures in the cardiac cath lab and their anesthetic management. The last session before lunch is the popular Focus on a Lesion. At our most recent meeting we explored transposition of the great vessels; we follow this up with a look at congenitally corrected transposition and feature input from the perspective of both an anesthesiologist and a surgeon.

After lunch it is time to hear from our colleagues whose abstracts were judged among the best of those submitted. This is a unique opportunity to become familiar with the investigations of our peers and trainees as we seek to improve care for patients with congenital heart disease. This will be followed by our first-ever session on Thoracic Surgery in Congenital Heart Disease. We will review the anatomy, physiology, and anesthetic implications of a variety of congenital heart lesions that present for thoracotomy surgery. Of equal importance, we will get an overview of the options for managing the pain associated with this type of operation.

Our meeting then continues with concurrent sessions offering an assortment of options. Participants can choose to either attend a new interactive “Ask the Experts” panel, or select from several workshops – an offering introduced last year. The Ask the Experts panel will allow a more intimate, interactive environment in which to exchange ideas and learn from leaders in our field. This will include five panelists and a moderator, all recognized as experts among our peers. The goal is to remain informal, without prepared lectures or slides. The topics will be driven by YOU, and we want to know what YOU would like to hear about. Look for opportunities to provide input into the topics covered in this session prior to the meeting.

The workshops were tremendously well received, and we are excited to present them again this year. In addition to the four provided last year, we are expanding to a fifth workshop on transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). The remaining four are “back by popular demand” and include cardiopulmonary bypass, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and ventricular assist devices, cardiac morphology and 3D modeling, and pacemaker workshops. In addition to the information and experience gleaned from these workshops, participants can once again expect to enjoy the company of colleagues in a hands-on environment. It is sure to be a lot of fun! Space will be limited to optimize the experience for everyone, so be sure to register early.

After we divide up for the Ask the Experts Panel and the workshops, we will all gather together again for Professor Poster Rounds. This is not only a great way to learn, but also a perfect opportunity to make new friends, expand your network, and re-connect with old friends and colleagues. We will close out the day with a welcoming wine and cheese reception, where we can unwind and socialize in a beautiful setting.

I am confident that our meeting amid the music will leave us tuned up and ready to improve care for our patients.

Enjoy!

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