The 54th Congress of the European Society for Surgical Research

March 13 – March 15 2019

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Dear ESSR 2019 Participant,

On behalf of the organizing committee of the ESSR 2019 and the ESSR board, It is my great pleasure to announce that the 54th annual ESSR congress was a great success!

More than 270 participants from over 25 nationalities and 6 continents all came together in Geneva, Switzerland to participate in this year’s ESSR congress. The pre-congress workshops on Wednesday the 13th of March, which took place in the newly inaugurated SFITS (Swiss foundation for training in surgery, www.sfits.ch) hosted over 50 people in hands-on courses in Microsurgery, Cardiovascular surgery, Good clinical practice and Orthopedic surgery. Participants also were able to hone their surgical skills on the DaVinci robot. The opening reception, attended by over 90 people, was the perfect start to the conference and enabled new and old participants to meet and extend their network.

The two full days of the congress, which took place at the magnificent CICG (Geneva International Conference Centre, www.cicg.ch) were divided by surgical specialty in order to provide a ‘tailor made’ program for the participants. New this year was the whole-day symposium in Orthopedic surgery, which included topics in hand surgery, shoulder instability and ligamentous knee injuries, as well as the ‘innovations in surgery’ session in which the newest technological breakthroughs were presented, including smartphone applications for doctor-patient interaction and new educational models. The newly introduced ‘mini oral poster presentations’ enabled researchers to present their work in a convivial manner, with room for debate and feedback. We would like to thank Professor Ris, which hosted the annual symposium for laparoscopic surgery (www.asrcc.ch), which brought together specialists from various surgical fields with a common interest in laparoscopic and robotic surgery. The social program, of which the highlight was the Gala dinner at the exclusive ‘Golf Club de Genève’ was truly a great experience in which a relaxed and fun atmosphere was able to unite participants from all corners of the world.

Furthermore, the 3 keynote lectures that were held during the congress were able to inspire the audience and provide room for reflection. We would like to thank our esteemed speakers for their great presentations. Christoph von Toggenburg took us on his journey by bicycle from India to Switzerland, crossing some of the harshest terrain known and bringing nations together at the same time; Professor Mark Hardy highlighted the steps needed to succeed in surgical research, including a historical perspective and his personal life lessons; Frédéric Mino, from the Geneva Watchmaking school, soon to celebrate its 200th birthday, explained the similarities and differences between the surgical curriculum and the path to become a master watchmaker.

We would like to congratulate this year’s Prize Winners, who excelled with their research and presentation skills:

–       Walter Brendel Award (2500 CHF): Roland Fejes, Hungary

–       Young Investigator award (1500 CHF): Guillaume Guidicelli, Switzerland

–       Best Clinical Research Award (1000 CHF): Akihisa Matsuda, Japan

–       B. Braun award (1000 CHF): Njanja Enz, Germany

–       Best poster award (500 CHF): Wiktor Paskal, Poland and Veronika Lovasova, Czech Republic

Altogether, we look back on a very successful conference. We would like to thank all participants and presenters for their high quality research and enthusiasm. Furthermore, we would like to extend a warm thank you to our scientific committee, and to all our sponsors, who helped make the ESSR 2019 possible. Please keep an eye on the congress website (www.essr2019.com) for the pictures and the abstract book. Please note that each participant will receive their certificate of attendance by email in pdf format.

Lastly, See you next year in Innsbruck, Austria for the ESSR 2020 !

Surgically yours,

The ESSR 2019 organizing committee,


Dr. Konstantinos Vakalopoulos, MD PhD Congress president ESSR 2019

Dr. Charles-Henri Wassmer, Secretary ESSR 2019

Dr. Benoit Borner, Treasurer ESSR 2019

Prof. Jean-Yves Beaulieu, Honorary President ESSR 2019

The 27th symposium of the ASRCC will join the ESSR 2019 and will take place on friday 15th march 2019 at the CICG. For more information : http://asrcc.ch/

The following CME credits were attributed to the 54th ESSR congress:


Dear Surgical friends,

It is my great pleasure to invite you to the 54th Congress of the European Society for Surgical Research (ESSR), which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from 13-15 March 2019. This year’s conference will be held in the world-renowned ‘Geneva international conference centre’ (www.cicg.ch).

This exclusive venue, right in the centre of Geneva, which usually hosts large humanitarian conferences such as the world health organization and international summits, will open its doors to the ESSR in 2019. It’s favorable location close to the train station and the airport, and only a few minutes’ walk to the lake, promises to be the perfect venue to captivate and inspire our participants.

We are very excited to welcome participants from all over the world, as well as our sister societies from the USA, UK, South Africa and Japan to our city. Geneva, on the shores of the famous Lac Leman, at the foot of the Alps, has been a hub for healthcare innovation and state-of-the-art scientific progress for many years. With the help of the Geneva University Hospitals, and the Centre for Surgical Innovation (SFITS), we aim to celebrate this heritage by organizing a wide range of workshops and activities, including pre-congress workshops on Robotic Surgery and Surgical techniques.

This year’s conference will take place over two full-days, and will provide an interesting and rich program for various surgical specialties. Sessions on transplant and general surgery, plastic, hand-surgery, orthopaedics and urology will bring together specialists, clinical and basic researchers from all over the globe. Multiple keynote lectures, including an interesting talk by a master watchmaker from Patek Philippe who will walk us through the similarities between surgical training and the world-renowned Geneva watchmaking school.

The conference dinner and party on Thursday night will take place in the exclusive, members only, Golf club of Geneva, where you will enjoy fine dining with one of the most beautiful views Geneva has to offer. During the congress, various cash prizes and prestigious awards will be up for grabs, such as the Walter Brendel Award, B. Braun award and the prize for Best Clinical Paper of which winners will be invited to present their research at American and South African sister society meetings. This year, the prize winners will be announced during the closing ceremony, which will take place of Friday Evening.

After the conference, why not combine your trip with a skiing weekend in Chamonix (45 min), Verbier (1h30) or stay in Geneva to enjoy the world-renowned Geneva International motor show?

On behalf of the organizing committee and our honorary congress president, Prof. Jean-Yves Beaulieu, we are looking forward to welcoming you personally in Geneva for an interactive, high quality and friendly conference.

Dr. Konstantinos Vakalopoulos, MD PhD Congress president ESSR 2019
Dr. Charles-Henri Wassmer, MD Secretary ESSR 2019
Dr. Benoit Borner, MD Treasurer ESSR 2019

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the 54th congress of the European Society for Surgical Research will take place between the 13th and 15th of March.