1st International Course in the Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, Kajetany, March 26-27, 2008.

Modern development of medical techniques and equipment in the field of rhinosurgery enables more and more precise diagnostics and efficient treatment of diseases of sinuses. Particularly a period of rapid growth has been experienced recently in the area of the endoscopic sinus surgery, allowing precise removal of the pathology while minimizing the surgical intervention. Until recently endoscopic treatment has not been a popular method due to the high costs of the necessary equipment. Presently more and more centers in Poland introduce it to their clinical practice. Hence the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing initiated the idea of organizing the course which would allow the participants to become acquainted with the modern diagnostic and treatment methods for the chronic sinusitis.

The 1st International Course in the Endoscopic Sinus Surgery was organized in the International Center of Hearing and Speech of the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing in Kajetany on March 26-27, 2008. It was addressed to the ORL specialists working in hospitals and performing surgeries of sinuses a well as to physicians employed in the ORL clinics, to whom in the first place report patients who have problems with sinuses. The first group of physicians had an opportunity to participate in the hands-on training in the laboratory and to perform all presented procedures individually on specimens. The course had 62 participants from all over Poland.

The organizers of the course were: the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing in Warsaw, the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery University of Southern California, USA, the Committee on Clinical Pathophysiology of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Foundation of Medical Development „Homo – Homini”. An active part in organizing the course, particularly in providing the instrumentation for the practical part, took companies Medtronic i Ronest, suppliers of the medical equipment, particularly for the endoscopic surgery.

Thanks to the excellent lecturers, both Polish and international, we had an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of the endoscopic sinus surgery and modern developments in the surgical treatment. Prof. Waleria Hryniewicz presented the microbiological causes of the chronic sinusitis. Dr Elżbieta Szwejda introduced the participants to the difficult issues of the radiologic anatomy of paranasal sinuses. The invited international lecturers focused in the first place of the surgical aspects, such as different surgical approaches to sinuses, perioperative care and applications of the endoscopic approaches in different specialties, e.g. in neurosurgery.

All lecturers - Prof. Elgan Davis from the UK, Prof. Bożena Wróbel from the USA, Prof. Timoleon Terzis from Greece and Prof. Jan Vokurka from Czech Republic are not only the excellent teachers of theory, but also practicing surgeons, who perform presented procedures every day. Their lectures met with great interest of the participants. We could get a lot of practical knowledge on the pre- and postoperative management, selection of the optimal surgical approach and method of performing the procedure. Lecturers emphasized that endoscopic surgery requires not only good understanding of the anatomy, but also the ability to use the biomedical imaging in diagnostics and planning of the surgery. Form among multiple interesting lectures the most stimulating were these concerning the most difficult surgical procedures and possible complications, such as the management of the CSF leak and fistula, or endoscopic approach to the ethmoid, sphenoid and frontal sinus.

The course was divided in three parts: lectures, life surgery transmission and hands-on laboratory training. During the laboratory training it was possible to perform all presented procedures individually. This part of the course was unique and, in Poland, organized for the first time. The high educational level of the practical training was owing to companies Medtronic and Ronest, who provided the participants with the best available modern equipment. The participants of the practical training were impressed with the exceptionality of the course: they could perform all stages of the procedure of head specimens under the supervision of the lecturers, who supplied valuable practical insights.

At the end of the course the participants completed the questionnaire. In their responses they underlined the professionalism of the lecturers and benefits from participating in the course.