2nd International Course in the Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, Kajetany, February 20–21, 2009.

On February 20–21, 2009, in the International Center of Hearing and Speech and Kajetany for the second time has been organized the International course in the Endoscopic Sinus Surgery. Over 80 persons, ready to plumb the depths of the surgery of paranasal sinuses, came to Kajetany from different centers in Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Croatia.

The unique value of the Kajetany courses is determined by the excellent, charismatic lecturers, who are capable of explaining the most difficult problems in a way that is clear, easy to understand and interesting at the same time.

Professor Paweł Stręk from the Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum presented a very interesting and important lecture on the surgical and radiological anatomy of paranasal sinuses. the indispensability of good understanding of the anatomy for any surgical undertaking was going to be a recurring subject of many lectures. An information – ‘do not do the surgery if you do not have a plan and do not know where you are at any given moment of the surgery’ – was the most important piece of information for the participants to remember and consider.

Professor Wojciech Golusiński from the Greater Poland Cancer Centre introduced the participants to the problems of medical and surgical treatment of the sino-nasal polyposis. It is, unfortunately, a frequent problem and due to its recurrency, very frustrating one for patients.

International lecturers were: Professor Bożena Wróbel from the University of Southern California (USA), Professor Elgan Davis from te Macclesfield District Hospital and Leighton Hospital (UK), Professor Timoleon Terzis from the Athens Rhinology Centre at Neo Athinaion Hospital (Greece) and Professor Jan Vokurka from the Charles University (Czech Republic). They presented lectures on topics ranging from relatively simple and well-know, such as surgery for the sinusitis and benign sinus tumors to the advanced surgical techniques such as the modifies Lothrop’s procedure and management of complications.

Very important for all participants were lectures about such complications of the endoscopic sinus surgery as the sphenopalatine artery bleeding, CSF leak, orbital hematoma. We all know that any surgical intervention involves a risk of postsurgical complications. They are a part of surgeon’s work and he must be able to recognize and treat them. It is particularly important in the endoscopic sinus surgery, because the proximity of important organs increases the danger that any delay in surgeon’s reaction may result in maiming or even killing the patient. As Prof. Terzis said, being prepared for surgery means being also ready to act immediately and without hesitation if anything goes wrong.

A very interesting lecture was presented by Prof. Davis on the surgical technique „Balloon Sinuplasty” in the treatment of chronic sinusitis. The media had aroused great interest in this method and patients look up information about it on the internet and later want to discuss it with their physician.

Particularly valuable for participants were two round table sessions, during which they could confront their own knowledge and experience with these of the instructors. A lively discussion ensued regarding the use of antibiotics in preparation for the endoscopic surgery as well as regarding the frequency of the follow-up visits after endoscopic surgery or examination.

Second day of the course was dedicated to the practical training and surgical demonstrations. Participants were divided in two groups. Smaller group of 20 persons could perform hands-on different surgical procedures on the fresh-frozen head specimens. All other participants observed the demonstrations of surgical techniques on the screen in the conference room.

As one of the participants noted in the course evaluation questionnaire, information obtained during the course was so clear, that It enabled taking up the instruments and commencing surgery. We are aware, however, that the participants of this course still have a long way in front of them before they will be able to confidently describe themselves as skilled endoscopic surgeons. The more important is the opportunity of participating in such course in Poland, without travelling abroad. In the questionnaire mentioned earlier all participants said that they would recommend the Kajetany course to other ENT specialists.