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How will new technology affect the future of cardio-thoracic surgery?

Cardio-thoracic surgery is a steadily-evolving field with many faces to help shape it along the way. Today, we are pleased to welcome René Prêtre as one of the the new Editors-in-Chief of Multimedia Manual of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (MMCTS). We got to know Dr. Prêtre during an interview and discovered how he came to specialise in cardio-thoracic surgery, how he sees this field in the future, and what he has in store for the Manual.

What encouraged you to pursue a career in the field of cardio-thoracic surgery?

The moment I stepped into a cardiac operating room, I discovered a field that… I just liked too much not to pursue it!

And, today after many years, it is still this incredible combination of understanding problems, knowing our opportunities to intervene, establishing a sound strategy and realizing the final goal with our hands that appeals to me.

What do you think are the challenges being faced in this field today?

There are constant challenges within such a dynamic specialty. I would focus on two current ones: (1) the creation of constructive collaboration between all the cardiac specialists, and (2) maintaining a critical mind in face of technological advancement whilst continuing to implement the true processes but resist gadgets.

How do you see cardio-thoracic surgery developing in the future?

René Prêtre
René Prêtre, the new Editor-in-Chief of Multimedia Manual of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. Author’s own photograph.

Adult cardiac surgery will be integrated into a heart team, where it will occupy a critical position. The very big operations, those that we have been performing until now, will become less frequent as the majority will be split up between different specialists. They will also be handled more quickly, before the development of grotesque or secondary lesions, due to the increased availability of imaging procedures.

What are you most looking forward to about being the Editor-in-Chief of MMCTS?

With Roberto, I hope to be able to generate a renewed enthusiasm in our Manual from everyone – from junior to senior surgeons. I also hope to establish the Manual as a recognized reference platform for the technical aspects of procedures. This is why the videos/illustrations will be peer-reviewed and edited: to insure the publication of reliable, verified and informative methods.

How do you see the Manual developing in the future?

It will work closely with our associated journals. The Manual will focus on technique, basic steps, rules of thumb, tricks etc. The EJCTS and ICVTS will present the results of these techniques and their critical analysis. We will encourage authors to produce an original article to these two journals that would ideally complement their “technical” contribution in the Manual.

What do you think readers will take away from the Manual?

The Manual will be an educating platform with a large library of good quality material. Junior surgeons will take away the basic steps of the usual operations, both from our videos and illustrations. Senior surgeons will find state of the art technical materials for their regular and challenging operations.

Featured image credit: “Surgery, Coronary Artery bypass” by skeeze. CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay

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