The Workshops at AAGL '99

Article Conference CoverageFrom American Association of Gynecological LaparoscopistsLas Vegas, Nevada, November, 1999

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Dr. Ellis Downes: "We're here today at the AAGL in Las Vegas, and we're having a tremendous conference. There's an awful lot going on, a lot of great scientific sessions, some interesting exhibits, and to mull over what's happening, I'd like to introduce Dr. Peter O'Donovan who's a gynecologist from Bradford in England. Peter, what's struck you about this conference so far?"

Dr. Peter O'Donovan: "I've found that today, in particular, I was struck by the early morning sessions. There were some superb sessions, mainly on new product development in relation to office based procedures. However, yesterday I attended the pre-conference workshops, and there was some very nice presentations. One in particular was very well received by Franklin Loffer, when he overviewed all the currently available ablative procedures on the market. I must say, Frank gave a very elegant presentation. What struck me was the number of products now on the market that are increasingly used in the office setting for our U.S. viewers."

Dr. Ellis Downes: "How many products are on the market at the moment?"

Dr. Peter O'Donovan: "At the last count, there were approximately fifteen. Those products are going, I would say, almost by the day. However, at the leading edge of product development, one could say, those products with the largest number core group syndrome still consist of microwave and also the ThermaChoice System."

Dr. Ellis Downes: "I think that's very interesting. All gynecologists are really struggling to find out what is going to be the best sort of treatment. I think one of the other issues which is very difficult to grapple with, Peter, is with filming this interview in the exhibition booth - there are so many different sorts of endoscopy companies here, and what's happening in hysteroscopes and laparoscopes. What should we be getting excited about?"

Dr. Peter O'Donovan: "I've actually just completed a talk at one of the stands, and what struck me, Ellis, is that the scopes are going smaller, and the technology is fast moving in terms of fiberoptic technology. I've just visited a stand whereby the scope size, by that I mean the lens size, is 2-mm. And believe it or not, that consists of a fiberoptic system that's also autoclavable. This is a…"

Dr. Ellis Downes: "You mean a 2-mm system - it's barely conceivable."

Dr. Peter O'Donovan: "Not only that Ellis, not only are there advantages in lens technology but camera technology is moving very quickly as well. When I actually woke up - I'm slightly jet lagged - at three o'clock this morning I turned on the television in my room, and there I saw a number of companies that are exhibiting their products. There are a number of companies and one of them is called Storz who are producing a smart system within their three-chip camera system. It gets rid of what we call the "chicken wire" appearance, and the illustrations they showed were quite interesting. The image quality two years ago would have been questionable, the image quality is very hard to distinguish between fiberoptic now and raw lens."

Dr. Ellis Downes: "Right, that's terrific. We've touched on the new ways of treating menorrhagia, and we've touched on the changes in scope technology. What are the other key clinical messages that you've heard from the scientific presentations that you as a gynecologist are going to be taking away to change your everyday clinical practice?"

Dr. Peter O'Donovan: "I think having been on the Prize Committee for the Golden Hysteroscope Award, and what struck me from some of the presentations, particularly there was one from, I think, UCLA whereby some of the instrumentation now is not being used in a focused way for one purpose. They're used in a multi-usage way so an endoscope can now be used not only for a laparoscopy but it can double up as a hysteroscope or a cystoscope, which is a new concept. In many ways this may be a win-win situation. Obviously, meetings like this one need commercial sponsors but these instruments are likely to be more readily useable in the office setting. More importantly, in terms of sterilization, we're going from a soaking technique to actually autoclavebility for the fiberoptics."

Dr. Ellis Downes: "Right, I think that's tremendously exciting. I'm grateful to Peter for taking a few minutes out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts with us about the exciting developments here at AAGL. As I leave you, I look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks time when we have another exciting meeting coming up in London. It's an international meeting on recent advances in gynecological surgery, and we're looking forward to giving you some great up-to-the-minute, topical breaking stories of what's new in gynecological surgery. Thanks very much."

Dr. Peter O'Donovan: "Thank you, Ellis."


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