President’s corner by Giuseppe Cinalli
The 8th World Congress of Neuroendoscopy, held in Cape Town, South Africa, 1-3 November 2017, has been an extraordinary success in terms of scientific contents, worldwide participation and friendly and constructive atmosphere. The two years of presidency of Spyros Sgouros were very fruitful for confirming and reinforcing achievements and to plan the following important steps. Due to the move of next Congress President, Samer Elbabaa from Saint Louis to Florida, it was rapidly decided to move also the venue of the 9th World Congress that will therefore be held in Orlando, Florida on November 21-24, 2019. The attractive power of Orlando and the extraordinary energy of Samer Elbabaa are a guarantee of a very large participation from all over the world and also from north American colleagues and we can predict from now a great success. The 2021 World Congress has been confirmed in Singapore and the bidding process for the 2023 edition has been started. The appointment of Erasmus company as Professional Congress Organizer dedicated to IFNE, accomplished in 2018, will certainly help in keeping continuity, guarantee of quality in the organization of details and provide energy for improvements.
The most important point that was retained during the Executive Board meeting was the engagement to transform the IFNE from a free association of Neurosurgeons interested in Neuroendoscopy, into a real scientific Society. This process is not simple and implicates legalization of the Federation and of its bylaws. It was decided to choose the forum of Athens, Greece, in order to simplify the supportive work of the Erasmus Society to which will be assigned also the burden of secretarial responsibility. It was my first and main engagement during the Presidential Address in Capetown, to conclude this process during the two years of my Presidential mandate and pass to my successor the Torch of a legally recognized IFNE. This of course will imply registration fees and several legal obligations, but is by far the best way to guarantee continuity to this association that survived so far only on the base of the enthusiasm and personal efforts of the Founders.
But above all the formalization of the Federation and creation of a centralized secretariat would facilitate registration of new members, communication and diffusion of IFNE activities and generally spread of the neurosurgical knowledge and related events, with institution of enlarged mailing lists and more active participation of members to the life of IFNE.
Education remains the core of IFNE activity. The main official event remains the Workshop that is held in the third week of January in Naples, Italy. In 2019 it will be the ninth edition. It is in fact a joint workshop in association with the Grupo Latino Americano de Estudios in NeuroEndoscopia (GLEN), the Japanese Society of NeuroEndoscopy (JSNE, the first Society of Neuroendoscopy to be formally founded) and the Indian Society of NeuroEndoscopy (ISNE, an extraordinary active society). This format has obtained so far an amazing success, allowing beginners and experts to have a very concentrated and intensive overview of all neuroendoscopic techniques performed throughout the world with very reliable simulators distributed on 24 working station with continuous world-expert tutoring, with tutor/trainee ratio ranging from 1/2 to 1/1. But other traditional meeting, organized by IFNE faculty members, rapidly converged under the IFNE label that guarantees high quality of the material available for simulation and excellent Tutor/trainee ratio (Homburg, Greifswald, Saint Louis, Montevideo, Tyumen and many others).
During 2018 the interim activity will be real luxury: a joint meeting with the 6th Latino-American Congress of NeuroEndoscopy (GLEN) that will be held in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay on November 7-10, 2018, organized by Alvaro Cordoba and preceded by the usual hands-on workshop with members of IFNE as faculty. Interim meetings are important, they take place in the interval years between the biennial World Congress and serve to strengthen relationships with continental partners, bringing a significant IFNE delegation into a major continental meeting. This already happened in Japan, in Kenia and after the joint meeting with GLEN in Uruguay this year will happen again in conjunction with the ISNE meeting in 2020 in Hyderabad, India.
The scientific aspect of IFNE was the founding pillar of the Federation under the name of ISGNE (International Study Group of Neuro Endoscopy) for creation of prospective or randomised trials to validate the neuroendoscopic techniques in times when, in the early 2000’s, neurosurgeons using the endoscope where still seen with suspicion and sometimes even denigrated. After the extraordinary efforts of Shlomi Constantini, Spyros Sgouros and Abhaya Kulkarni in the creation and completion of IIHS study, the new project proposed by Ulrich Thomale to validate the technique of ventricular lavage in the management of post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus of prematures is slowly taking shape and an online platform for adhesion to the study and patients enrollment should be made available soon. This project will hopefully propose valid alternatives in a highly vulnerable group of hydrocephalic patients. Having trials of this level organized under the label of the IFNE is something we are very proud of.
The next years will certainly see further diffusion of Neuroendoscopy in the surgical armamentarium of Neurosurgeons. The era of pioneers is finished, the real advantages and the real limits of the technique are more and more clear and not only to few experts. Technology and R&D, although very slowly if compared to other instrumentations, are enlarging the opportunities and making many procedures easier and safer than in the past. During these years, IFNE will continue its mission of facilitating training and diffusion of the neuroendoscopic techniques, and proposing scientific projects to increase and validate knowledge in the specific field.
It has been fantastic so far to work with such a group of enthusiastic and dedicated colleagues and is now a great honour to be President of the Federation. I will do my best to reinforce it and allow stronger roots to spread all over.
IFNE President 2017-2019
Naples, 7th September 2018
Executive Board 2017-2019
2019 Congress Chairman
Jay Riva Cambrin
Carlos Gagliardi Via GLEN
Seow Wan Tew