Dear EHS members,
It is a great honour to have been appointed president of the European Hernia Society during the Joint meeting of the European Hernia Society and the Americas Hernia Society in Copenhagen in October 2021.
Despite challenging times to organise and plan activities of the society since March 2020, significant progress has been made towards reaching our goals as a society to advance the care of patients with abdominal wall hernias.
The congress in Copenhagen has seen the first class of Fellows of the European Board of Specialist – Abdominal Wall Surgery (FEBS-AWS) passing the UEMS examination. This is a major achievement and the first recognition of abdominal wall surgery as a dedicated part of general surgery in Europe, with specific needs for training, expertise and research. Indeed, repair of hernias has moved from something being just part of the job as a general surgeon towards a surgical discipline with increasing complexity and is now an interesting field of innovation, research and advancement of patient-oriented care. More and more surgeons are opting for a practice dedicated wholly or to a large extent, to abdominal wall repair.
The EHS will continue to provide guidance in training with the Hernia School and the Fundamentals of Abdominal Wall Surgery courses. Creating and updating existing guidelines is part of our ongoing mission. By creating The EHS registry for our member we give them a tool to perform research and collect data. We as surgeons should know the long term outcome of our hernia repairs.
In addition, data is needed to help construct better algorithms for best patient care, and in collaboration with our industry partners a dedicated post-marketing surveillance of mesh implants is needed. This is not just to keep up with the latest European Union regulations, but is a valid expectation of the general public and our patients. This includes initiatives to upgrade the quality of patient information, their involvement in decisions around the care of their hernias, and a real focus on quality of life outcomes.
Another important new EHS realisation is the creation of our own journal, JAWS, the Journal of Abdominal Wall Surgery. This journal will become the face of our society and our membership is invited to take part as authors, reviewers and readers.
The EHS must be an open society and attempt to be increasingly inclusive in its membership and leadership positions. We encourage all EHS members to be an active part of the society. And we hope that our Board, Advisory wings and task forces will reflect the diversity of our membership. But that relies on all of you as members of the EHS putting yourselves forward for these positions as they are advertised.
The European Hernia Society will remain the beacon for surgeons and patients looking to advance their knowledge and expertise in hernia repair. I relish and appreciate the privilege of heading up this society until Barcelona 2023.
President of the EHS
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