This site is not optimized for Internet Explorer 8 (or older).

Please upgrade to a newer version of Internet Explorer or use an alternate browser such as Chrome or Firefox.

One Week to Go: Don’t Miss the Most-Anticipated Events During STS 2021

With The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Annual Meeting fast approaching, there’s still time to register for the 3-day program and add exciting new interactive experiences.

During the event, which will be held January 29–31, attendees can access the first all-digital, fully interactive STS annual meeting program, featuring offerings for every cardiothoracic surgery discipline and every career level. Select sessions will be delivered both live and on demand.

Immersive Video Experiences
Secure a seat for 360° views of the operating room as world-class surgeons demonstrate and discuss their techniques. The course series, “Immersive Video Experiences,” gives attendees a surgeon’s-eye view of surgical staff, equipment, and the hands-on procedures. Purchasing a ticket for these all-new offerings gives participants access to 16 sessions—11 “deep dives” highlighting various procedures via a combination of video segments and interactive group discussions and five other procedures experienced “wheels in” to “wheels out” with views of every angle of the operating room.

Shanda H. Blackmon, MD, MPH, will demonstrate video-assisted thoracic surgery lobectomy, while Robert J. Cerfolio, MD, MBA, will perform a robotic lobectomy, and Joseph E. Bavaria, MD, will guide attendees through valve-sparing aortic root reimplantation. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement and transcatheter mitral valve repair will be performed and discussed by Vinod H. Thourani, MD, and Pradeep K. Yadav, MD. In a patient with congenital heart disease, STS President Joseph A. Dearani, MD, will demonstrate twin root replacement with tricuspid repair.

Participants who haven’t yet registered for STS 2021 can add Immersive Video Experiences during registration at Those who are already registered and would like to add the Immersive Video Experiences course can contact

COVID-19 Findings and Challenges
Late-breaking discoveries and debates exploring the effects of—and lessons learned from—the COVID-19 pandemic are up for discussion during more than 20 presentations throughout STS 2021.

On-demand topics address:

  • Effects of COVID on cardiothoracic surgical training
  • Incidence of pneumothorax in patients with COVID-19
  • Impact of delaying surgery for indolent lung cancer or part-solid ground-glass nodules
  • Results of a pilot study of percutaneous temporary diaphragm pacing wires in cardiac surgery patients at risk for prolonged mechanical ventilation

Scheduled courses explore the newest findings in topics such as:

  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Extracorporeal life support
  • Physician wellness during the pandemic
  • Whether lung transplantation is justified in patients with COVID-19

During the Thomas B. Ferguson Lecture, three highly regarded cardiothoracic surgeons, each in a major city on a different continent, will describe how the virus impacted their respective epicenters and institutions and share their personal experiences on the front lines. A Sunday ethics debate presents the pros and cons of suspending lung cancer screening during the widespread quarantine.

“Ask the Experts” Sessions
Attendees have an exclusive opportunity to join peer-to-peer discussions with master surgeons during Sunday’s “Ask the Experts” sessions. Twenty sessions give participants the chance to ask questions, present challenges, and be inspired by some of the most skilled practitioners in the field.

Topics include health care disparities in cardiothoracic surgery, congenital heart surgery in the developing world, the pediatric airway, Medicare cuts and advocacy, and the latest on data analytics from the STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database.

Not-to-Miss Keynote Lectures
Friday afternoon’s C. Walton Lillehei Lecturer is Paul G. Yock, MD, who will present “The (Radically) Changing Landscape of Medical Technology Innovation.” Afterward, the “Shark Tank” plenary session pits innovator against innovator in a competition showcasing novel technology and techniques.

Friday evening, STS welcomes Vivien T. Thomas Lecturer Quinn Capers IV, MD, presenting “The Long Shadow of Racism and Racial Bias in the Lack of Diversity in Medicine and Surgery: A Prescription for the Future.” Dr. Dearani, in his Presidential Address on Saturday, will deliver “Resilience. Hope. Unity.,” celebrating the endurance and impact of cardiothoracic surgeons.

Critical Research and Education
As always, the STS program will feature the latest in scientific discoveries and the most essential educational offerings in a variety of topics and disciplines. With more than 475 high-quality abstracts to explore, attendees can witness emerging results from clinical trials and hone their skills with current procedures. On Saturday, moderators will present the top-scoring abstracts in the adult cardiac, congenital, general thoracic, and critical care/mechanical circulatory support disciplines.

Industry Symposia and Exhibit Hall
Vital to STS 2021’s theme, “Embracing Innovation,” are the developers and creators of cutting-edge equipment and technology that bring surgeons’ skills to light. Each day during the annual meeting, attendees can tune in to industry symposia that demonstrate how to employ new tools and techniques.

In addition to this dedicated time for companies to present educational sessions, STS 2021 will include a virtual exhibit hall. Attendees can "tour the hall," clicking on booths to experience many of the aspects that typically are available at in-person meetings.

The Exhibit Hall also will feature the virtual STS Career Fair on Friday afternoon. This provides attendees with opportunities to network with employers and start building connections.

Live Entertainment and Wellness Events
STS treats attendees to a well-deserved weekend of social activity. Each morning during the meeting begins with wellness events and opportunities to exercise and unwind with colleagues. Friday and Saturday evenings boast a stellar lineup of entertainment, from an improv show by the famed Chicago comedy troupe The Second City, inspiring discussion with the first woman to kayak the Amazon, and a family-friendly trivia night, to the delightful epicurean sessions “Bourbon with a Surgeon” and “Guac with a Doc.”

Registration is still open for STS 2021. Secure your place now at to join the most exciting event in cardiothoracic surgery.