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From Mr Majid Shabbir
Chair of the BAUS Section of Andrology & Genito-Urethral Surgery

"... negotiating a way through the COVID backlog & an expansion of sessions for 2021 ..."

A warm virtual welcome to the Andrology & Genito-urethral Surgery section meeting at BAUS 2021.

The last year has been difficult on so many fronts. Prioritisation of services has seen andrology and GU reconstruction moved to the backburner, creating an increasingly significant backlog that will become the defining focus of our practice over the next few years. But there is no education like adversity and, with every obstacle, comes the opportunity to change the way we practice, teach and learn medicine to return stronger and more able to take on the challenges that lie ahead.

Our first session will delve into some of these challenges in more detail with talks on strategies to aid the recovery of andrology services post COVID, and a look at the impact of COVID on training in andrology. The final part of this first session, chaired by the Section Secretary Marc Lucky, will have an opportunity for interactive and live discussion on the challenges faced post COVID and what strategies different units have put in place to manage their backlogs and restrictions to practice. We would like to hear from anyone who has examples of how they have modified their practice in these unprecedented times. Please contact either Marc or me, in advance, if you would like to share your experience during this session. 

The second half of our session on Monday will cover common medical issues and conditions we encounter in andrology. Chaired by Pippa Sangster, the session will include guest speakers from different medical specialities covering what the andrologist needs to know about sickle cell disease and managing the impact of cardiovascular disease, psychological disorders and their treatment on sexual function. The session will round off with the ever-engaging Julian Shah discussing andrological issues in the spinal cord patient. Please submit any questions you have during the talks as the speakers will be available online to answer up to 10:00hr.

On Tuesday, we change tack and will cover emerging areas of technology in andrology, with a series of debates looking at controversial and novel areas of practice, ranging from shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction, and new techniques for endoscopic urethral stricture management, to the role of DNA fragmentation tests in andrology. Embracing this year’s theme of Global Urology, this session, chaired by Arie Parnham, will include a star-studded panel of expert international speakers and should generate some very lively discussion.      

The Tuesday session will round off with a section on Peyronie’s disease, chaired by VB Modgil. Peyronie’s has been a challenge to manage during these times. COVID has seen a greater reliance and use of mechanical devices, and we review the impact of their use on the need for surgery. In a continuation of a theme from last year’s BAUS, we round off this session with another of the world’s foremost authorities sharing their pearls of wisdom from a lifetime of specialist practice. This year Larry Levine will be discussing aspects of Peyronie’s disease he wished he knew about at the start of his career. 

On Wednesday we will have joint sessions with the FNUU section and BAGURS. The former collaboration will span two sessions focussing on post-prostatectomy care. One session will focus on post-prostatectomy incontinence, including lessons from the MASTER trial with Paul Abrams, and a debate on the use of mesh in men. The session will end with an MDT of difficult cases increasingly encountered with post-prostatectomy incontinence.  The second session will review post-prostatectomy sexual dysfunction from differing perspectives and should generate some lively debate. It will be an honour to have John Mulhall as part of the Faculty for this session, which will also include an update of functional outcomes from the National Prostate Cancer Audit and lessons from the TrueNTH study with Caroline Moore. 

The Wednesday session will conclude with another joint session with BAGURS, a new feature since BAUS 2020. This year, Ian Eardley will chair the session on urethral stricture challenges after prostate treatment, including talks on managing bladder neck stenosis post-RARP with Lee Zhao, and managing urethral strictures post-radiotherapy with Dmitriy Nikolavsky. The session will round off with an MDT debating the management of challenging scenarios with our international panel and Tony Mundy. 

This year we will have two andrology poster sessions, for the first time, in response to the growing number of quality abstract submissions; one will focus on genital cancers (Monday 13.30 - 14.00hr) and the other on benign andrology (Wednesday 09:30 - 10.00hr), with both highlighting some of the best and latest work selected from around the UK. In a change from last year, this year’s abstracts will have short, recorded presentations to view online during the sessions. 

We have also added two new teaching courses this year. The first is on Andrological Emergencies, covering everything you need to know for the FRCS Urol exam and everyday practice, and will be relevant for all practicing urologists. This will have a live Q&A session on Wednesday between 16.00 and 16.30hr. The second, on Penile Cancer, is part of a wider BAUS project showcasing UK expertise,and experience of defining the management of this rare malignancy.   

Although the meeting will be hosted virtually again this year, we hope you may be able to meet up regionally to watch the sessions with colleagues and engage socially, restrictions permitting, to recreate the true BAUS conference experience wherever you are!