First MMISU meeting: Sharing MIS nursing skills

The first annual meeting of Mediterranean Minimally Invasive Surgery in Urology (MMISU 2019) was held in the beautiful city of Alexandria in Egypt from 18 to 20 April 2019. The meeting venue was in the convention centre of the iconic Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a prestigious and historical place in the heart of the magnificent Alexandria.

Informative conference
Prof. Evangelos Liatsikos, Honorary Chairman, alongside Prof. Ashraf Koraitem and Prof. Aly M. Abdel-Karim and a team of distinguished urologists organised this amazing and exceptionally informative conference. The meeting was organised in collaboration with the European Association of Urology (EAU), EAU Section of Uro-Technology (ESUT), EAU Section of Urolithiasis (EULIS), Society of Urologic Robotic Surgeons (SURS), Endourological Society (ES), International Continence Society (ICS) and International Urogynaecology Association (IUGA) and last but not the least, the European Association of Urology Nurses (EAUN).

The chairs of the nurses’ workshop (left to right): Harold Omana, Prof. Aly Abdel-Karim, Prof. Ashraf Koraitem

Up-to-date innovations
As minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has evolved over the years, the urological world has been at the core of the latest developments, can be argued to be ‘above par’ from its MIS counterpart in other surgical specialties. The most up-to-date innovations and cutting-edge technology in the minimally invasive surgery world and the field of urology were presented at this meeting. The faculty consisted of well-known experts and top speakers from all over the endourological world.

The scientific programme was thoroughly prepared and had the best combination of live and semi-live MIS surgeries and open panel discussions which caught everyone’s attention. Through live surgeries, these eminent pioneering surgeons showcased their expertise and demonstrated various practices and advanced technical skills (mostly the ‘tips and tricks’) in numerous procedures in the field of minimally invasive urological surgery. These sessions were very beneficial for registrars and newly appointed consultant urologists in order to enhance their skills before performing their first operation.

Nurses educational course for MIS in urology
Prof. Aly M. Abdel-Karim, the conference’s General  Secretary, has organised the educational programme for the nurses in collaboration with the EAUN to produce a suitable agenda for endourological nurses in Egypt. I was honoured to be invited to lead the programme and felt privileged to share my knowledge and expertise in minimally invasive surgery in the field of urology. The session was divided into two parts: laparoscopic and endoscopic sessions.

Prof. Evangelos Liatsikos during live surgery

Laparoscopic instruments
In the laparoscopic section, we started with a brief discussion about the history of laparoscopy followed by recent technological advancements in MIS in urology. We pursued the session with safety checks and the significance of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist before and after surgery. We also went through the standard and advanced lap stack system and instruments. Although the audio-visual presentation was great, it would have been better to have the actual lap system and instruments at hand for demonstration purposes.

Positioning during endoscopy
Before the tea break, we had a prolonged and interesting discussion about the importance of endourological nurses and our role in surgery success. We all agreed that everyone has a specific role and should be acknowledged as an integral part of the perioperative team.

In the endoscopic session, the speakers discussed further about the theatre set-up and the proper positioning during endoscopy. They have also highlighted the significance of the WHO Checklist and Time Out in theatres. This session was brilliantly presented by the local members of the Faculty of Nursing in Alexandria.

Educational section successful
Overall, the educational section for the nurses was indeed a success! Although it was only a half-day session, the nursing delegates were very enthusiastic about the presentation. They were very keen to learn and keep  themselves up to date in the latest trends in minimally invasive surgery in urology. They truly understand the importance of updating oneself through training courses for their professional development. They suggested that during the upcoming MMISU in 2020 they would like to participate in practical sessions such as hands-on training (HOT) courses on the Lap Stack System or the current endourological innovations on the market.

EAUN membership
At the end of the session, the delegates received detailed information about the EAUN, its advantages and benefits for its members. This has provided the nurses with a fantastic overview of how they can become member. The group showed great interest in applying and becoming international or associate EAUN member, in order to enjoy the advantages and benefits of a world-class organisation.

Travelling to Alexandria was already a highlight of my trip to Egypt but chairing the session and deliberating with these excellent delegates was just sensational! I would like to take this opportunity to send my gratitude to Prof. Aly M. Abdel-Karim and his team for their hospitality and for inviting me. They provided the platform to share my knowledge and expertise in the field of MIS. Alexandria, where history meets the Mediterranean Sea.


Harold Omana, RN, BSc, MSc, Surgical Care Practitioner in Robotics, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital, London (UK),