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Founding Members

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IVAN SCHEWITZ

Dr. Ivan Schewitz`s illustrious career and affiliations with esteemed organizations such as the General Thoracic Club (USA), the European Thoracic and Cardiothoracic Society and the Chest Wall International Group have firmly established him as a global authority, leaving an indelible impact on the medical community worldwide. As a council member of the South African Thoracic Society and the Director of the VATS Workshops since 2014, Dr. Schewitz has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of cardiothoracic surgery in Africa. 

His visionary leadership and unwavering dedication to advancing surgical techniques have inspired practitioners and trainees alike, setting new benchmarks of excellence in the field.

Dr. Schewitz`s expertise shines in the domains of minimally invasive thoracic surgery and chest wall deformities, where he has showcased remarkable proficiency.With meticulous precision, Dr. Ivan Schewitz has curated a portfolio comprising over 40 captivating cardiothoracic presentations throughout his distinguished career. Notably, 10 of these presentations are devoted to the specialized realm of Pectus Deformity Correction, solidifying his position as a preeminent authority in this field. His relentless commitment to mastering the complexities of Pectus Excavatum and Carinatum Repair Surgery has garnered international acclaim, making him a highly sought-after resource for patients seeking transformative solutions.

Beyond his ground-breaking contributions to cardiothoracic surgery, Dr. Ivan Schewitz stands as a beacon of inspiration for fellow medical professionals. His unwavering dedication to improving patient outcomes and his relentless pursuit of excellence continues to ignite the medical community with passion for scaling new heights in their quests for medical advancement and compassionate patient care.

Dr. Schewitz`s legacy of innovation and commitment to the betterment of humanity in the field of cardiothoracic surgery is a testament to the profound impact a dedicated visionary can have on shaping the course of medical progress. His influence transcends borders, and his work serves as an enduring source of inspiration for future generations of medical pioneers.

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HUSSEIN ELKHAYT

Dr. Hussein Elkhayat, MD, FEBCTS is an Associate professor of Thoracic surgery at Cardiothoracic Surgery Department, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt. Hussein Elkhayat graduated as a medical doctor at Assiut University, Egypt. In 2009 he obtained his master degree in general surgery and finish his residency program in cardiothoracic surgery. He chooses his MD thesis about VATS in benign diseases and travel to Turkey to be trained on VATS for a short fellowship then return back to Egypt and start a VATS program in his center. 

 

After finishing his doctoral degree in cardiothoracic surgery in 2014, Hussein focused on minimal invasive thoracic surgery. He became a fellow of European board of cardiothoracic surgery (FEBCTS) in 2021. 

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Currently, he is Associate Professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the Faculty of Medicine at Assiut University. Hussein is international trainer for many advanced VATS training programs and the founder of Assiut VATS workshop, the largest hands-on training in Egypt. He is also an instructor for Advanced trauma life support (ATLS) and Care for critically ill surgical patient course (CCrISP). His areas of interest are minimally invasive thoracic surgery, VATS decortications, lung cancer and thymic surgery.

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NABIL KHAN

Dr. Nabil Khan, M.B,Ch.B, M.D, completed his medical education at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. After his graduation, he worked as a doctor and researcher at prestigious institutions such as the Aga Khan University Hospital, focusing on heart and cancer research. His commitment to healthcare extends beyond clinical practice; he collaborates with NGOs in Kenya and Madrid, Spain, as a medical advisor, enhancing healthcare access and quality. In 2018, Khan moved to Germany for specialized training in Thoracic Surgery. Currently, he is at the esteemed Thoraxklinik Heidelberg, University of Heidelberg, where he is also pursuing his doctoral studies. His interests are on minimally invasive and robotic thoracic surgery. Beyond his professional endeavors, Khan is a dedicated father and husband. His passion for making a global impact leads him to engage in humanitarian projects across Africa and other developing countries, addressing healthcare disparities and shaping the future of thoracic surgery. His vision is not only to advance in his field but also to make a lasting difference in global health.

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NORBERTO SANTANA

Dr. Norberto Santana is a European Board Certified Thoracic Surgeon providing exceptional and specialized care focused on patient safety and leadership roles in minimally invasive thoracic surgery, hyperthermic intrathoracic chemotherapy, lung transplant, hospital management and translational research. He possesses excellent clinical expertise in thoracic oncology, thoracic trauma, thoracic infectious diseases, emphysema, pneumothorax, chest wall deformities, hyperhidrosis, diaphragmatic paralysis, airway diseases, esophageal tumors, lung transplantation and 3D imaging for personalized surgery. Dr. Santana is recognized for his ability to implement and perform pre-operative assessments and postoperative care of thoracic surgery patients.

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Dr. Santana performs minimally invasive thoracic surgery through uniportal video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (UVATS), perimammary uniportal video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (PUVATS), a novel approach described by him, and robotic-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (RATS). Furthermore, he has developed multiple innovations in the surgical field, having set 2 international patents. Dr. Santana has published more than 60 research papers, directed 8 doctoral theses, and participated as a speaker in multiple international conferences.

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SOUHEIL BOUBIA 

Dr. Souheil Boubia is a distinguished figure in the field of General Thoracic Surgery, currently serving at the Department of Thoracic Surgery, University Hospital Ibn Rochd in Casablanca. His medical journey began at the Medical University of Casablanca, Morocco, where he earned his MD in the year 2000. He then completed his thoracic surgery residency at the same institution in 2006.

Boubia's expertise is further bolstered by his training in thoracic surgery at HEGP and  Hotel-Dieu Hospitals in Paris, France. His academic contributions include serving as an Assistant Professor and later a Professor in the Department of Thoracic Surgery at University Hospitals Ibn Rochd. 

He is a respected member of several scientific societies, including the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Staging (IASLC), the ESTS Thymic working group, and the ESTS Thoracic Infections of Surgical Interest working group. His role as Vice-president of the Moroccan Society of Thoracic Society and his membership in the Inter-Groupe d’Oncologie Thoracique in Casablanca highlight his commitment to advancing thoracic surgery.

Boubia's research and expertise are well-documented through his numerous publications, focusing on diverse topics, ranging from lung cancer to infectious diseases. His significant contributions to the field are evident in his active participation in conferences and workshops, both as a speaker and a faculty member for VATS Masterclasses across Africa.

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YASSER ELSAID

Dr. Yasser Elsaid is a distinguished medical professional currently serving as the Vice President of the Military Medical Academy in Cairo, Egypt. His expertise lies in thoracic surgery, a field in which he holds an M.D. degree in cardiothoracic surgery. With a deep-seated passion for medical education and innovation, Dr. Elsaid has dedicated over nine years to teaching as a consultant on the Egyptian Thoracic Surgery Board.

In addition to his role at the Military Medical Academy, Dr. Elsaid has made significant contributions as a main professor in the Anatomy Department at a prestigious Nursing School, where he taught for five years. His commitment to advancing medical knowledge extends to his role as a Consultant of Thoracic Surgery at the military army hospital.

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Dr. Elsaid is particularly interested in pioneering new educational methods within the medical field. His involvement in the training co-efficient program for army medical students spans various specialties and degrees. Through his work, Dr. Elsaid aims to lay foundational steps towards enhancing the quality and precision of the medical education system in Egypt, reflecting his dedication to both medical practice and academic excellence.

Honorary Member

DIEGO GONZALS RIVAS

Dr. Diego González Rivas has a degree in medicine and surgery from the University of Santiago de Compostela. He completed training in Thoracic Surgery and Lung Transplantation at the University Hospital of La Coruña. After completing a year working at the University Hospital of Santiago, he returned to the University Hospital of La Coruña where he worked as a thoracic surgeon and a member of the lung transplantation program (one of the most important nationwide, with about 50 cases per year) from 1999 to 2015. He was the creator of the Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Unit (UCTMI) who currently works at the Hospital Quirón y San Rafael de la Coruña. 

He is co-director of the UMICS in Portugal (Operating regularly in the Lusiadas group of Porto and Lisbon, HPA group of Algarve and HIA of Azores) and in Madrid (Nisa Vithas Pardo Aravaca Hospital) . He is a staff surgeon at the Ernst Von Bergmann hospital in Potsdam (Germany) and at Chest Disease Hospital in Kuwait, where he goes regularly 3-4 times a year to perform complex surgeries. He is also the creator and current director of the Uniportal videothoracoscopic surgery program at the Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, in China (the largest thoracic center in the world with more than 20,000 major lung resections performed per year). He is also an associate professor in 4 other hospitals in China (Mudanjiang, Kunming, Taizhou and Xian) as well as in other countries in Europe, Asia and South America.

Dr Gonzalez Rivas serves on several editorial boards, he is reviewer of many scientific journals and he was the coordinator of the annual meeting of Spanish society of thoracic surgery (SECT) from 2014-2017. He also collaborate with educational activities of European association of cardiothoracic surgery (EACTS), European Society of thoracic surgery (ESTS), International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS), Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and American Association of Thoracic Surgery (AATS). He is a board European certificated surgeon since 2010 (FECTS) and member of several scientific societies such as the AATS since 2016. He started to perform VATS lobectomies in 2007 after learning the technique at Cedars Sinai with Dr Rob Mckenna. After 100 major resections performed he visited Duke medical center in 2008 to learn the double port technique with Dr Thomas Damico.  Once experience was gained with this technique he evolved to single-port approach in 2009.

He was pioneer surgeon in the world performing uniportal VATS anatomic resections (first case in April 2009 starting with 2 incisions but using only the utility incision and first pure uniportal VATS reported in June 2010), non-intubated uniportal major pulmonary resections (first case in April 2014) and Unisurgeon Uniportal VATS technique (first case in 2016). He is also expert in uniportal subxiphoid resections and pioneer in complex uniportal VATS carinal and bronchovascular sleeve reconstructions. He contributed in the development of the subxiphoid uniportal robotic system (intuitive surgical, Da Vinci) performing the first lobectomies and thymectomies in cadaveric lab in 2018. Pioneer surgeon in the world performing pure robotic uniportal lobectomies using the Xi Da Vinci System (first cases in September 2021, at San Rafael Hospital, Coruña, Spain) He has published more than 100 papers describing these procedures and the results in the most important medical journals and textbooks of thoracic surgery. In addition he was the only surgeon receiving the Top doctors award during 5 consecutive years (2014-2018) and the youngest doctor nominated to the prestigious “Princess of Asturias award” in 2018 where he was finalist.

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