Surgical Week Subsite 2021

Surgical Week Subsite 2021

BSW 2021 Lookout

                                                                         Brussels, 16th December 2020.

Dear all,

2020 has been a horrendous year, no doubt about that.

Our life has been put on hold in a blink. The frailty of our whole society has been brutally exposed. Everything we took for granted has been questioned. One million and a half lives -and counting- have been lost while virologists, epidemiologists, politicians, real and would-be experts kept on quarrelling about the necessary measures.

Our social life has been reduced to nothing and more than ever, the threat of economical tragedies is lurking around the corner.

We thought we did rather well after having controlled the first wave but we were naïve;  we are nowhere. Maybe the worst is yet to come.

We hope you and your loved  ones are  safe.

We are very happy to announce that the first virtual version of the BSW was a success : 533 surgeons and trainees attended,  the free papers were followed by a multiple of the usual crowd, the plenary session gathered a number of world-class speakers and the technical platform functioned very well. So we are very satisfied. I want to thank all of you who presented, moderated, attended and supported this project.


We all miss the real thing, don’t we?

I do.  I miss the social contacts, I miss talking to the experts, to our mentors, our peers, to our sponsors, to our trainees. I miss the receptions, the real sessions and the social events in a beautiful venue. And I think most of us do, even some of us who might have looked down on congresses at large and the BSW in particular.  You often just don’t realize what you got until it’s gone.  Anyway, I am sure that most of us are thus craving a “real “ congress now.

It might have seemed strange to make big plans in these uncertain times, but nonetheless we were proud to announce a REAL Belgian Surgical Week in Antwerp, May  5th- 8th, 2021.

The venue would have been  be the one we booked last year: the beautiful Flanders Meeting & Convention Centre (FMCCA), aka the Elisabeth Centre, in the heart of Antwerp.

Things unfolding like they are now we decided however to postpone the BSW to next fall. The decline in infections came to a halt and there is not that much time left. No way to be sure of the sponsoring, attendance, international guests with only 5 months left to go. Of course, we could have gone for a virtual meeting again but we really rather fancy the real thing.

The meeting will probably be planned as a hybrid one, including as many real sessions as possible but also embracing the advantages offered by a number of virtual sessions. If COVID is still as prevalent then as it is now, we will easily be able to turn it into a completely virtual meeting. Since the virtual free paper sessions were a big success, we consider having them in  the same format anyway again for these  in next year’s BSW.

The BSW 2021 hopefully being the first REAL post-COVID congress, we have a hunch that it might attract much more attendees than it used to in the past. A nice prospect. Let’s cross fingers.

I hope to meet you - in the flesh - in Antwerp next autumn.

We will keep you posted as soon as possible to update on the date and venue, very probably in September 2021, 8-11th.


For the RBSS board,

Charles de Gheldere MD FEBS Gen Surg

President RBSS

Instructions for Authors

Belgian Surgical Week 2021

Antwerp, September (7-8-)9-10-11, 2021


28-03-2021: opening abstract submission

16-05-2021: definitive closure abstract submission

27-06-2021: abstract acceptance decision communicated to authors



Please submit your abstract via: > abstracts > instructions for authors.

Please follow the instructions given online, otherwise your abstract cannot be selected for review.

4 types of abstracts will be considered, so-called ‘tracks’:

  • Free papers (oral/poster)
  • Case reports (poster)
  • Video reports
  • BAST-Trainee-Trainer session (BAST session on September 9th or 10th 2021: both residents and teachers should be present)

A summary of the guidelines is as follows:

  • The abstract language is English
  • The text should be not more than 300 words (304 including the paragraph labels, see infra)
  • The use of 1 table or 1 graph is possible
  • The abstract must consist of four paragraphs labelled: OBJECTIVE, METHODS, RESULTS, CONCLUSIONS
  • The text and the title should be free from abbreviations, except those commonly used. It should concisely address the problem and the purpose of the study (OBJECTIVE); how the study was performed (METHODS); the main findings with numerical data and statistical significance (RESULTS); and the principal conclusions drawn from the study (CONCLUSIONS). In case of innovative study protocol or project, abstracts can be send reporting the Background, Objective and Methods of the study.
  • The title of the abstract should be printed in CAPITAL LETTERS; the name(s) of the author(s) should be preceded by the full first name (middle name Initial optional) - omit titles.
  • The number of authors is unlimited, but all need to be submitted through the author form
  • Only co-authors are allowed to present the paper
  • Since the abstracts will be judged anonymously, the text should not reveal the institutional affiliation (videos and/or abstracts with affiliation will be rejected).
  • Within each track, mark the category which best describes the subject of your abstract

Provided categories:

  • Abdominal
  • Bariatric/metabolic
  • Breast
  • Cardio-thoracic
  • Colorectal
  • Endocrine
  • General surgery
  • Hepato-bilio-pancreas
  • Hernia
  • Paediatrics
  • Upper GI
  • Sarcoma
  • Trauma
  • Vascular
  • Robotic

Abstracts will not be accepted by e-mail or fax. All abstracts should be submitted and posted according to the format and instructions described above no later than the deadline 16 May 2021 at midnight (23:59:59 CET).


Free papers are allocated 8 minutes presentation time followed by a discussion period of 2 minutes. Please note that only data projection will be available; videos need to be submitted through a separate track.


After review by the scientific committee, some free papers might be withheld for the poster sessions. Case report submissions will be considered for poster presentation only. During the conference, a ‘best poster session’ will be held where the best 15 posters are given the opportunity for a short oral defense presentation with a 3-slide-powerpoint (excluding the poster itself) during a 3 minute presentation


Free videos are allocated a maximum of 6 minutes with 2 minutes discussion. Video content should be made in the perspective of educating surgeons and members of surgical teams to improve the care of the surgical patient as well as safeguard the standards of care in an optimal practice environment. Narration is required and must be in English.

Review will be based on a classical written abstract scheme. Together with the written submission, you are required to upload a low quality video (max. 50MB) during the abstract submission process. You can lower the size of the rough file by compressing to eg. compression H.264, lower the resolution to 640x360px and/or lower the frame rate to 15fps (adds a slight stutter, but axes the size to 75%). Also changing bitrate can make you rough file smaller. During the conference, obviously the full quality video needs to be shown.

At the time of the conference, the full quality video files should be presented in advance to the session at the technicians desk to test the movie. Be sure to have a windows compatible file, i.e. with file extension avi, mpeg2 or QuickTime. Note that some avi-movies sometimes may cause incompatibility with the software depending on the encoding process, and that the subsequent software decoder may not be available at the time of the conference.

Video requirements summary:                                                                                                                                          

- running time of maximum 6 minutes

- English narration                                                                                                                         

- Video formats: MPEG2, AVI, QuickTime.


These abstracts will be scored by the BAST Board. This BAST session is scheduled on Thursday SEPTEMBER 9th 2021. The abstract should describe an interesting case that are to be presented by the residents. The trainer should also attend the session and can also present. This is an interactive session with multiple choice questions provided by the presenting resident and with the availability of an electronic voting system. The use of images and videos is encouraged, high quality images are required and a maximum of 60 seconds per video is allowed. Further instructions on presentation will follow once your abstract is accepted. After review some papers might be held for poster/oral poster sessions.


The program committee will meet 3 weeks after the closure of the abstract submission. The best abstracts are selected based on the average score by the reviewers and allocated for presentations as free paper (oral or oral poster or poster), case report (poster or oral poster), video or trainer-trainee session. Selected abstracts are considered to be incorporated in dedicated sessions presided by the responsible scientific society or section along with invited lectures based on their relevance with the topic of the session. Abstract acceptance and program scheduling will be communicated to the corresponding author’s e-mail address before JUNE 27 2021.

For your abstract to be included in the final scientific program, it is mandatory to register for the congress and to settle payment as soon as you have received the notification of abstract acceptance, but the latest before JULY 31Registration after this date does not guarantee the possibility to present your work.

Please check the boxes if eligible for awards during the abstract submission process.

Abstracts will be published in an online supplement of the Acta Chirurgica Belgica.



The Board of the Royal Belgian Society of Surgery (RBSS) has decided to hold this year again a best abstract competition for the two best clinical and the two best basic research papers selected by the Scientific Committee.

The criteria for application for the prizes are as follows:

  1. Applicants are not to be older than 35 years at the time of the Belgian Surgical Week.
  2. Applicants are to be member of the Royal Belgian Society of Surgery, latest by MAY 16th 2021, the date of closure of the abstract submissions.
  3. Free paper abstracts for presentation at the Belgian Surgical Week are to be submitted at the latest before midnight of MAY 16th 2021(absolute deadline).
  4. The finalists will be chosen among the four best scored abstracts and will be notified latest by JUNE 27 2021.
  5. The first author of the paper has to submit a full manuscript by August 15th 2021 which can be used by the jury to analyze the research more in depth before the actual Award session. Failure to submit the manuscript on time will automatically disqualify the applicant for the prize, but not for the presentation.
  6. The four selected papers are to be presented as oral communications in the ‘RBSS Young Investigator Challenge’ session scheduled (day and time still to be defined) during the 22nd Belgian Surgical Week.
  7. The papers will be scored by a jury composed of RBSS Board members and will be based on the scientific quality of both the presentation and of the submitted manuscript.
  8. The dedicated presentation time is foreseen for 10 minutes with 5 minutes discussion by a discussant invited by the Board.
  9. Publications in the Acta Chirurgica Belgica is strongly encouraged but publications in another journal is also supported by the RBSS.

            The winners of the prize will be announced at the Surgical Night (if organized in function of the sanitary ).

         If you wish to participate in the contest, don’t forget to tick the appropriate box when submitting your abstract via the conference website of the BSW:!


The best presentation during the BAST session will be chosen by the audience. Trainee and trainer must be present at time of presentation in order to be eligible to compete.


         If you wish to participate in the competitions, don’t forget to tick the appropriate box when submitting your abstract via the website of the Surgical Week:!


The format and subsequent organization of a live BSW 22d will be definitively determined in May 2021; if the live congress cannot be organized for sanitary reasons, we will organize an extend virtual congress and modalities will be communicated in time.




>>> Submit your abstract here. <<<

You will be redirected to Easychair, the abstract management system for BSW 2021.

IFA v20210321




Call for papers BSW 2021

 Dear Colleagues,

The 22nd Belgian Surgical Week will take place in the Antwerp Elisabeth Centre (, from Thursday 8th to Saturday 11th September 2021.

The scientific theme of the meeting, suggested by the President, and approved by the full Board is

"Connecting the dots"

We hope this theme will be an inspiration to the different affiliated societies and sections when preparing their programs.

COVID – 19 has taught the surgical community many lessons. We have learned what it is to be in “lock-down”, not to be able to see patients nor colleagues. It has taught us the value of tele- and video conferencing, which has showed us that many of the movements we did are not necessary. However, most of us have also realized the importance of sharing moments with colleagues to discuss surgical techniques or just drinking a beer, spending a moment of conviviality.   

The “BSW-light” was born out of necessity, but proved to be a success with over 500 colleagues attending and record numbers of colleagues, over 100, joining the virtual free paper sessions and the plenary session.

Due to insecurities surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the RBSS has not yet decided in which format (virtual or hybrid) the BSW 2021 will take place. Communication on this matter will follow in the coming months. This should, however, have no impact on abstract submission and the reviewing process. Therefore, we send out this call for abstracts.

Read more ...


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