Saturday, 19 September 2020

Major Sponsor of the Royal Belgian Surgical Society :   johnson2

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BSW 2020 & COVID-19

Update 02.06.2020, 12h30

Dear all,

Three important messages :


1° As COVID-19 is gradually releasing it’s grip on our society, we all hope our life will slowly get back to normal  - if  ever - in the months to come.

The RBSS Board hopes your loved ones and yourself all managed to get through this crisis without personal damage.

You know we reluctantly have taken the  decision to cancel the BSW 2020 because nobody is able to predict which confinement measures will be in place next fall.

However, we don’t want 2020 to pass up without any kind of BSW.

This is why we plan a RBSS event next fall. Call it the "BSW 2020 “light”.

So please SAVE the DATE  : 

November 25-26th, 2020 free papers (virtual)

November 27th : one “plenary”  session, (virtual)

November 28th, 2020 : BGES-BAST-RBSS hands-on workshop,  a classic by now. 

The hands-on workshop will -COVID permitting- be physical. Location  and timing is still to be determined.

The rest of the sessions will be digital. Platform, format and exact timing  are also still to be determined.

The free paper sessions  and plenary session will probably be scheduled from 5-8 PM in order to interfere as little as possible with your professional activities and private life.

The virtual plenary session will  be organized in collaboration with the sections and affiliated societies and  will be dedicated to the impact of COVID on our surgical practice, bearing in mind that only a limited number of presentations will be possible. 

We will be glad to discuss the possibility of involving sections and affiliated societies with all their representatives on the next -virtual- extended RBSS  board meeting for which the representatives will soon get an invitation.

Please note that NO new abstract submission will be organized for the BSW light ; the free papers will be selected from the already submitted abstracts.


2° The RBSS general assembly will  be organized  soon in a digital format.  Many amendments of the RBSS’ working procedures will be proposed.  More info to follow soon.


3° If everything goes well and if the proposition is supported by the General Assembly  the BSW  2021 will be organized from 6-8/5/21in Antwerp

     Hopefully a “real” one. But, again, COVID 19 (20 or 21 by then) permitting.  SAVE THE DATE !



Kind regards,

For the RBSS kern board,

Charles de Gheldere MD F.E.B.S.Gen.Surg.


Update 26.04.2020, 11h00


Dear all,

All mathematical models, experts and projections for the near future tell us the same : the SARS-CoV-2  is here to stay, at least for months. 

In fact, many experts even expect a new peak in the infections next fall.

We don’t know of course in which way this will affect our society, but in even in a best-case scenario a number of measures will very likely continue to apply , at least  intermittently for months to come.

While November still seems far away, there is no way to guarantee that we will be able to gather then with hundreds of attendees, visit booths or have meaningful social interaction.

This is why we decided to postpone the "physical" BSW further to May 2021.

Of course, nothing is guaranteed for 2021 either. Maybe we will have to reinvent  the whole concept of our yearly congress, “out of the box”…..but this way we are at least buying ourselves some time and by next year we  will have a better idea about herd immunity and/or a possible vaccine.  


As you can imagine, this decision was taken with a heavy heart, considering the energy a lot of people put in this project.

Thanks to all of you who helped to organize the BSW. It looked promising.

However, not to lose everything, we are considering the possibility to organize a  BSW light” in November 2020:  a free paper session in order to give the opportunity to trainees to present their work, combined with the popular BGES-BAST-RBSS hands-on workshop for trainees, obviously with respect for the prevailing rules at that time, and probably with one session on COVID.

Format, date and venue are still to be discussed.

We’ll keep you posted.


Kind regards, stay healthy and take care,

For the RBSS board,


Charles de Gheldere

president RBSS



Update 12.03.2020, 11h55


Given the developments of the latest 24h in regards to COVID-19 crisis and in line with the recommendations of the government, the RBSS Board has decided to postpone the 2020 Belgian Surgical Week until the autumn of 2020.


The event will thus not take place from 7-9/5/20. The way the situation unfolds in Belgium as in the rest of the world give us no other choice.

The RBSS secretariat will inform all stakeholders of this decision.

More details in regards to the submitted scientific work will follow once we start planning again this event for our society. 

Should you have any important matters you intended to submit to the board, kindly send them by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

As already communicated earlier, continue to follow our website and social media accounts to stay updated.


10.03.2020, 14h14

The RBSS board is aware of the huge impact the COVID-19 crisis has on our whole society and is  aware of the fact that numerous events are cancelled in an attempt to limit the outbreak.

We currently do not know what the situation will be in May.

We hope that the number of infections will start to decline in a couple of weeks, as is happening in China right now.

So far, we have no reasons to cancel  nor postpone the BSW. 

We will follow the instructions of the government and abide to their advice, even if it would mean that we have to cancel or postpone the event in the coming days or weeks.

More info will follow. Please check regularly our website for more information concerning BSW and other RBSS events.



The 21st Belgian Surgical Week was to be held in the Elisabeth Conference Centre, Antwerp, from Thursday 7th until Saturday 9th May 2020, until the coronavirus forced us to change plans.

Check this site and your mailbox regularly for more information and updates!


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