European Urology Today: June/July 2023

Japan Tour 2023 Academic Exchange Programme

Knowledge-sharing combined with the Japanese culture and friendship in a meticulously designed programme

to their own patients, instead of the anaesthesiologist exclusively.

temper our excitement. In 2023, the programme finally happened. Visit to Fukuoka (9 to 12 April) After a long flight from Venice, via Frankfurt and Tokyo, Alessandro arrived at the final destination, Fukuoka. He was picked up by Dr. Kobayashi Satoshi and brought to the hotel. A few hours later, Kees arrived from Amsterdam via Hong Kong. Dr. Jun Mutaguchi picked Kees up and was so kind to show Kees the maze of malls and underground shops of Fukuoka woven in a network of subways, trains, and accompanying stations. Some groceries were needed as Kees is gluten-intolerant and because unfortunately, the outstanding Japanese cuisine contains a lot of wheat. The next morning, we found our way to Kyushu University Hospital where we were kindly awaited by the hospital staff. First, we had a meeting with Prof. Masatoshi Eto, head of the department of urology, and current president of the JUA. They gave us a warm welcome, and we were able to see evidence of previous EAU-JUA exchanges. The rest of the morning was spent in the operating room (OR), where we observed a robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) with bilateral lymph node dissection. There were so many first impressions to absorb when visiting a foreign hospital. For example, in every OR theatre are multiple staff members per specialty, and there is someone for technical support as a standard. The worn clogs are open, and the sterile glove does not go beyond the 7.5 glove size. Urologists may give spinal anaesthesia

Dr. Kees Hendricksen Surgical Oncology Dept. Netherlands Cancer Institute Amsterdam (NL)

After lunch with Prof. Eto, we were taken for a tour around the hospital. In the out-patient clinic we saw several crowded waiting rooms, all full with urology patients. Behind the nurses’ desk, again a maze of narrow corridors packed with open treatment rooms, separated by walls and curtains. We saw one patient undergoing MRI-fusion targeted prostate biopsies. Near the out-patient clinic, an impressive large ward with numerous treatment rooms, suited for intervention radiology (done by urologist) with or without anaesthesia. The tour went on with a visit to the nursing ward, and the staff building with the urology offices and research facilities. At 17:00, there was a staff meeting which discussed the patients in the ward. The beamer projected text which was mostly in Japanese but still comprehensible when it came to key information such as PSA 4.7, Gleason 4+4=8, RARP and LND (lymph node dissection), and MRI-prostate imaging.

Teppanyaki-style dinner with Prof. Masato Fujisawa (Kobe University president and previous JUA president) and the staff members

Dr. Alessandro Morlacco

Urology Clinic/Dept. of Surgical Sciences University of Padova (IT)

After this enjoyable day, we expressed our gratitude to the entire staff, with handover of the memorial plate and personal gifts. We ended the day with group pictures. We experienced that Japanese urologists are very hard-working and committed to their work. They are also very proud of their country and they encourage their guests to savour their stay in Japan and immerse themselves in the culture. On our second day, we got a good impression of Fukuoka city. In the evening, we had a delicious dinner with the urology staff members of the Kyushu University Hospital. A one-liner of Prof. Eto, trying to comfort Kees regarding the gluten-free preparation of the dinner, which was unforgettable, “Trust them, the Japanese are very strict”. It is true. For both the European guests, that was also the first encounter with raw chicken sushi which was


From 9 to 22 April 2023, we participated in the academic exchange programme organised by the European Association of Urology (EAU) and the Japanese Urology Association (JUA). In this two-week programme, the EAU and the JUA provided grants to send Japanese faculty to Europe and European faculty to Japan for knowledge sharing. Our application was in 2019 and we were given the opportunity to go to Japan in April 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic took place and we had to

JUA President Prof. Eto shows the plaque, which is as a memento of our programme participation

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European Urology Today June/July 2023


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