Dear Colleagues, we would like to invite you to read the "Advances and Controversies in Adult Heart Valve Surgery" - a manual created on the editors' joint initiative, which originated in 2009 in Warsaw, Poland, during the 58th International Congress of the European Society for Cardiovascular and Endovascular Society. and which was enthusiastically accepted and supported by young residents, under the leadership of dr. Gianluigi Bisleri, back then a chairman of the ESCVS Junior Committee. To our great delight, almost all of the Authors of the individual chapter accepted our invitation and request to share their experience and contribute to the following book, despite our particularly strict conditions. Our goal was to ensure easy and wide availability of our manual, especially to young physicians and students interested in cardiology and cardiac surgery from developing countries from around the world. The distinguished, internationally recognized experts - Co-Authors of this book, waiving their fees, provided a wide range of topics and problematic aspects related to the progress in modern diagnostics and treatment of acquired heart diseases, issues which often provoke animated discussions and controversial opinions in our environment. The book presents sometimes extremely different points of view, diverse theories on a particular topic, which constitutes - in our opinion - an additional value of this manual, making it even more interesting. As Editors and Authors, we feel fulfilled and satisfied; we are convinced that the knowledge taken from this manual will help everyone to make the best clinical decisions for patients every day. We are aware of the fact that due to very dynamic development, some of the new, alternative methods of treatment of acquired heart diseases presented in this book, such as TAVI or PAVTI, maintain a character of pioneering achievement ñ they were performed in very difficult times, not only due to the lack of professional equipment, but also very little experience on the part of the persons carrying them out. The mission to integrate various environments and specialties in medicine and cardiovascular surgery presented so enthusiastically more than 60 years ago in Strasburg by prof. Rene Leriche, one of the founders and first president of the European Society for Cardiovascular and Endovascular Surgery, is also very much present in this manual. Continuing Prof. Lericheís mission, we believe that it will enable us to better understand Europe and the world in its diversity and multidimensionality. As the Editors, Authors and the Publisher of Advances and Controversies in Adult Heart Valve Surgery we hope that we will fulfill your high expectations. Wishing you all the best for your further professional development and in your future challenges in cardiovascular medicine.
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