During a course in Rhinologic and Skull Base Surgery organized in Milan by Dr. Paolo Castelnuovo & Pietro Palma in 2003, a small group of otolaryngologists and neurosurgeons coming from Europe and the U.S.A. met to discuss how to expand minimally invasive endoscopic techniques in order to optimize treatments and reduce morbidity for the patients. Involved in that meeting were Manuel Bernal-Sprekelsen, Paolo Cappabianca, Paolo Castelnuovo, Wolfgang Draf, Giorgio Frank, Davide Locatelli, Piero Nicolai, Ernesto Pasquini, Karl Snydermann, and Heinz Stammberger.
In that symposium, it was decided that the emerging interests in Rhinology and Skull Base diseases should be encouraged and continued within the framework of an organized working group. The aims of this group were to share knowledge on minimally invasive endoscopic approaches and to update all the colleagues involved in the network regarding any news regarding technological or surgical advances realized by each center. Subsequently, many positive interchanges between the doctors working in the different centers worldwide became frequent, converting in this way a fertile collaboration into a real friendship. It was in this milieu that the EndoWorld Project was formed. But we can also fix as the date of birth of the EndoWorld group, the spectacular meeting held in Pittsburgh in 2005, organized by the US “dream team” comprising Amin Kassam, Ric Carrau and Karl Snydermann. In this meeting Aldo Stamm and Eduardo Vellutini were also involved together with all the group of friends including Wolfgang Draf, Heinz Stammberger, Paolo Cappabianca, Paolo Castelnuovo, Davide Locatelli, Piero Nicolai, Ernesto Pasquini and Giorgio Frank. That outstanding Congress will go down in history as the “1st Word Congress for endoscopic surgery of the Brain, Skull Base & Spine”.
Two years later, in 2007, Paolo Cappabianca and Philippe Decq organized the Second EndoWorld Congress in Paris, establishing the meeting once again as an appointment not to be missed for skull base and spine surgeons all over the world. Given the contagious enthusiasm, the subsequent year Aldo Stamm organized another edition of the EndoWorld Congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 22-24, 2008. In that meeting, we decided the cities where the future three meetings would have take place. The year after, the Pittsburgh group organized the 4th edition of the Congress held on September 9-11, 2009. The group soon evolved to include other colleagues worldwide, becoming a real reference point for many surgeons The 5th edition of the EndoWorld Congress was a very impressive event organized in Wien, Austria, from March 29 to April 1, 2012, and wisely directed by Heinz Stammberger, Michael Mokry, Verena Gellner and Hannes Braun. More than one thousand otolaryngologists and neurosurgeons attended the Congress. During that meeting, Philippe Hermann from Paris joined our group, supporting us with his skills and competency. We cannot remember any course with such an intensive programme and varied live-dissection demonstrations. During that Congress, the leaders of the major workgroups involved in the EndoWorld Project, unanimously decided to confirm that the World Congress would be held every two year, rotating the venue as much as possible among the four continents. Moreover, the group decided to call the following meetings with the prefix “Endo” before the name of the host city. The upcoming meetings were scheduled for Chicago, USA, in 2016 and Barcelona, Spain, in 2018.
The 6th Word Congress for endoscopic surgery of the Brain, Skull Base & Spine was the last edition, organized in Milan by Paolo Castelnuovo, Davide Locatelli, Ernesto Pasquini and Giorgio Frank on April 14-17, 2014. It was a successful event involving an outstanding Faculty that included the top class rhinologists, neuroendoscopists and neurosurgeons of the world, with participants from 78 different nations. This was the meeting where we decided to schedule the 2020 EndoWorld Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, entrusting for organization to Narayanan Prepageran and his colleagues that have recently joined the group.