Belgian Laparoscopic Urology Group

Welcome to blug

About us

The Belgian Laparoscopic and Robotic Urology Group (BLUG) started out as a group of friends around the turn of the century. Laparoscopy was slowly beginning to take its place in urological practice and a few pioneering urologists, led by Alex Mottrie, got together in an informal way in order to share experiences, learn from each other and shorten the learning curves. Typically we would meet for diner at a restaurant in Aalst and discuss new ideas, technical modifications and complications during our meal and then start projecting short surgical video’s on the restaurant’s wall at dessert (which was often not beneficial for the appetite of the guests at other tables).

Pretty soon we started organizing workshops and symposia for a rapidly growing group of urologists starting laparoscopy. The first meeting was hosted by Christophe Assenmacher in Uccle in spring 2003 and hosted more than 100 Belgian urologists. We also embarked on multicenter studies on outcomes of new techniques, resulting in many presentations and publications, the first of which was on laparoscopic sacrocolpopexy by Peter Martens in 2004 and most recent on a predicting tool using the Be-RALP database in 2021. We have had our BLUG symposia and BLUG-lectures at both annual EAU and WCE congresses. BLUG has also been a liaison for the urological society with the Belgian government, where we were able to demonstrate the costs and benefits of several laparoscopic procedures resulting in a more correct reimbursement for the necessary instruments.

In more recent years, BLUG, BAU en the Belgian cancer registry got together and organized the Be-RALP database. Thanks to this database, we were able to prove to the Belgian government that our patients benefitted from the use of a surgical robot in radical prostatectomy and another extra reimbursement for the materials was agreed upon. Most recently, with the help of Intuitive, we filed a new dossier asking for reimbursement in robot-assisted partial nephrectomy.

Also from 2003 on, we partnered up with the ESRU and – in great part thanks to the dedication of Jean-Michel Dandoy – organized the first “Starter’s package”, a yearly course on laparoscopy for urological trainees. For this we worked together with IRCAD in Strasbourg an with ORSI in Melle more recently. Up to this day these multi-modular courses are organized yearly with great succes, focusing more on robotics in recent years. A yearly intensive advanced robotic course for senior residents was added to this basic training in 2017, teaming up with the Dutch end-urology society at first but continuing with Belgian residents since Covid.

Most recently BLUG joined other Belgian urological societies in the new BeGUS society, conceived by Steven Joniau and aimed at reinventing education in a contemporary jacket. The BLUG board has expanded and chanced in the course of these last 25 years but the unique combination of shared interests, long lasting friendship, an eagerness to learn from each other and also to teach younger generations has always remained the leitmotif of our society.

~ Peter Dekuyper, President


Anne-Françoise Spinoit

  • Staff member in the Department of Urology, Ghent university Hospital
  • ZAP Pediatric urology Ghent University Hospital

Christophe Frédéric assenmacher, M.D.

  • Urological surgeon in the « Cliniques de l’Europe» , Brussels.

Peter D.M. de Kuyper

  • Urologist AZ Maria Middelares hospital, Gent
  • Member of the Terminology & Standardization
    Committee of the International Urogynaecological Association (IUGA)


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