The 1st ESLAS meeting took place in  Athens, Greece, under the Chairmanship of Dr Paraskevas Kontoes, on February 5-7th 1998. There were over 350 attendees, 60% of whom were from overseas. Twenty-seven invited speakers gave 52 lectures, including 10 plenary lectures and 4 round table sessions. On the final day, live surgery from 4 operating theatres was broadcast to the auditorium in the Hygeia Hospital. A very good technical exhibition was held. The social programme was outstandingly Greek, and thoroughly enjoyed.