The 13th World Congress of Endoscopic Surgery

| June 12, 2012

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, April 23–27, 2012

by Elias Chousleb, MD, and Natan Zundel, MD, FACS, FASMBS

Dr. Chousleb is on the Scientific and Organizing Committee of WCES. He is Assistant Professor of Surgery; Assistant Clerkship Director, Surgery at Florida International University, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine in Miami, Florida. Dr. Zundel was President of 13th WCES. He is Clinical Professor of Surgery; Vice-Chairman Department of Surgery at Florida International University, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine in Miami, Florida.

Bariatric Times. 2012;9(6):32–33

FUNDING: No funding was provided.

DISCLOSURES: The authors reports no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this article.

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April 2012 brought a great academic event to the field of surgery, The World Congress of Endoscopic Surgery. The meeting just held its 13th Edition in the beautiful port town of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico under the Presidency of Dr. Natan Zundel. Over 200 faculty experts in the fields of minimally invasive surgery, surgical endoscopy, robotic surgery, and bariatric surgery gathered to discuss the latest advances in the field.
The World Congress, sponsored by the International Federation of Societies of Endoscopic Surgery (IFSES), takes place bi-annually. IFSES encompasses minimally invasive societies from all over the globe as well as corporate partners in the industry. The societies that compose IFSES are as follows: the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES [United States]); the Canadian Association of General Surgeons (CAGS [Canada]); Federación Latinoamericana de Cirugía (FELAC), Asociación Latinoamericana de Cirujanos Endoscopistas (ALACE), European Association of Endoscopic Surgery (EAES [Europe]), Endoscopic & Laparoscopic Surgeons of Asia (ELSA [Asia]), Japan Society of Endoscopic Surgeons (JSES [Japan]); Chinese Society of Laparo-Endoscopic Surgery (CSLES [China]); and Indian Association of Gastrointestinal Endo Surgeons (IAGES [India]). This year, FELAC and ALACE hosted the meeting in conjunction with the Mexican Society of Endoscopic Surgery (AMCE). Invited societies included the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), the Mexican Society of General Surgery (AMCG), the Mexican College of Obesity Surgery and Metabolic Disease (CMOEM), and the Spanish Society of Surgery (SEC).

With an attendance of over 2,600 surgeons plus allied medical personnel, the 13th World Congress was one of the most attended to date in the history of the event. The scientific committee, under president Dr. Samuel Shuchleib, put forth a great effort to have complete coverage of all the most recent and exciting technological advances in the fields of minimally invasive surgery. Courses took place before and during the congress with more than 15,000 videos and abstracts presented. Without a doubt the management of obesity and metabolic disease played a very important role in this meeting. Topics in every area of the management of obesity were covered, including great emphasis in the comprehensive management of the difficult or complicated bariatric patient. Several panels discussed the use of new procedures and techniques, such as the greater curvature plication. Almost every panel of experts agreed that this procedure should not be offered to patients outside of controlled trials. Dr. Blackstone encouraged the attendants to review the position statements made by ASMBS regarding some of these controversial topics.
A series of useful step-by-step videos of techniques were among the highly attended sessions, showing that surgical pearls demonstrated by experts, are still invaluable as a part of surgical education.

The meeting had a very active participation from all the IFSES member societies with symposiums sponsored by EAES, ELSA, ALACE, FELAC, JSES, CSES, SAGES, CAGS who provided an expert panel from each of their societies and discussed the most recent advances in the fields of therapeutic and advanced endoscopy, minimally invasive techniques for cancer, robotic surgery, and single-site surgery, among other hot topics.
The ASMBS was also active as panels of experts hosted a variety of events that discussed in detail the current management of obesity and metabolic disease, including presentation and options of difficult cases. The CMOEM incorporated their yearly meeting to the World Congress.
During the presentations hosted by IRCAD, Dr. Jacques Marisceaux wowed participants with the latest technological advances applied in his teaching facility He discussed novel advances in intraoperative imaging techniques as well as integration of various modalities of imaging to allow for a better diagnosis. The Asian society’s hosted symposiums focused on the treatment of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract providing important insights in the management of gastric cancer—pathology very common in their population. The European Society symposium, as well as the symposium organized by the Spanish society of surgery touched on a wide variety of important day-to-day topics, including the use of laparoscopy in emergency situations and the role for natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) and single incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS) in the management of malignancies, such as colon cancer. Representatives from CAGS and SAGES discussed multiple topics from surgical education and the current progress of the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery Program (FLS) to controversies in diverse aspects of foregut surgery. FELAC and ALACE together with AMCE and the AMCG hosted symposiums and developed consensus tables that had a large attendance.

We continue to believe in the importance of these meetings where surgeons can get together and exchange important findings and ideas. We would also like to continue to promote the collaboration of all the surgical societies to prevent multiple meetings happening at the same time since this decreases attendance to all of them and may impact the quality of each separate event. Additionally, meetings taking place at the same time takes a toll on industry and limits their capabilities to participate in these meetings.

Overall, the 13th World Congress provided a great opportunity for endoscopic surgeons from diverse corners of the world to get together in an outstanding venue and discuss the latest advances of minimally invasive and endoscopic surgery. Exciting academic discussions took place in what was a much-attended meeting where both the experts and the attendees had the opportunity to exchange their views and share their experience.

Dr. Alberto Chousleb, president of IFSES for the last four years, gave an emotional speech while transferring the presidency to Dr. Segio Kitano from Japan. Congratulations to both of them.

We look forward to the next World Congress, which will be hosted by the EAES in Paris, France in 2014.

Category: Past Articles, Symposium Synopsis

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