Congratulations on the Success of the First Annual ObesityWeek

| December 31, 2013 | 0 Comments

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Readers of Bariatric Times,

I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving holiday surrounded by dear friends and family. I would like to start my editorial message by congratulating the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Program Committee, chaired by Dr. Ninh Nguyen and Georgeann Mallory, Executive Director of ASMBS. The scientific program and organization of ObesityWeek 2013 conference in Atlanta, Georgia was excellent. I would also like to extend my most sincere congratulations to Dr. Phil Schauer who had the vision to put together this unique meeting. I personally was reluctant to change our growing June conference and felt this might be a mistake and too risky, but Phil clearly showed me that I was wrong. This was the largest gathering ever (over 4,800 attendees) that united medical, surgical, and allied healthcare obesity specialists from around the globe.

I was not surprised to hear from Dr. Jaime Ponce the latest statistics positioning laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) as the most popular procedure in the United States. In our practice, LSG surpassed the gastric bypass in 2012, and I believe it will soon become the new gold standard in bariatric surgery. I take this opportunity to also thank Dr. Ponce, for his exit interview and I extend my most sincere appreciation for his dedication as past president of ASMBS. This was not only the longest term held by an ASMBS president in the history of our society, but it was also probably one of the most difficult. During his term, Dr. Ponce handled the new standards and establishment of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). He also handled the controversial decision made by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to not endorse center accreditation.

During the 30th Annual Meeting of the ASMBS, which was held during ObesityWeek 2013, Dr. Ponce passed the presidency reins to Dr. Nguyen. We wish him the best of luck and perseverance in his term as ASMBS president.

If I had to pick out some highlights of ObesityWeek 2013, the ASMBS Foundation’s L.E.A.D. (Leadership, Education, Advancement, and Dedication to the Field of Bariatric Surgery) luncheon would be among my favorite events. Under the leadership of Dr. David Provost, Joe Nadglowski, Connie Stillwell and her team, the ASMBS Foundation put together a terrific social program as well as culinary menu to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the first laparoscopic gastric bypass performed by Dr. Alan Wittgrove. During the L.E.A.D. luncheon, Dr. Wittgrove received the Outstanding Achievement Award. I also enjoyed the ObesityWeek AfterDark casino night event, which was held the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Atrium Ballroom, was the packed with attendees from both The Obesity Society (TOS) and ASMBS.

We thank and congratulate Dr. Provost for his leadership as ASMBS Foundation president. I thank Connie Stillwell who put together a wonderful summary of our Foundation events during ObesityWeek. I also take this opportunity to thank the ASMBS leadership for giving me the privilege to serve as the new Foundation president. Together with Dr. Marina Kurian and the outstanding newly appointed board, we are looking forward to continuing growth of our educational and research endowment. The Foundation’s new board along with some wonderful pictures from the L.E.A.D. luncheon are included in this month’s ASMBS Foundation News and Update.

Also in this month’s issue, we present a case series by Dr. Wasef Abu-Jaish and colleagues on intussuception, a rarely diagnosed but potential cause for chronic, intermittent, abdominal pain in bariatric patients after gastric bypass. I really enjoyed reading this case series. My personal preference when facing a patient with intussuception diagnosed by computed tomography (CT) scan is as follows: If the patient has no signs of small bowel compromise (pain, fever, leucocitosis, and/or tachycardia), admit, observe, and repeat CT scan in the morning. In most cases, intussuception will spontaneously resolve. Otherwise, if any of the above mentioned signs or symptoms are present, I would proceed with laparoscopy and reduction. The best treatment modality in these cases, however, remains unclear. Should we reduce the intussucepted bowel and do an enteropexy or should we reduce and ressect instead? Don’t miss this case series.

This month, we also present our readers with the 15th installment of our column “Checklists in Bariatric Surgery.” Checklist #15 lists the most important steps to follow when converting a failed or complicated band to a gastric sleeve or bypass. For many years, I criticized those surgeons who insisted gastric banding as “the only” treatment modality for severe obesity. Today, we are faced with at least 20 percent of those patients to be explanted and converted to another procedure. I am sure this checklist will become helpful to some of you.
I encourage you to look for Dr. Walter Pories’ collection of cartoons. I am sure you will enjoy them as much as I did.
We present an interview with Drs. Wee, Jones, Blackburn, and Apovian on patients’ decision-making process when selecting a bariatric procedure. I was surprised to find out in their multivariate analysis that fear was not a factor. Please be sure to read this interview and accompanying press release of the original study in our News and Trends section. We thank them for their insight.

Finally, on behalf of the whole team at Matrix Medical Communications, we take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy holiday season. Merry Christmas and a sweet, healthy, and successful 2014!


Raul J. Rosenthal, MD, FACS

Clinical Editor, Bariatric Times, Professor of Surgery and Chairman,  Department of General Surgery; Director, The Bariatric and Metabolic Institute; Director, General Surgery Residency Program and Fellowship in Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery,  Cleveland Clinic Florida, Weston, Florida

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Category: Editorial Message, Past Articles

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