Countdown to Obesity Week 2013

| October 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

Interview #9:
Kevin M. Reavis, MD, FACS

Bariatric Times. 2013;10(10):12.

Starting in 2013, the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and The Obesity Society (TOS) will co-locate their respective annual meetings under one roof. Obesity Week™ 2013 marks the beginning of an annual collaborative event addressing obesity—a chronic and multifaceted metabolic disease. Leading up to Obesity Week 2013, Bariatric Times will feature interviews with members of the leadership team involved in organizing this historic event. This month, we feature an interview with Dr. Kevin Reavis, Member-at-Large on the Obesity Week Board of Directors and foregut and bariatric surgeon with The Oregon Clinic/Legacy Weight and Diabetes Institute in Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Reavis, thank you for taking the time to talk with us about Obesity Week. What is your background of involvement with the ASMBS Annual Meeting? What roles have you filled in the past and what is your role in this year’s meeting?
I have been a member of the ASMBS since the completion of my fellowship in 2007. Since 2009, I have served as either Director or Co-Director of the Bariatric Skills Acquisition Center (BSAC) for the ASMBS annual meeting. I have also served as Director of the annual meeting’s post-graduate labs. I am on the following for ASMBS: Communications Committee, Program Committee, Compendium Review Task Force, Advertising Committee, and Nominations Committee. Presently, I am a Member-at-large on the Obesity Week Board of Managers.

What is the importance of offering labs and skills acquisitioning centers at the ASMBS meeting? What are the pro, cons, features, and benefits of lab simulation?
It is important to offer labs and skills acquisition centers because they provide an educational forum for bariatric surgeons worldwide to learn about existing and emerging technologies from experts in order to advance skills on a unified front.

How have you seen labs and the BSAC change over the years? What has been the most drastic change within the past five years? For example, have you seen more interest in the sleeve gastrectomy procedure?
The increase in interest for laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) has been tremendous. I have found that surgeons are interested in the nuances of the procedure as well as complications and postoperative care of patients after LSG. We have seen single-incision laparoscopic surgery (SILS), which was very popular in 2008, and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) plateau over the years.

We have seen a larger interest in bypass and sleeve. In planning the lab courses, we have seen an increase in flexible endoscopy treatment of primary obesity as well as revisional surgery. The interest in this treatment and suturing devices has increased so much that this year we are offering two labs dedicated to these skill sets. One lab will cover general topics in flexible endoscopy, including stents, clipping, injections, and cautery. The advanced lab will cover technique using the OverStitch (Apollo Endosurgery, Inc., Austin, Texas), which has a challenging learning curve. Advanced flexible endoscopy is basically on our doorstep. Surgeons recognize it as a necessary skill set to have as surgical treatments become less invasive than ever before. A lot of advancements in surgery are pushing the endoscopic realm.
People always want to know the best way to deal with a problem and recognize that these techniques evolve continuously.

Did the fact that the ASMBS and TOS are sharing an exhibit hall at Obesity Week influence planning of the labs and BSAC? Can any attendee of the conference try the procedure simulators?
No, the joint exhibit hall and courses did not influence planning of the labs and/or skills acquisition center planning; however, coming together in almost all aspects of the meeting will be positive. You have two individual societies each bringing their unique educational offerings, one of which will be our bariatric skills acquisition center. If TOS attendees would like to join us and better understand the surgical procedures, we will welcome them with open arms. Where else would they get such a fun opportunity to learn to suture laparoscopically? That is the blessing of the labs and BSAC—bettering knowledge and offering experience. Any attendee of Obesity Week can try the simulators at the BSAC and we encourage them to do so. The BSAC will be a star attraction with suturing simulators, video loops, laparoscopic trainers, and games. We have now dedicated about half of the BSAC to suturing as usually 100 people per day come through with a strong interest in the technique.

Do surgeons typically get to practice outside of the BSAC and labs offered at meetings?
Most surgeons do not have access to practice in the capacity we offer through BSAC and labs during conferences. During conferences, industry provides trainers, which is a rare circumstance at hospitals and other centers. For the most part, this is an opportunity reserved for meetings or large teaching facilities. BSAC and labs offer a great opportunity for surgeons to practice. We plan to offer prizes to the most skilled and enthusiastic participants at the BSAC.

What is the estimated enrollment for the bariatric surgery labs during Obesity Week?
We have 4 to 5 labs and enrollment is estimated at 100 to 150.

Dr. Reavis, thank you again for speaking with us. We look forward to seeing you at Obesity Week 2013.
To learn more about Obesity Week 2013, please visit

Obesity Week Upcoming Dates and Venues

Obesity Week 2013
Atlanta, Georgia
November 11–16

Obesity Week 2014
Boston, Massachusetts
November 2–7

Obesity Week 2015
Los Angeles, California
November 1–7.

Category: Interviews, Past Articles

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