Expert Bariatric Surgeons from Around the Globe Attend IFSO Meeting

ifso 2011 conferenceThis week, experts in bariatric surgery from all over the world met at the XVI World Congress of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO).  Several Doctors of Weight Loss Experts were asked to participate and speak at the meeting. With one of the highest attendances in the IFSO’s history, more than 2500 health professionals from around the world participated.

At the meeting, weight loss procedures were discussed in different symposiums.  Doctors of Weight Loss expert, and ASMBS President-Elect Dr. Jaime Ponce, presented the critical steps in banding surgical technique during a gastric banding symposium. Inaugural expert, Dr. Adam Smith of Fort Worth, spoke on fluoroscopy band adjustments. Dr. Sunil Bhoyrul was the chair of a banding revisional course in which band over failed bypass was presented, and Dr. Ponce discussed video techniques on this approach. Additionally, Dr. Ponce presented sleeve revisions and gastric plication with literature review and evidence on this approach and banded plication.

We spoke with Dr. Bhoyrul about the presentations. He said “The meeting was characterized by a brutal honesty on the part of the presenters (who were not afraid to discuss their worst complications) and the audience (who were relentless in their shooting down of papers they disagreed with).  I liked the idea of showcasing surgeons who had less experience, and yet had remarkably innovative approaches.  One of the French authors presented mathematical modeling to look at factors that influence the outcome from gastric banding – typical example of looking at things from a very different perspective.  I felt that we in the US have something to learn from the international crowd,” he concluded.

Dr. Adam Smith had a similar reaction to the presentation style, commenting on the cordial, yet confrontational nature of presenters who all share the same goal of improving the treatment of morbid obesity, but have radically different methods to achieve that goal. He said: “The quality of information is refreshing and gives me hope that we are racing toward much better outcomes in the future.” He commented that it is an extremely valuable experience, as an American, to connect with and learn from the international community. He concluded that “There is a great camaraderie among the clinicians and people are sharing a tremendous amount of both expert research and practical experience. There is also a lot of really lively debate from many of the top global experts in obesity and bariatric surgery.”

Jacqueline Jacques, a naturopathic doctor specializing in nutrition for bariatric patients, told us that it was very educational to hear about the differing levels of nutritional care and intervention offered around the world. She said: “We had a very lively nutrition session this morning and it’s pretty clear that there is not a global consensus about nutritional after care. Interestingly, the clinicians present all seem to agree that they consistently see poor nutrition prior to surgery, and there is a lot of interest in how and to what degree this should be addressed. There have also been a lot of excellent lectures about revisional procedures, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric plication, and metabolic surgery,” she concluded.

The IFSO meeting was held August 31–September 3, 2011 at the CCH-Congress Center Hamburg, in Germany.



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