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SSAT hands-on courses focus on transanal endoscopic surgery and G-POEM

Alessandro Fichera, MD, FACS, FASCRS
Alessandro Fichera, MD, FACS, FASCRS

SSAT will conduct two concurrent hands-on sessions at DDW® on Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, that will feature relatively new endoscopic surgical techniques.

The first course, Small Bowel, Abdominal Wall, Hernia and Colorectal, will be offered in four two-hour sessions and will explore the basic techniques of transanal endoscopic surgery. Experts in the field will take a “how I do it” approach to their presentations, highlighting the use of transanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS) stations and providing a comprehensive review of operative techniques and available devices.

Course director Alessandro Fichera, MD, FACS, FASCRS, professor and chief of gastrointestinal surgery at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, said the course faculty will discuss the setup of transanal devices and equipment, and will demonstrate how to troubleshoot technical difficulties during transanal endoscopic surgery.

“This is basically a beginner course, an introduction to transanal endoscopic surgery guided by a very talented group of experts,” Dr. Fichera said. “We will cover the whole spectrum of options for transanal surgery, including removal of lesions and suturing through the anus, through the platform and basically completing the whole operation.”

Although he described it as a beginner course, Dr. Fichera said the faculty will provide detailed information and will be prepared to elaborate on more advanced aspects of the procedures and techniques.

“The intent is for attendees to practice, starting with simple cases, then seek additional training to become proficient and push that technology to the extreme, which nowadays is the transanal transabdominal TME (total mesorectal excision),” Dr. Fichera said.

The second hands-on course, Esophagus & Gastric, also will be offered over multiple sessions Saturday and Sunday. The presenters will discuss gastric peroral endoscopic pyloromyotomy (G-POEM) and showcase endoscopic tools and techniques for the bariatric endoscopist, including stents, dilation, clips and sutures.

Michael B. Ujiki, MD
Michael B. Ujiki, MD

“The first part of the course will cover G-POEM, a relatively new and revolutionary technique to take care of patients who have poor gastric emptying,” said course director Michael B. Ujiki, MD, the Louis W. Biegler Chair of Surgery, chief of gastrointestinal and general surgery and director of minimally invasive surgery at NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, IL.

“This technique is incision-less, allowing the pylorus to be opened in a safe manner, and has shown itself in studies to have a very high success rate,” he continued. “With this technique, we’re taking an operation that used to be a few nights stay in the hospital and now we’re making it an outpatient procedure with very low complication rates.”

The second part of the course will focus on endoscopic tools for treating the bariatric patient.

“The goal is to teach various techniques that can help surgeons or gastroenterologists take care of complications after bariatric surgery, such as clipping in cases of postoperative hemorrhage, dilation in cases of stenosis after surgery and suturing in cases of persistent ulcers or weight regain,” Dr. Ujiki said. “We have world-class faculty for both sections of the course, and our hope is that people will leave the course feeling confident that they can apply the techniques.”

These ticketed CME courses require a separate registration and fee. Learn more and register at http://meetings.ssat.com/.

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