According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity is one of today’s most blatantly visible – yet most neglected – public health problems. Nearly 30 percent of the world's population – 2.1 billion people – is overweight or obese. With data increasingly demonstrating that bariatric surgery is an effective way to treat severe obesity and related conditions like Type 2 Diabetes, the need to expand access to the life-changing surgery has never been greater.
To support this goal, Ethicon and the Johnson & Johnson Institute welcomed about 250 delegates to the sixth annual EMEA Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery Symposium. Held at the Johnson & Johnson Institute in Hamburg, Germany, the program featured a world-renowned faculty of 22 experts from 16 different countries, who shared the latest science and innovation advancing surgery in the fight against obesity and metabolic diseases. The program was chaired by Karl Miller, Professor of Surgery, Board Member of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders, Vice President of the Obesity Academy Austria, and a pioneer in laparoscopic bariatric surgery.
Rising Stars Present to the Experts
Why, when and how to re-operate is a complex decision-making process. When reoperations are required, they can be challenging due to the unpredictable nature and complexity of variables to which the surgeon may be confronted during surgery. As part of the program, young, talented surgeons presented cases covering revision versus conversion surgery and complication management to a panel of expert bariatric surgeons. The interactive session involved feedback and comments from the audience.
Innovating the Learning Experience
Delegates were given the opportunity to select to participate in three workshops out of a broad offering covering various topics. One of the workshops used a “flipped classroom” approach to enable more personalized and less didactic knowledge acquisition around the topic of primary and re-operative bariatric procedures. By exploring cases around conversion, corrective and reversal procedures the groups discussed and shared their experience on how to maximize perioperative safety, minimize long-term surgical complication side effects, and optimize long-term benefits of obesity treatment.
Building a Global Network of Female Bariatric Surgeons
To support the exchange of experiences, advice, and strategies among female bariatric surgeons, the Symposium held its first networking event. Hosted by Faculty members Assoc Prof. Lillian Kow and Dr. Robin Blackstone, the goal was to create a mentorship, education and networking community for female bariatric surgeons around the world.
“The Sewing Circle – Global Edition, is a group dedicated to enhancing the connection between female surgeons allowing them to share experiences, develop leadership skills, advance their adoption of innovation in surgery, develop business acumen and maximize their performance as surgeons, leaders, mothers, and partners while maintaining healthy lives,” said Dr. Robin Blackstone, Director, Institute for Obesity and Bariatric Surgery and Perioperative Medical Director at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix and Professor of Surgery at the University of Arizona School of Medicine in Phoenix. “This connection will help propel women into leadership roles in surgery in both their hospitals and their communities.”
Obesity represents one of the most important healthcare challenges in the world. Ethicon and the Johnson & Johnson Institute are committed to partnering with the medical community to deliver innovative education and training that improves patient access to these life-changing surgical solutions.