By Dr Nalini Guda, WEO Newsletter Editor

Endo 2017, the first world Congress of the World Endoscopy Organization, was held in Hyderabad, India Feb 16-19 2017.  The event was co-hosted by the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology and had active participation from all member organizations of the WEO.  The congress attracted over 3500 delegates from over 85 countries.  Approximately 230 faculty members from all over the world contributed in making this event making a very successful event.  The host city Hyderabad, which is over 450 years old with its rich heritage, culture and cosmopolitan appeal was a perfect venue.  The planning committee along with the scientific committee did a great job organizing the meeting.  Over the course of 3 days 50 procedures were conducted by various faculty members with explanation and didactics and transmitted live from the new state of the art facility at the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (OMED training center).  Multiple simultaneous scientific sessions provided every delegate with a learning experience tailored to their particular interest.  Over 800 abstracts were presented as posters during the conference and the 10 best abstracts were presented at the podium.

The opening ceremony was chaired by WEO Immediate past president, Dr.Nageshwar Reddy (India), Jean- François Rey, President, (France) Mahesh Goenka, SGIE President (India), Horst Neuhaus, ENDO 2017 Steering Chair (Germany), Vipulroy Rathod, SGEI secretary, (India), Dong-Wan Seo, ENDO 2017 Treasurer (Republic of Korea), Fabian Emura, President Elect (Colombia) along with Drs. Faigel, Ginsberg, Carr-Locke, Bjorkman, Hawes and Waye (Past Presidents of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy).The opening ceremony was conducted in traditional Indian manner with the blowing of the conch along with the ringing of the bell.  Immediately following the short inaugural programme and an inspiring Presidential address by Dr. Reddy, there was live demonstration of interesting cases which were transmitted from the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology and projected on high definition LED screens with two-way communication.  These cases were selected for the learning experience.  All learning objectives were carefully outlined at the outset and the demonstrators and moderators ensured that the learning objectives were met.  The audience participation enlivened the live demonstrations which were very well attended.  The cases covered the whole spectrum of endoscopy including upper GI endoscopy, ablation of Barrett’s esophagus, endoscopic therapies for GERD, endoscopic mucosal resection, endoscopic submucosal dissection, bariatric endoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound including therapeutic EUS, biliary and pancreatic ERCP, colonoscopy etc.

Scientific Awards:  Amongst the 600 submissions, the 30 top abstracts were shortlisted by the scientific committee. The principal investigators were awarded with free registration to the meeting and free accommodation for the congress.  The Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology has provided travel stipends to investigators under 40 year of age along with free registration and accommodation to the congress.  In addition to this the Japanese Gastroenterological Endoscopic Society has provided grants to 20 young investigators.

Named OrationsApart from the didactics and lectures ENDO 2017 had the distinction of having several named orations delivered by several distinguished endoscopists and these lectures covered topics which affect everyday practice of endoscopy and patient outcomes.  Rudolf Schindler Honorary Lecture was delivered by Dr.David Carr-Locke (USA) and was titled: Schindler to Shinya, optics to endomicroscopy: 85 years of GI endoscopy. The Asia-Pacific  Society of Digestive Endoscopy (A-PSDE): Sadataka Tasaka Honorary Lecture was delivered by Seigo Kitano (Japan)  and was on  Collaboration of Surgeons and Gastroenterologists in the development of Endoscopic surgery and ESGE’s François Moutier Honorary Lecture was delivered by Jacques Deviere (Belgium) on Breaking the barriers of Endoscopy.  These lectures will be available on the WEO website shortly.

Nurses and Assistants program:  Team effort is critical for good outcomes in endoscopy.  The organizing committee has recognized the need for education of the endoscopy nurses and assistants and arranged for a special training program including hands on models for the nurses and technicians.  These programs were very well attended and the attendees benefited from this immensely.

Hands on training Sessions: Under the leadership and direction of Dong-Wan Seo and the cooperation of several endoscopic societies multiple hands on training sessions were conducted with models, simulators and didactics.  The attendees liked this format.  All sessions were packed to full capacity and the attendees benefitted not only from the expertise of the faculty but also the ability to use simulators and models to practice endoscopic techniques.  The Hands on training sessions included:

ASIAN NOVEL BIO-IMAGING & INTERVENTION GROUP.  This group has developed models for POEM and ESD and has conducted various workshops and at ENDO 2017 have organized workshops on Narrow Band Imaging, POEM and ESD.  This workshop at ENDO 2017 was conducted by Prof Haruhiro Inoue, Prof Kenshi Yao, Prof Noriya Uedo, Prof Prateek Sharma, Prof Yasushi Sano, Prof Rajvinder Singh and Prof Philip Chiu.

The Korean Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy organized a workshop on placement of stents. There were five stations with models for esophagus and/or pylorus stenting, colon stenting, bile duct plastic stenting, CBD metal stenting and hilar bile duct stenting (stent-in-stent and stent-by-stent).  This covered basics to advanced techniques in stenting.

DIGESTIVE ENDOSCOPY SOCIETY OF TAIWAN has organized a workshop with tutored hands-on training of therapeutic ERCP procedures, including biliary and pancreatic cannulation, stenting, stone extraction, etc. Participants used ERCP simulators using real endoscopes and accessories. At each station two experienced endoscopists  served as tutors to coach the trainee along with hands-on practice, feedback and discussion.

Asian EUS group has organized phantoms and models for both radial and linear endoscopic ultrasound along with models for training fine needle aspiration techniques.  This provided an opportunity for beginners to learn and refresh their skills while serving as a refresher for the more seasoned endoscopist.

Thai Association of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has provided hands on simulators for therapeutic EUS especially pseudocyst drainage.  With the focus of drainage of pancreatic fluid collections and necrosis shifting to EUS guided therapies this was an important area of training and was well attended.

Japanese Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy organized a workshop on endoscopic submucosal dissection where participants, depending on their interest, could interact with the experts and learn the procedure and master finer details while trying equipment and learn the techniques of using various new instruments.

Video Learning Stations:  Multiple video learning stations were available showcasing old and new techniques and interesting cases were available for viewing for the attendees.  This was popular and well received by the delegates.

Small group sessions:  Simultaneous small group sessions were organized for experts and beginners so that participants can interact, earn techniques and discuss issues.

Apart from these learning opportunities there were several industry sponsored events in the exhibit center and various sponsored lunch symposia.

The program ended with an overwhelmingly positive response from the delegates, faculty and the industry.

WEO intends to upload lectures and video demonstrations to our website.  Please visit the website for periodic updates.