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A thematic programme for gastroenterology

By Catherine Reilly - 04th Nov 2022


Irish Society of Gastroenterology President Prof Deirdre McNamara speaks to Catherine Reilly about the special nature of its forthcoming Winter Meeting.

This upcoming Irish Society of Gastroenterology (ISG) Winter Meeting will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its formation, and honour gastroenterologist Prof Diarmuid O’Donoghue with a lifetime achievement award. 

The hybrid meeting takes place at the Grand Hotel, Malahide, Co Dublin, on 17-18 November next. 

The anniversary celebration and the presentation of the lifetime achievement award to Prof O’Donoghue will make this year’s meeting particularly special, according to ISG President Prof Deirdre McNamara, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Tallaght University Hospital and Associate Professor of Gastroenterology at Trinity College Dublin. 

Prof McNamara said the two-day meeting has attracted international speakers who are world experts in their fields. 

A number of themes have framed the meeting agenda – including minimally and less invasive gastroenterology; and personalised and tailored care. 

“I think medicine is moving towards two things; one is personalised care and tailored care, and also a less invasive approach. So there is a big focus across all our subspecialties towards that and we have themed a couple of the sessions to cover [these areas],” Prof McNamara told the Medical Independent

Dr James Turvill, Consultant Gastroenterologist, York Teaching Hospital, UK, will present early data from the NHS on the roll-out of colon capsule endoscopy. 

“We have been doing colon capsules for years and years in Tallaght, but we are only starting to roll it out across the country, so [Dr Turvill’s presentation] will be interesting,” noted Prof McNamara. 

A “fantastic speaker from Denmark”, Prof Maja Thiele, Professor of Hepatology at Odense University Hospital, will discuss non-invasive assessment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcohol-related liver disease. 

This theme of less-invasive approaches will also be covered in presentations relating to endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), and endoscopic resections. 

EUS as a less invasive therapeutic drainage option will be presented by Prof Paul Fockens, Professor and Chair, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Amsterdam UMC, the Netherlands. 

‘When we need to do less: Stopping ERCP in predicted severe pancreatitis – the evidence-base’ will be presented by Prof Julia Mayerle, Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Munich University Hospital, Germany. 

Dr Phil Boger, Consultant Gastroenterologist, University Hospital Southampton, UK, will present on endoscopic full thickness resection for complex polyps. 

Presentations will also focus on the areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital medicine. 

‘AI in colonoscopy – polyp detection and characterisation: Is it safe to leave or resect and discard?’ is the title of a presentation by Prof Cesare Hassan, Associate Professor of Gastroenterology, Humanitas University, Milan, Italy. 

“It is in the early stages of being rolled out and incorporated into practice, but I do see a time where machine-learning and machine-assisted procedures are part of our everyday practice,” said Prof McNamara. 

‘AI and digital medicine: From personalised medicine and improved risk stratification’ will be presented by Prof Jeanin Van Hooft, Consultant and Chair, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Leiden University Medical Centre, the Netherlands. 

“Jeanin Van Hooft from Leiden would be at the fore of this. It is all about tailoring medicine and personalising medicine using the best of technology available to us,” said Prof McNamara. 

Another interesting presentation will focus on ‘The first active endoscope: Motorised spiral enteroscopy in gastrointestinal diagnostics and therapeutics’. It will be presented by Prof Torsten Beyna, Head of Department of Gastroenterology and Therapeutic Endoscopy, Evangelisches Hospital, Düsseldorf, Germany. 

The meeting will also have a symposium on functional disease, which gastroenterologists routinely see in their day-to-day practice. 

Irish Society of Gastroenterology, Winter Meeting, Grand Hotel, Malahide, 17-18 November 2022 

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