SSAT will conduct two concurrent Postgraduate/Maintenance of Certification Courses on Saturday, May 16, at DDW® 2015. Each four-hour course helps fulfill Part II Maintenance of Certification requirements and requires a separate registration and fee.

The first course, Minimally Invasive Colorectal Surgery, will focus on the surgical management of patients with inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer and diverticular disease. Experts will discuss the theoretical and technical aspects of evaluating and treating patients with these conditions. The format will be a mix of didactic lectures, videos and case presentations.

“We are going to present the state-of-the-art techniques and approaches in managing and treating benign and malignant colorectal diseases,” said Imran Hassan, MD, clinical associate professor of surgery at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, one of the course directors. “The 13 speakers are internationally and nationally renowned experts who will talk about their experience and practice in managing different colorectal pathologies and disease conditions through laparoscopic and robotic techniques.”

Divided into three sessions, the course will begin with a review of various approaches and techniques for treating colon pathologies, including minimally invasive strategies for managing complicated diverticulitis, the preoperative and intraoperative decision-making process for evaluating and treating inflammatory bowel disease, minimally invasive complete mesocolic excision for colon cancer, single-site robotic colectomy, and laparoscopic approaches to ileal pouch-anal anastomosis.

The second session will focus on minimally invasive strategies like laparoscopic and robotic techniques for rectal surgery. Topics will include the current evidence for minimally invasive surgery for rectal cancer, laparoscopic proctectomy, minimally invasive surgery in obese patients, and robotic surgery for locally advanced rectal cancer.

The third session will feature case presentations.

You_Nancy“Minimally invasive techniques have become the accepted standard of care in the management of different diseases of the colon and rectum for several reasons, including the patient-reported benefits. This course will highlight and emphasize these approaches,” said Y. Nancy You, MD, associate professor of surgery at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, the other course director.

The second MOC course, titled Minimally Invasive Approaches to Pancreatic and Hepatobiliary Surgeries, will highlight advances in pancreatic and liver surgery.

“Over the last five years or so, surgeons have taken the advances made in minimally invasive operations in other areas, such as gallbladder surgery and colorectal surgery, and developed the skill sets to apply them to pancreas and liver operations,” said Syed A. Ahmad, MD, professor of surgery at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, OH, one of the course directors. “Historically, these operations have been done through an open approach where patients get large incisions, and the operation can take many hours and be very tedious.”

Ahmad_SyedDr. Ahmad said the course will highlight the feasibility of minimally invasive approaches and demonstrate that they can be done safely without compromising oncologic outcomes in terms of cancer survival and recurrence rates.

“We will also highlight the fact that this approach can be cost-effective,” he added. “With regard to safety, the minimally invasive approach can offer better visualization because everything is magnified. Additionally, patients recover more quickly, so there is a shorter hospital stay and less pain. And theoretically, based upon smaller incisions and less pain, there may possibly be fewer complications.”

To register for SSAT’s Postgraduate/Maintenance of Certification Courses, visit or Attendees can register for a course without registering for the entire SSAT Annual Meeting at DDW.