During Tuesday’s SSAT Joint Symposium with the International Society for Digestive Surgery, five experts will examine the appropriate use of minimally invasive surgery in managing cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. The two-hour morning symposium is titled Minimally Invasive Frontier in GI Surgery.

“As a profession, we’re trying to be more conservative, particularly when we are dealing with organs, like the rectum, where we try to achieve excellent oncologic results while preserving quality of life,” said Alessandro Fichera, MD, FACS, FASCRS, who will co-moderate the symposium. “We’re trying to offer patients more up-front therapy and less invasive surgery than we have in the past. This session will bring attendees up to date on the surgical side of the complex, multidisciplinary approach needed to manage gastrointestinal malignancies.”

Alessandro Fichera, MD, FACS, FASCRS

Educational sessions on minimally invasive surgery generally focus on technique, noted Dr. Fichera, professor and section chief of gastrointestinal surgery at the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle. This symposium, however, will focus on how to incorporate minimally invasive procedures into the spectrum of options that clinicians offer to patients with GI cancer.

The symposium will begin with a look at the appropriateness of minimally invasive esophagectomy. Another lecture will examine the value of laparoscopic versus endoscopic resection for early gastric cancer.

“Our speakers will review the literature and show the audience when and where it is appropriate to use a minimally invasive approach,” Dr. Fichera said. “Again, this isn’t about how to perform these procedures, but rather a look at these procedures in the global context of treating a patient with a GI malignancy, which involves many specialties.”
Additional talks will explore minimally invasive liver resection, Whipple procedures and rectal cancer surgery.

“There’s been a lot of discussion, especially in rectal cancer, about the appropriateness and the value of minimally invasive surgery.” Dr. Fichera said. “Our expert speakers will shed some light on that. The trials on rectal cancer have not been uniformly in favor of minimally invasive surgery. This controversy will be discussed in detail.”

Please refer to the DDW Mobile App or Program section in Tuesday’s DDW Daily News for the time and location of this and other DDW® events.