WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND IFSO 2021
Leading, inspiring and engaging all stakeholders to take action, the Congress is an unrivalled opportunity to network and exchange invaluable knowledge with all stakeholders in the obesity and metabolic disorders community – bariatric surgeons, integrated health professional, policy makers, researchers, clinicians and industry representatives.
Ahead of #IFSO2021 which takes place 19-23 October 2021, we had a chat with Dr. Natan Zundel, MD, Congress President, Clinical Professor of Surgery University at Buffalo, Bariatric and Metabolic Institute Jackson North Medical Center, Miami, who explained why the Conference is so important to the future of Bariatric Surgery Worldwide.
IFSO: Why is it important for international surgeons, multidisciplinary support staff, researchers, physicians, and healthcare professionals to participate in the 2021 Congress?
NZ: As the greatest worldwide bariatric meeting in the world, IFSO 2021 represents a unique opportunity for us to better understand the needs of people affected by obesity and metabolic disorders. It is vital for us to be a part of the collaborative dialogue at IFSO 2021 to better understand how we, as a community, can work to serve the needs of patients and their families as best we can, particularly given the added anxiety and pressure of the COVID-19 world we are now living in.
IFSO: What are the key topics you want to discuss and exchange on at IFSO 2021? Which of the conference themes are you most excited about?
NZ: The topics that I am most passionate about how the COVID-19 pandemic effects varied greatly and had different dynamics in every country, city, and hospital. As such, I am particularly interested how obesity increases the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and that it is one of the independent risk factors for the most severe cases of COVID-19. It strikes me as obvious that elective BMS is crucial because it is not only a weight loss operation but also resolves or improves comorbidities and appears to be an immune restorative procedure of obese patients in the medium term, offering them the same probability of contracting COVID-19 as the regular population. I’m eager to understand more about how obesity affect the immune system and how we can balance the risk of the disease against the advantages of bariatric and metabolic surgeries, especially in a post-COVID world and the additional challenges this brings.
IFSO: Why attend IFSO 2021? What will the program provide for professionals seeking to help people struggling with obesity and metabolic disorders?
NZ: Academic activities will include amazing and innovative Post Graduate courses that have a great emphasis on Integrated Health activities which will highlight a patient-focused, holistic approach to health care and wellness by treating the whole person.
In addition to the Post Graduate courses, Symposia will include so many interesting and new topics like Sleeve plus, Metabolic approaches, Endoscopic approaches,, Women Bariatric Surgeons, Medications, and other therapies for Metabolic problems, plus a video theater.
The scientific program (CME accredited) will be very comprehensive and focused on updating, investigating, and better understanding the most comprehensive array of topics in the field of the growing adiposity-based chronic diseases, through Post Graduate courses, symposia, expert talks, discussion panels, hands-on skill labs, video sessions, free papers, and poster presentations, emerging, endoscopic and new technology sessions. I would love to see us, as a community, make meaningful progress towards seeking the experience and knowledge of patients, caregivers and advocates at every stage of bringing treatments to the people who need them as quickly and most efficiently as possible.
To achieve this, we need to act now towards more collaborative models and frameworks that allow for the quick assessment and adoption of innovative treatments. These are extraordinary times in terms of scientific and technological innovation, and I hope that these advances will deliver on their potential to transform the lives of people living with obesity and metabolic disorders.
#IFSO2021 will be presented as a hybrid version of the meeting (if needed), to enable those who won’t be able to attend in person due to travel restrictions, to actively participate in the meeting remotely.