ASCRS Web Site
In This Issue
Wide-ranging Vancouver Annual Meeting program offers something for every colorectal surgeon
Special lectures often provide Annual Meeting’s
most memorable moments
ICCP, ASCRS forum showcases volunteering, outreach in countries where needs exist
Society joins American Cancer Society as sponsor of Final Four Coaches Huddle

In Memoriam:
W. Douglas Wong

MSKCC seeks Colorectal Service Chief to succeed
Dr. Douglas Wong
Smart phone users can now connect with ASCRS through QR codes
In This Issue
Annual Meeting Information
ASCRS Website
ASCRS Research Foundation
ASCRS Facebook Page
Wide-ranging Vancouver Annual Meeting program offers something for every colorectal surgeon
Dr. David Beck
Dr. Charles Whitlow

The ASCRS Annual Meeting Program Committee’s goal was to provide something for everyone in every type of colon and rectal surgery practice—individual or small group community practice, multispecialty clinic, or academic, according to Program Chair Dr. Charles Whitlow, New Orleans, LA.

“If you are interested in how to improve yourself in colon and rectal surgery, no matter what kind of practice you have, you are going to find things to do in Vancouver to help you with that goal,” Dr. Whitlow says. The wide-ranging program combines hands-on training with didactic lecture discussions, posters, podium presentations, and three video sessions.

The program’s purpose is lofty: to improve the quality of care given patients with diseases of the colon and rectum. It will be achieved in a “great venue” that is sure to delight attendees, Dr. Whitlow says. The ASCRS 2011 Annual Meeting will be held in Vancouver, BC, Canada, May 14 – 18, at the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre.

“Vancouver is a beautiful city. The downtown area is phenomenal. And it’s a city many members may not have had an opportunity to visit. It has superb hotels and great restaurants,” Dr. Whitlow promises. For a brief video presentation on Vancouver attractions, please click here.

The scientific program includes an exciting multidisciplinary session on advanced rectal cancer, a comprehensive review of surgery for ulcerative colitis, and a timely symposium on how the world’s leading experts approach the “bane” of the colorectal surgeon—anastomotic leaks.

The Annual Meeting’s educational opportunities go beyond the scientific to critical practice management issues, such as navigating the shift to electronic patient recordkeeping and better understanding how healthcare reform is changing medicine. It features a unique Canadian perspective on the host country’s healthcare system.

Another session reports on what the latest randomized clinical trials tell us about quality measurement. Colon and rectal surgery basics also have their day in the ever-popular Core Subject Update, directed by Dr. Steve Hunt , St. Louis, MO, a separate update on latest treatments for benign anorectal diseases, and a primer on laparoscopic nuts and bolts.

Dr. Whitlow’s tour of program highlights begins with Monday’s “Multidisciplinary Assessment and Treatment of Colorectal Cancer.” Dr. Robert Madoff, Minneapolis, MN, will direct this session, focusing on the complex decisions that must be made in determining the optimal treatment for the patient with advanced rectal cancer. “I’m really excited about this session,” Dr. Whitlow says. Dr. Philip Quirke Leeks, UK, will make three separate presentations, covering circumferential resection margin and plane of surgery in rectal cancer, macroscopic assessment in colon cancer, and APR

Vancouver Aquarium Entrance
Vancouver Aquarium Entrance
(Tourism Vancouver / Vancouver Aquarium)
Cycling in Coal Harbour
Cycling in Coal Harbour
(Tourism Vancouver)

Other topics and speakers include:

  • Creating Centers of Excellence for Rectal Cancer in North America: Why and How? Dr. David Rothenberger, Minneapolis, MN
  • Complete Mesocolic Excision Technique and Results, Dr. Werner Hohenberger, Erlangen, Germany
  • MRI in Rectal Cancer, Dr. Gina Brown, Surrey, UK
  • TME Technique, Professor R.J. Heald, MD, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK
  • APR Technique: Prone Extra-sphincteric Resection, Dr. Torbjorn Holm, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Radiation for Rectal Cancer: When, How and how Much? Dr. Christopher Willet, Durham, NC
  • Chemo- and Biologic Therapy for Rectal Cancer: When, How and How Much? Dr. Charles Blanke, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Also among Dr. Whitlow’s high caliber highlights is the Sunday program, “Surgery for Ulcerative Colitis,” directed by Drs. David Dietz, Cleveland, OH, and assistant director John Byrn, Iowa City, IA. It reviews the many complex decisions and operative techniques in the intraoperative and postoperative care of patients with ulcerative colitis undergoing restorative proctocolectomy. Speakers include Drs. Eric Dozois, Rochester, MN, Feza Remzi and Pokala Ravi Kiran, both of Cleveland, OH.

Other topics and speakers for the ulcerative colitis session include:

  • Hand-sewn vs. Stapled and Pouch Configuration, Dr. Paris Tekkis, London, UK
  • Laparoscopic vs. Open Restorative Proctocolectomy , Dr. Bashar Safar, St. Louis, MO
  • Pouchitis—Prevention and Treatment, Dr. Bo Shen, Cleveland, OH
  • Pouch-vaginal Fistula/Pouch Sinus—Immediate and Delayed, Dr. Peter Sagar, Leeds, UK

The worry Dr. Whitlow calls “the bane of colorectal surgeons that keeps us up at night, anastomic leaks,” is the topic for another top session, “Anastomotic Leaks—Prevention and Treatment,” directed by Dr. Thomas Read, Burlington, MA, and assistant director Dr. H. Tae Kim, Salt Lake City, UT. The program considers “patient factors that co-exist with disease issues,” Dr. Whitlow explains.

Topics and speakers on anastomotic leaks are:

  • How Do Anastomoses Heal? Dr. Robert Madoff
  • Who is at Highest Risk for Anastomotic Leak? Who Needs Temporary Fecal Diversion? Dr. Matthew Mutch, St. Louis, MO
  • How Can I Prevent a Leak? Traditional and Novel Methods, Dr. Rocco Ricciardi, Burlington, MA
  • I Think the Anastomosis May Have Leaked. What Do I Do Now? Dr. Sang Lee, New York, NY

One of the hot issues in clinical practice is moving to electronic medical records to improve efficiency. To prepare you for the future, Drs. Brooke Gurland, Cleveland, OH, and Genevieve Melton-Meaux, Minneapolis, MN, are directing a Sunday program, “Leveraging Health Information Technology for Colorectal Surgery.” It will provide a blueprint for action under the federal directives that will mandate a shift to electronic recordkeeping.

Topics and speakers on health information technology (HIT) include:

  • Understanding Meaningful Use to Maximize Financial Incentives, Dr. Paul Tang, Palo Alto, CA
  • Practical Approaches to EMR Selection and Implementation, Dr. Sharon Gregorcyk, Dallas, TX
  • Developing a Successful Team to Promote IT Initiatives, Dr. William Morris, Cleveland, OH
  • Leveraging EMR Data for Clinical and Quality Reporting, Dr. Clifford Ko, Los Angeles, CA
  • Software to Augment your EMR: Systems Interoperability, Tim Sobol, PMP, Cleveland, OH

A corollary concern is finding straight answers to many questions about the healthcare reform law Congress passed last year. Dr. David Margolin, New Orleans, long one of the Society’s leaders in this area, directs a Monday program entited “Healthcare Economics—Impact of the Changing Healthcare Environment on Colon and Rectal Surgeons.” It will include an insider’s look at how the Canadian system works by Dr. Hartley Stern, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Other topics and speakers are:

  • Overview of the Recent Changes in US Healthcare System, Dr. Frank Opelka, New Orleans, LA
  • Changes in the Medicare RBRVS System that Impact Physician Practice and Reimbursement, Drs. Anthony Senagore, Los Angles, CA, and Guy Orangio, Atlanta, GA
  • Impact of Healthcare Reform on Pharmaceutical/Device Manufacturers and their Interaction with Surgeons, Dr. Anthony Senagore

A Monday symposium, “Best Practice Parameters Based on Level 1 Data,” extracts information from prospective randomized studies on techniques that have been most effective. Director Dr. Walter Peters, Jr., Columbia, MO, and assistant director Dr. Laurence F. Yee, San Francisco, have organized a quality program to help colorectal surgeons prepare for quality measures and pay for performance.

Topics and speakers are:

  • Crew Resource Management Theory and Evidence, Dr. Walter Peters, Jr.
  • Implementing Checklists and Timeouts, Dr. Samuel Oommen, Concord, CA
  • Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections, Dr. Jason Hall, Burlington, MA
  • Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections, Dr. Andrew Shelton, Stanford, CA
  • Perioperative Warming and Outcomes: How, When and Why to Measure, Dr. Erik Grossmann, Columbia, MO
  • Perioperative Antibiotics: When to Start and Stop, Dr. Emily Finlayson, San Francisco, CA
  • Perioperative Skin Preparation, Dr. Taehyun Philip Chung, San Francisco, CA

Dr. Whitlow emphasizes that the program also includes a strong concentration on the colon and rectal surgery basics, including an outstanding Wednesday program on newer treatments for benign anorectal diseases. Hemorrhoids and fissures remain among the most common conditions for which patients seek care from colorectal surgeons. Director Dr. W. Donald Buie, Calgary, AB, Canada, and assistant director Dr. Kirsten B. Wilkins, Edison, NJ, have organized a symposium covering stapled hemorrhoidopexy, Doppler-guided hemorrhoid artery ligation, and use of “chemical sphincterotomy” and cutaneous advancement flap for anal fissure.

One of the first sessions Sunday is a comprehensive review of advances in technology that have allowed colorectal surgeons to push the development of laparoscopy and endoscopy, “Laparoscopic Nuts and Bolts,” directed by Dr. Bradley Davis, Cincinnati, OH, and assistant director Dr. Mark Whiteford, Portland, OR.

“We have excellent content, and that’s the key to making the ASCRS meeting one colorectal surgeons don’t want to miss. However, content is only part of what delivers a rewarding, worthwhile educational experience,” Dr. Whitlow says.

“As a busy practicing surgeon, you can stagnate unless you get out there and see what other people are doing. The ability to interact with people from all corners of the globe affords a unique view on different practice techniques and approaches. Sometimes the periods between sessions are just as valuable as the sessions themselves,” he says.

“I am very proud of all the work everybody has done to produce this outstanding educational opportunity,” Dr. Whitlow says.

Complete scientific program and registration information is available on the Society’s Website,