Galilee Medical Center’s Department of Surgery A, in collaboration with its management, along with the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine Bar-Ilan University, with which the medical center is affiliated, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, and Gulf Medical University in Ajman (GMU), United Arab Emirates, recently held an online bariatric surgery seminar, featuring internationally recognized experts.

The Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons (TUGS) international professional group, a new global surgical society with almost 2,000 members in 100 countries, and Mohak Bariatrics and Robotics in India, also co-sponsored the free global educational experience and discussion forum, which covered a wide range of topics of interest to bariatric physicians and surgeons, and endocrinologists.

Screenshot of Dr. Eli Kakiashvilli, director of Department of Surgery A at Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya during global online Bariatric Surgery Seminar on July 6, 2021. Photo: Cameo Multimedia

Recently Dr. Eli Kakiashvilli director of Department of Surgery A at Galilee Medical Center and Dr. Elliot Goodman of the Icahn School of Medicine and a visiting professor of surgery at Azrieli Faculty of Medicine formed the Israel chapter of TUGS. Dr. Kakiashvilli heads the Israel division, and this online seminar was its kickoff event. The International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO) also provided its endorsement.

Bariatric surgery, also known as weight loss surgery and metabolic surgery, treats obesity, and in addition, is effective in treating diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and high cholesterol, among many other diseases.

Over two hundred physicians from dozens of countries on three continents (America, Asia and Europe), including the UAE, UK, USA, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Turkey, Cyprus, Australia, Pakistan, the Ukraine and more, attended the seminar, to learn the technical aspects of an increasingly popular bariatric procedure and the operative steps of other popular revisional bariatric procedures. They also gained a better understanding of the long term complications of bariatric surgery and the causes of late weight regain after weight loss surgery, as well as an appreciation of the newer non-operative treatments of severe obesity and diabetes.

Screenshot from online global Bariatric Surgery Seminar, July 6, 2021. Photo: Cameo Multimedia

Among the lecturers were Professpr Mahir Jallo from Gulf Medical University, Dr. Scott Shikora of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and Galilee Medical Center‘s (GMC) Dr. Samer Ganem. Two bariatric surgeries were live-streamed during the seminar, one by GMC’s Deputy Director of Department of Surgery A, Dr. Kamal Khatib, and one by Dr. Mohit Bhandari from Mohak Bariatrics and Robotics in India.

Leading up to this event, Kakiashvili and Goodman have organized online lectures for over a year for surgeons from Israel, the United States, and other countries, in an effort to advance surgical medical education and research. More recently, Gulf Medical University joined, following a first of its kind signing of an academic collaboration agreement between Israel’s Bar Ilan University and GMU earlier this year. In opening remarks at the bariatric seminar, Professor Masad Barhoum, GMC’s general-director said, “The Abraham Accords signed last year opened the path to develop relations in different fields, including healthcare, business, tourism, academia and more, for the mutual benefit of both countries [the UAE and Israel] and others around the globe. Today’s surgical conference is just the tip of the iceberg demonstrating the tremendous potential that this agreement can bring.”

Kakiashvili: “The seminar was successful and provided an important opportunity for professionals from around the world to share ideas, raise questions and learn from one another especially now when the pandemic still prevents holding in-person conferences to meet and learn from experts.” Later this year, Kakiashvilli and Goodman plan to hold another global program that will focus on hernia surgery, with leading speakers and operative surgeons in the field. They added that this meeting is only one example demonstrating that the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Bar Ilan and GMU is bearing fruit and fostering education, research and innovation for stronger global health.

About The Publishers
Galilee Medical Center
Galilee Medical Center is a 730-bed government academic hospital serving 600,000 plus residents of northern Israel with advanced professional and compassionate care. The largest hospital in the Galilee region, the public medical center is comprised of 70 departments and specialty units, and has a diverse staff of 2,700. Located six miles from the Lebanese border, Galilee Medical Center is the frontline of care for the State of Israel in the north and is fully prepared for security emergencies, featuring Israel's first operational underground hospital.
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