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How to Plan for DDW 2023

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Sponsored by an alphabet soup of GI (AGA), liver (AASLD), endoscopic (ASGE), and surgical (SAGES) organizations, Digestive Disease Week, the largest annual GI meeting in the world, takes place in Chicago, Friday, May 5–Tuesday, May 9.

What topics are Hot?

  1. AI evaluation and integration in multiple cognitive and procedural aspects of GI care.
  2. The ever-expanding potpourri of biologics, to include biosimilars, in use or study for inflammatory bowel disease.
  3. The gut microbiome and its relationship to gut and systemic immune responses, enteric and central nervous system interactions [Gut-Brain Axis], and predisposition to both malignancy and obesity.
  4. Nutrition and obesity and the latter’s association with:
  5. Diabetes/metabolic syndrome to include NASH/cirrhosis
  6. Increased incidence of GI and other cancers
  7. Increased severity of multiple GI disorders such as pancreatitis
  8. As a corollary, a speaker at the recent AGA Tech Summit stated that gastroenterologists should “own” obesity given our experience with gastric balloons and endoscopic gastric plication, long experience with the diagnosis and management of steatohepatitis, and an increasing experience with (GLP-1) receptor agonists.
  9.  Multidisciplinary management of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and/or achalasia
  10. Topics in global health with individual ASGE sessions partnering with the Inter-American Society of Digestive Endoscopy (SIED), World Endoscopy Organization (WEO) as well as individual endoscopy societies from Argentina, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, and India
  11. For history buffs, don’t miss the AGA Presidential Plenary session and lectures:
  12. Alexis St. Martin and the Birth of Gastroenterology
  13. Basil Hirschowitz and the Birth of Modern Endoscopy
  14. For trainees and individuals undergoing certification or recertification in gastroenterology: The AGA Board Review
  15. From an endoscopy standpoint:
  16. Will screening colonoscopy for colorectal cancer go the way of the mastodon or carrier pigeon in the era of screening with stool or blood DNA?
  17. How close are we to marketing a capsule that can be maneuvered throughout the GI tract using a cell phone app?
  18. Is endo-hepatology a new, hybrid discipline using EUS to perform liver biopsies, treat varices, and place portal-systemic stents?
  19. Additionally consider attending the multiple video-forums, abstract-based and inter-Societal sessions reviewing new techniques and further blurring the borders between therapeutic endoscopy and traditional surgery: purposeful perforation (and repair); transmural resection of superficial colon cancer; multiple EUS-facilitated procedures to include: targeted therapies to ablate pancreatic cystic and neuroendocrine tumors, drain postoperative fluid collections, pseudocysts, and walled-off necrosis (WON); and  fashion a virtual smorgasbord of  lumenal anastomoses: cholecysto-duodenostomy, choledocho-duodenostomy, hepatico-gastrostomy, gastrojejunostomy, entero-enterostomy colo-enterostomy, EDGE…[This space available for infrequently applied or yet to be described anastomosis].
  20. For those of you with stamina, an otherwise short attention span, or who want a condensed version of the meeting, don’t miss the Tuesday afternoon closing session, Best of DDW. We will see whether any of my “Hot Topics” have been included in the session.

Add to that the chance to reconnect with friends, colleagues, and trainees from around the world, and it becomes an educational event not to be missed. One word of advice: use the DDW Meeting Planner to customize the lectures, symposia, and posters that you want to see before the meeting. Otherwise, you may find yourself registered for simultaneous sessions or scurrying between lecture halls several football fields apart from each other.

Dr. Kozarek has no conflicts of interest to report.

Image by Julia Tim / Shutterstock

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