John AlverdyAt the ESCP Annual Meeting in Nice this September, world renowned expert in microbial pathogenesis of infections which occur post-surgery, Dr Alverdy, Professor of Surgery and Executive Vice-Chair of the department of surgery at the University of Chicago, will present the keynote session - ‘Microbiomic and metagenomic influences on colorectal patients’. We spoke to him about the session. 

Dr John Alverdy, a gastrointestinal surgeon, studies the molecular interactions of bacteria and the intestinal mucosa to understand how life-threatening infections arise after surgery and critical illness. As well as his Executive Vice-Chair of surgery role, he is also co-associate director of the Digestive Disease Research Center Core (DDRCC) and Past President of the Surgical Infection Society (North America).

In Nice, Dr Alverdy will discuss the best scientific approach to prepare the bowel for surgery as a method to reduce the risk of wound infections, ileus and anastomotic leaks. He will review some of the latest microbiome science and reasoning behind how to develop novel approaches in this regard.

He explains:

"How the bowel is prepared, what antibiotics are used and how the patient is treated post-surgery, are some of the key factors that can have a major influence on infectious complications and cancer recurrence rates. Although the colon is most affected in this regard, given its large biomass of bacteria, this line of reasoning also applies to the oesophagus, stomach, and most organs of the digestive system."

Dr Alverdy observes that in big city hospitals surgeons are often judged not by their speed or skill but rather by their re-admissions rate:

"Our role as gastrointestinal surgeons is very different compared to surgeons who operate in a sterile field. The gastrointestinal tract harbours a massive amount of potentially pathogenic bacteria which can become disrupted during surgery and both directly and indirectly contaminate otherwise sterile tissues. The most common reason for readmission is infection and therefore all surgeons must closely monitor how many patients are readmitted for infection and how they may change their practice to prevent it."

Dr Alverdy’s is the director of the Center for Surgical Infection Research at the University of Chicago. He has generated compelling evidence to suggest that the microbiome can influence colon cancer recurrence rates after what is considered to be a curative resection. He says:

“Evidence continues to point to the microbiome as having a major influence on both cancer development and treatment. Surgeons need to be aware of these findings."

This thesis will be explored in detail at the ESCP conference this year in Nice where delegates will have the unique opportunity to hear first-hand from Dr Alverdy, a prominent international leader in the field.

Book your place at the 13th Scientific and Annual meeting of ESCP in Nice here

Keynote: Microbiomic and metagenomic influences on colorectal patients – 15:00, Wednesday 26 September 2018

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