For the first time ever, tuning in from all corners of the world, approximately 2,600 colorectal enthusiasts joined ESCP’s 15th Annual Scientific Meeting - virtually.

Day one kicked off with a President’s Address, where Willem Bemelman noted the exceptional circumstances that the colorectal field finds itself in this year. While challenging for surgeons in a number of ways, the ESCP board was delighted to be able to welcome new faces to its annual congress as this year’s virtual set up provided easy access for all.

‘The show must go on’ was very much the theme of the first day as global experts delved into fascinating topics and discussions relating to both IBD and Gender Influences on Colorectal Cancer Treatment.

To kick things off, Eva Angenete introduced the new Guidelines for Diverticulitis.

Then, hosted by Tina Van Loon and Des Winter, the Gender Influences on Colorectal Cancer Treatment session began with Thilo Wedel from Germany giving a great talk on the ‘Anatomy of the pelvic nerves’, before Anne Thyø from Denmark delivered the hotly anticipated talk on ‘Preserving sexual function in rectal cancer treatment options’.

Shan Qiu Shao in The Netherlands then showed thousands how to carry out ‘Pelvic floor and vaginal reconstruction after abdominoperineal excision’, before Kenny Rodriguez-Wallberg in Sweden gave her talk on ‘Surgical considerations with the preservation of fertility options’.

After a short break, the next session on IBD, hosted by Richard Brady, began with Janindra Warusavitarne in the UK who gave clear and detailed guidance on the ‘Core Subject Update for EBSQ Coloproctology Examination: Perianal Crohn’s Disease’.Antonino Spinelli Day 1

Matteo Frasson from Spain then showcased the insightful results of the MASC Trial, before Antonino Spinelli in Italy gave a brilliant talk on ‘Ileocolic resection for Crohn’s disease: giving the gastroenterologist a fresh start’. Christianne Buskens in The Netherlands then took to the mic to answer the question ‘How can the surgeon change the natural course of IBD?’

Next up we were treated to Caroline Nordenvall in Sweden who explored the subject of ‘IRA, pouch, or Kock’s pouch for UC’.

A lively panel discussion followed each session giving the thousands of viewers a chance to put their questions to the experts.

Swimmer Day 1Delegates were kept informed throughout the day via the Twitter feed @escp_tweets using the hashtag #ESCP2020, and the official ESCP App, culminating in some fantastic photos being shared of virtual set-ups across the world, including some outdoors, with their kids and pets and many more unusual environments that are a far cry from a conference hall!

As such, a special #ESCP2020COMP was launched, encouraging delegates to share their photos on Twitter and be in with a chance of securing a free place at #ESCP2021. We’re excited to see what Day 2 has in store.

Three highly engaging and educational abstract presentations followed shortly, delivered by colorectal experts which once again showcased the impressive global reach of ESCP.

First up, Amandeep Pooni (Canada), discussed the results of a study which looked at whether routine diversion at pouch reconstruction reduces the incidence of pouch-related sepsis or failure in patients with ulcerative colitis. He explained that pouch outcomes did not differ across accepted stages of construction techniques and advised that diverting ileostomy may be safely avoided in appropriately selected patients.

Nagendra Dudi-Venkata (Australia) also delivered a fantastic presentation on the STIMULAX randomised controlled trial and discussed multi-modal stimulant and osmotic laxatives to improve the recovery of gastrointestinal function after colorectal surgery.

Tomas Poskus (Lithuania) then shared the results of a fascinating randomized controlled trial related to preventing hemorrhoids and fissures following pregnancy.

An exciting and jam-packed first day with a fantastic global reach at ‘Virtually Vilnius’ today! Roll on Day 2!

Make sure you follow the latest updates from #ESCP2020 by following @escp_tweets on Twitter and downloading the official ESCP App from your Apple or Android app store.

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