It was my great honor and pleasure to have this exceptional opportunity for the European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP) Japanese visiting fellowship.

My heartbeat actually increased rapidly when I received the decision letter from the Japanese Society of Coloproctology (JSCP) accepting the travelling fellowship. Planning the visiting schedules and picturing myself travelling in Europe even accelerated my scientific concerns in the field of coloproctology in daily practice. This fellowship allowed me to visit up to 3 academic institutes in Europe, followed by attending the annual meeting in conjunction with an original paper presentation.

S.G.Battista Hospital, University of Turin, Italy

I was fortunate that the annual international master course in laparoscopic surgery was held at the same time as my visit, hosted by the department. I was actively involved in that program, including academic lectures, live surgeries, joining various surgical procedures in theatre. I really enjoyed Prof. Morino’s fast and skilled laparoscopic techniques, and Assoc. Prof. Arezzo’s brand-new surgical practice.

Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden

City of Uppsala was calm, cosy, and beautiful. However, the sense of urbanity that I felt first was soon taken over by the impression that surgeons in Uppsala were extremely keen in science and logical in reality. I was welcomed by HIPEC procedure for which the Japanese have little experience, and I found it valuable. I was also welcomed by informal research discussions where I gave two talks in front of enthusiastic surgeons including Prof. Pahlman. I found it fascinating.

Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

The experience in AMC is indeed striking. Integrated operative theatres with newest technologies, the precise, rational design of the hospital buildings, a huge number of publications and research projects and a remarkably energetic and motivated surgical team led by Prof. Bemelman: all the activities I met in AMC were prominent and inspiring.

First Surgical Clinic, Clinical Center of Serbia and Military Medical Academy, Serbia

Serbian surgeons are catching up dramatically. Throughout my visits to these institutes, I always felt politeness, generosity, humbleness, and most importantly, eagerness in science among all surgical colleagues led by Prof. Krivokapic and Prof. Ignjatovic. I surely believe that Serbian surgeons will achieve one of the international leadership positions in coloproctology in the near future.

ESCP 2013 meeting in Belgrade

The meeting was extraordinarily educational. It was started with attending the anorectal and pelvic ultrasound course; from the fundamentals to novel imaging techniques, I found them enlightening with sophisticated faculties.

Scientific sessions consisted of oncology, surgical techniques, inflammatory bowel diseases, and anorectal functional disorders. In most of the sessions I acknowledged the differences and the similarities between Europe and Japan.

The former was represented by the clinical features of diverticular disease, where right-sided disease is more common with less severe pathology compared to left-sided one. However, facing the increasing populations with left-sided disease in Japan, I gave my special attention to the ongoing trials on laparoscopic lavage.

The latter was the surgical difficulty with very obese individuals. Although Japanese are generally thought to be thinner in shape with less adiposity compared to Europeans, we do experience and struggle with morbid obesity. Interestingly, by looking at the video presentations (and also in surgical theatre on visits), I had an impression that visceral fat tissue seemed more fragile with easily bleeding in Japanese.

The “meal out” at Kalemegdanska Terasa Restaurant was just fascinating, with delicious cuisine and beautiful night view on the historical fortress.

Shingo Tsujinaka

At the very end of the journey, embarking on the returning plane to Japan, all my memories in Europe came back to me and I felt so sad to leave. However, such romantic feeling was shortly substituted by a strong belief that this fellowship opens the gate for future collaborative works and professional exchanges between ESCP and JSCP.


I am very grateful to both the ESCP and JSCP, for organizing this wonderful and memorable opportunity. I am very grateful to Ms. Elsbeth Helfer, the ESCP secretariat, for making this journey successful with kind and helpful communications.

Shingo Tsujinaka, M.D.
Department of Surgery, Jichi Medical University, Saitama Medical Center, Saitama, Japan

ESCP Affiliates