David ZimmermanDavid Zimmerman, UEMS representative on the ESCP exec board, and colorectal surgeon at the Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital in Tilburg, The Netherlands, is joined by renowned expert, Christoph Isbert at 2019's ESCP Conference in Vienna. Together, they will lead the pre-conference course, 'Advances in Fistula Surgery'.

David explains why an educational focus on anal fistula is so important:

“Perianal fistula is a very common problem that is often treated by junior doctors, with little experience and knowledge about it. This course seeks to address this concern among trainee surgeons.”

He has been involved in organising the Anal Fistula ESCP Pre-conference course for a few years together with his fellow-Education Committee members Baljit Singh and Tina van Loon, as well as with German educator and surgeon Christoph Isbert.

Zimmerman continues:

"In the course we highlight both the commonly accepted techniques, including the risks and dangers, as well as newer techniques that are frequently introduced. It is important that these techniques are introduced with caution. As such, we focus on potential benefits but also present objective evidence (which can be limited) and pitfalls. In this way we hope to prevent frivolous implementation at the cost of patient satisfaction."

The hands-on course in Vienna will show attendees the classic treatment modalities of cryptoglandular fistulas and offer an opportunity to gain hands-on experience on the ‘Isbert model’. It will also provide a look into the new treatment modalities that are currently being offered.

Experts in the field will present their data on different modalities (laser, VAAFT, OTSC, permacol) but also, a critical appraisal of current evidence will be offered as well as a look into the way new techniques can be implemented in current practice.

After this course, trainees will be more aware of established as well as newer treatment modalities and get the opportunity to practice these techniques hands-on. They will learn when and how new techniques can be implemented and what the current status of these modalities is.

Zimmerman says:

"While the course is intended for trainees with a basic knowledge of fistula treatment and anorectal anatomy, we have noticed previously that senior surgeons attend and rate it highly. I’d encourage attendees to a have an open mind and not to be afraid to speak their mind, the course is highly interactive."

Advances in Fistula Surgery, a hands-on workshop will run from 09:30 to 16:30 on Tuesday 24 September at ESCP Vienna 2019. The fee is €300 ESCP Member / €400 Non-Member. Members are advised to book their place ASAP, as spaces are limited.

Additionally, David Zimmerman is looking forward to giving the Core Subject Update on anal fistula on Wednesday 25 September and co-chairing the Trainee Round Table Session with Mark Potter on Friday 27 September.

ESCP Affiliates