Delegates looking at ESCP Vienna 2019 programmeYesterday morning over 1,700 leading lights in colorectal surgery from 76 different countries across Europe and beyond descended on Austria’s stunning capital Vienna for ESCP’s 14th Annual Scientific Meeting.

Day one kicked off bright and early in Plenary Hall A at the Austria Centre Vienna with the popular symposium session ‘Mistakes are the portals of discovery - a tip, a trick and an error trap’. Sara Kehlet Watt and Des Winter chaired the session and expert speakers Zoran Krivokapic, Yuri Shelygin and Tracy Hull offered insights on surgical stapling, pre-surgical investigation and responding to error traps.

Delegates remained seated in Hall A for the first keynote lecture of the conference – an eagerly anticipated talk on a growing concern in the colorectal community, the 'Increasing incidence of rectal cancer in the young'. Chairs Anna Martling (Sweden) and Alexey Karachun (Russia) introduced speaker Quentin Denost (France), who focused his presentation on aetiology, screening and management controversies, highlighting the need for lifestyle changes, preventing environment risk factors and the importance of screening and early-active detection.

Following the official opening of the conference, the every-popular Consultants’ Corner got underway, facilitated by Des Winter (Ireland) and Jared Torkington (UK) with a panel consisting of Jeremie Lefevre (France) and Per Nilsson (Sweden).

Two parallel symposiums, then offered delegates a choice. The first was ‘The Great Debate: Is it a must or is it dust?’ chaired by Pamela Buchwald (Sweden) and Des Winter (Ireland). The session looked at the debate around preventing anastomotic leakage - the topic of diverting stoma using either a loop ileostomy or colostomy, performed at the time of rectal resection, is widely debated amongst colorectal surgeons. The audience heard from two speakers with opposing arguments which were then judged by a global panel of renowned surgeons; Per Nilsson (Sweden), Rosa-Jimenez-Rodriguez (Spain), Ann Hanly (Ireland), Justin Davies (UK) and Amy Lightner (USA).

Also taking place was ‘Pelvic Floor: Toward precision diagnosis and precision treatment’, chaired by Charles Knowles (UK) and Søren Laurberg (Denmark).

Audience at ESCP Vienna 2019By late afternoon #ESCP2019 was ‘trending’ in Austria on Twitter such was our delegates participation in our online community, taking delight in sharing their experiences and engaging in positive and interesting conversations on social media about the first day’s activities. Delegates were kept informed throughout via the Twitter feed @escp_tweets and the official ESCP App, culminating in some brave attendees addressing the camera to explain what they had enjoyed and what they were looking forward to on Day 2!

The final keynote of the day was from Des Winter who took the stage to update attendees, from seasoned surgeons to medical trainees, on the Pan-European and global collaborative projects. As Quentin Denost did earlier in the day, Des shone a light on the alarming increase in incidences of colorectal cancer in young adults across Europe.

The day was rounded off in positive fashion with Klaus Matzel (Germany) awarding the coveted Lars Pahlman medal for the best mark in the ESBQ Exam to Mudassar Majeed, General Surgeon at Cork University Hospital in Ireland. Congratulations Mudassar!

Other highlights included education sessions on the importance of guidelines and how to develop them, a packed-out room hearing from Gabriela Moeslein talking about genetics in colorectal cancer and a valuable discussion on the need for more awareness and change when it comes to gender imbalance in ESCP and colorectal surgery across Europe.

Meanwhile there was a full educational programme taking place in Parallel Hall F2 which included sessions on developing guidelines, new technologies, best publications and a fellowship update. The day was rounded-up with old friends and new connections getting together over a drink and a bite to eat out our Welcome Reception.

An exciting and jam-packed first day in Vienna! Roll on Day 2!

Make sure you follow the latest updates from #ESCP2019 by following @escp_tweets on Twitter and downloading the official ESCP App from your Apple or Android app store.

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