Highlights from the 2nd Annual Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Endoscopy Conference, 9/21/19

After reviving their division’s CME event last year after a decade hiatus, faculty within the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology followed up with another day-long conference drawing area providers, former fellows, and other health-care professionals interested in GI-related care.

Organizers grouped the day’s sessions similarly to the previous year, with three presentations assigned to one of four categories covered that day: Heptaology, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Bariatrics & Inherited Colorectal Cancer, and Motility & Lumenal Disease. Course Director Alan Gunderson, MD, and Division Director David Elliott, MD, PhD, divided up moderating duties.

Session 1: Hepatology
Newly appointed assistant fellowship director Arvind Murali, MBBS, began the morning with updates in the diagnosis and management of hepatocellular carcinoma. He was followed by Tomohiro Tanaka, MD, PhD, who revealed the ways in which a multidisciplinary team including gastroenterologists are treating liver cancer with ultrasound and microwave ablation, a common practice for GI doctors in Japan, but rare in the United States. Kyle Brown, MD, MSc, closed the first session with clear-eyed analysis of the benefits and limitations of non-invasive hepatic fibrosis tests.

Session 2: Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The second set of the morning started with a presentation from Steven Polyak, MD, on managing IBD and pregnancy and IBD and cancer, as well as immunizations for the immunocompromised. He was followed by Elliott who ran through the variety of pharmaceutical options available, their chemical makeups and impact, and under what conditions each would be appropriate. Jennifer Hrabe, MD, clinical assistant professor of surgery, rounded out the set with situations under which surgical interventions, such as colectomy in ulcerative colitis may be needed, and what complications may result from medical management in considering surgery for Crohn’s disease.

Then the group broke for lunch. Some of the fellows hoped to take a walk on the grounds of the Marriott Hotel in Coralville at Iowa River Landing, but the drizzle that afternoon kept the stroll brief.

Session 3: Bariatrics & Inherited Colorectal Cancer
After lunch, Mohamad Mokadem, MD, ran through the variety of assessment and treatment options for people with obesity, stressing the importance of a team approach via a weight management clinic. Peter Nau, MD, MS, medical director of bariatric surgery at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, dovetailed with Mokadem’s presentation as he reviewed the surgical options available, the potential complications and comparative outcomes of each. Avraham Levin, MD, MSc, anchored the set with a discussion of genetic testing for colorectal cancer and the management strategy for certain specific kinds.

Session 4: Motility & Lumenal Disease
The final set of three presentations began with Huy Tran, MD, PhD, and a review of the use of endoscopy and other methods in evaluating then treating and managing dysphagia. Caryn Berkowitz, MD, followed Tran with pearls for treating short bowel syndrome including management of nutritional challenges the condition presents. Recent fellow grad James Vancura, DO, closed the day by distinguishing the differences between primary and secondary constipation and a review of the treatments available.

Congratulations to the planning committee and a special thanks to the faculty for participating in this successful event!

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