Cape Town to host top gynaecology conference


Close to 1 000 gynaecologists will gather in Cape Town in April, for a unique conference — the first time a joint meeting of this kind will be held.

“We are proud to be hosting Endoscopy in Africa and Beyond — a conference which is bringing together world-leading gynaecologists to hear about the latest developments in our field,” said Professor Igno Siebert.

Together with Dr Viju Thomas, Professor Siebert is chairing the local organising committee for the event.

The conference, a joint initiative by South African and leading international organisations, will be held between 13 and 17 April.

The groups are South African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (SASREG), the International Society for Gynaecologic Endoscopy (ISGE) and the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, whose members are leaders in the gynaecological field.

“This is the first time that a joint meeting of this kind has been held — it is unique that we are bringing the biggest endoscopic societies in Europe — ESGE and ISGE — and the biggest society in Africa, SASREG, and hosting a conference together. This has never been attempted before, so we are really breaking new ground,” Prof Siebert said. 

He said that it is a clear recognition from international colleagues that South Africa is one of the leading countries in the world in this speciality.

Gynaecological surgery has been revolutionised by the development of endoscopy, coupled with the use of robotics.

“It removes so many of the possible complications associated with open surgery,” Prof Siebert explained. 

“It has cost saving benefits too — patient recovery is quicker and less time off from work is needed. And from both a training and medico-legal point of view, the entire procedure can be documented because it is all carried out using cameras. This is a huge advantage.”

SASREG president Suleiman Heylen says that the organisers have ensured there will be something for everyone.

One of the event highlights is live endometriosis surgery being carried out the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. The procedure will be relayed to delegates using ‘The Visitor’ — a modem in the theatre which is regularly used to link with other consultants or doctors in training.

“Our aim, as the conference title says, is to take this meeting beyond 2019, to be an integral part of the progress that is happening in the world,” he said.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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