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Our gastroenterologists host London Live Endoscopy

September 26, 2013
London Live Endoscopy is a new concept medical skills training in applying endoscopy for diagnosis and treatment. By making the most of today’s audiovisual technology, teams of medical educators are able to train others in the intricate skills required. Two gastroenterologists from The Physicians’ Clinic – Dr George Webster and Dr Gavin Johnson – ran sessions at the fifth London Live Endoscopy, which ran 19-20 September 2013. Both are passionate about medical education and relished the opportunity. “When we say live endoscopy, we actually mean just that. We, together with other colleagues, performed endoscopies on real patients in the endoscopy suite at University College Hospital and the real-time video of what we were doing was relayed to the delegates in a fully-equipped audiovisual lecture theatre. Each procedure was a two-way process – delegates were able to interact with us live, asking questions and debating the finer points of each case,” explains Dr Johnson.

Why is endoscopy training important?

Endoscopy – which involves passing a thin tube containing a light and camera into the digestive system to see what is happening – has been around for over 40 years now. It has become one of the most widely used diagnostic techniques in modern medicine – but that doesn’t mean that it’s either easy or straightforward. Gaining the skills to be able to carry out even a routine colonoscopy (endoscopic examination of the large bowel) requires rigorous training and supervised practice. The technology is also still advancing, so it is important for specialist training sessions to help experienced endoscopists know when to use different techniques, as well as the best way to perform the procedures.

London Live Endoscopy 2013

Around 120 physicians from around the world came to UCL to benefit not only from the real-time endoscopy training, but also to hear lectures from international experts in the field. Dr Webster, who was Chair of the meeting said: “The delegates already have a high level of knowledge and expertise so we needed to choose the topics carefully to give them the chance to view and interact with procedures that they were less familiar with. One of the cases we included involved dealing with difficult gallstones, another with managing fistulae using interventional endoscopy. We also ran sessions on methods of dealing with particularly large polyps, allowing them to be removed during colonoscopy, and with what we regard as best practice in terms of screening and surveillance for colon cancer.” The lectures, which complemented the live sessions, focused on:
  • How to treat acute GI bleeding more successfully.
  • How to avoid pancreatitis, a complication that can arise after ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) and other procedures that visualise the inside of the small bowel or pancreatic/bile ducts.
  • Advances in endoscopy techniques to help diagnose early oesophageal cancers.
  • New endoscopic techniques useful for removing stones from the bile duct.
  • How to use colonoscopy – which patients, when and the right techniques.
“This is a brilliant training event – one of the best that I’ve been involved with. The cases involved interaction with the audience on an array of challenging and interesting discussion points. The delegates also enjoyed state-of-the-art updates in aspects of endoscopy, and had a chance to obtain hands-on experience of endoscopy in the break-out sessions,” reports Dr Johnson. “This annual event is becoming one of the highlights of endoscopy training in the UK and the delegate feedback was excellent. Preparations are already being made for next year’s course!”
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