September 20, 2023
Inguinal hernia repair and procedures to address acute cholecystitis are among the most performed surgeries in the US. But even with hundreds of thousands of procedures completed each year, general surgeons and care teams can have different approaches for managing these conditions.
General surgeons seeking to learn the alternatives should plan to attend the inaugural pro/con debate, PS203: The Great Debates - Biliary and Hernia, on Tuesday, October 24, at 8:00 am in Ballroom East.
In this session, experts will discuss two treatment modalities for hernia and cholecystitis: open inguinal hernia repair versus minimally invasive repair, and percutaneous cholecystostomy versus cholecystectomy, respectively. These conditions and their two prevailing treatments are well-known and effective, providing the perfect topics for this debate.
“The two topics in the Great Debates are very important to general surgeons, whether you work in an academic setting or private practice,” said session moderation Benjamin K. Poulose, MD, FACS, the Robert M. Zollinger Lecrone-Baxter Chair, chief of the Division of General and Gastrointestinal Surgery, and professor of surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.
Surgeons’ training affects the skillset they hone as they develop in their careers, which can diverge significantly in the case of open versus minimally invasive inguinal hernia repair. The same holds true for acute cholecystitis, where training and resource availability can change a surgeon’s decision-making. Do they take a laparoscopic approach or use a robotic system to remove the gallbladder, or could usage of percutaneous drainage change management of their patient?
“These are both problems we face with our patients daily, and this a debate we have in our clinics, our operating rooms, and our offices. What makes this interesting is that there are an increasing number of ways to treat inguinal hernias or complex gallbladder problems, and sorting out which way works for your particular patient, given your particular skillset, is what we’re trying to achieve,” Dr. Poulose said.
Because there are clear preferences among general surgeons, Dr. Poulose anticipates a lively and informative discussion, especially for surgeons who aren’t familiar with one side of the debate. Most of all, he said he looks forward to adding an important element of conversation to two key topics in general surgery.
“I’m excited about seeing a civil discussion and debate around controversial topics in general surgery. Our field, admittedly, hasn’t always discussed controversial topics in a productive way, and I think that must change,” Dr. Poulose said. “It’s great to see the ACS leading the way in fostering a debate in this setting, because if we don’t have the ability to discuss complex and controversial issues, it doesn’t lead to better treatment for our patients. But if we can, not only do we win, but our patients win as well.”