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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

ASBS conference

The American Society of Bariatric Surgeons will hosts its annual meeting and conference next month in San Diego. The weeklong event will begin June 11 at the San Diego Convention Center.

ASBS is the only national governing body for bariatric surgeons. It's the group behind the Centers of Excellence distinction that surgical centers strive to achieve. The organization Web site offers a list of Centers of Excellence by state for patients to peruse.

The conference is a big deal. Not only does it allow medical professionals to congregate and network, it provides continuing education courses and panel discussions of interest to those who work with the obese. Surgeons and other bariatric health-care providers will learn the latest surgical techniques and discuss research data on topics such as how access to nutritional supplementation affects compliance in patients and whether preoperative weight loss makes a difference in surgical outcomes.

The conference also features an extensive trade show with vendors showcasing everything from super-size furniture that is comfortable for morbidly obese patients to compression garmets that hold in excess skin so post-ops can achieve a more normal appearance under clothes. There are also vitamin and supplement vendors galore, in addition to advocacy groups. Carnie Wilson was a featured guest at a vendor's booth last year. No word whether she'll attend again this year.

I attended one day of last year's trade show in San Francisco. This year, I'm fortunate enough to spend most of the week at the event. I'll be blogging on the various workshops and educational sessions I attend.

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