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International Bariatric Club

A worldwide web network of bariatric surgeons

The International Bariatric Club (IBC) is currently the third largest bariatric organisation after the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Brazilian Society for Bariatric Surgery. In 2008, the concept of the IBC was born through the visions of Dr Tomasz Rogula, Assistant Professor of Surgery (Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA), Dr. Raul Rosenthal, Professor of Surgery (Cleveland Clinic, Florida, USA) and Dr. Philip Schauer, Professor of Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio.

Rudolph Weiner (IFSO Congress President 2011, right) and Michel Gagner at the IBC Symposium, XVI World Congress of IFSO, Germany

Initially the IBC consisted of one-hour talks given by the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric Fellows, broadcast over the internet to an on-line audience. The talks were based on 1–2 recently published, high quality bariatric papers and were built within the educational curriculums of the Fellowship in Advanced Laparoscopy/Bariatric Surgery of both Cleveland Clinic campuses. These webinars initially attracted a small on-line audience but allowed for questions to be put to the speaker.

I presented a webinar in 2009 during my Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic – a review of the paper ‘Prevalence of Thrombophilias in Patients Presenting for Bariatric Surgery’. The paper had just been published and clearly was of great educational value to all attendees including on-line audience which on that occasion included surgeons from throughout the United States, Brazil and China.

It was clear to me that at this embryonic stage of the IBC that it had the potential to expand into a powerful educational medium for the exchange of bariatric knowledge globally.

Indeed from these early days, IBC has grown significantly in terms of membership and its range of activities. The club still remains a free, non-profit making organisation open to all bariatric surgery/medicine professionals and easily accessible on-line to registered participants. 

In November 2010, the IBC Facebook Page was set up with the aim of promoting free discussion with bariatric professionals throughout the world on a daily basis. Following this the membership of the IBC expanded exponentially such that as of December 20th, 2011 there are 399 members from Europe, Asia, Africa Australia, North and South America. The aims of the IBC are outlined in the sidebar at the end of this article.

Webinar Activities

The monthly webinar in conjunction with WebEx web conferencing based at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA usually takes place the last Wednesday of the month at 17.00 (GMT), subject to occasional variation. It provides an opportunity for all members of the IBC to listen and/or see a high quality presentation by a national/international expert in bariatric surgery with the chance to ask questions to the speaker.

These lectures are also recorded and so can be watched anytime. The club has also attracted global bariatric surgery leaders such as Professors Ariel Ortiz (Mexico), Manoel Galvao Neto (Brazil), Harvey Sugerman (USA), Michel Gagner (Canada), Philip Schauer (USA), Chih-Kun Huang (Taiwan) and Mohammad Talepbour (Iran). Table 1 (below) lists the presentations from 2011 which were not only informative but provided a great opportunity for an interactive on-line verbal discussion. 

Date Presenter Title of Talk
May 13th, 2011 Dr. Mohammad Talebpour (Iran) 11 years Experience of Laparoscopic Greater Curvature Plication and its Modifications
May 25th, 2011 Prof. Harvey Sugarman (USA) What Procedure is Best for T2DM in High and Low BMI Patients?
June 29th, 2011 Dr. Manoel Galvao Neto (Brazil) Endoluminal therapy for obesity and T2DM is acceptable
July 27th, 2011 Dr. Chih-kun Huang (Taiwan) Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banded plication: technique and preliminary results
Sept. 1st, 2011 IBC at IFSO (Hamburg, Germany)
Dr. Jaime Ponce (USA)
Prof. Phil Schauer (USA)
Prof. Mohammad Talebpour (Iran)
Prof. Michel Gagner (USA)
Prof. Chih-Kun Huang (Taiwan)
Dr. Manoel Galvao Neto (Brazil)
Prof. Mervyn Deitel (Canada)
Bands no more?
Bypass kills diabetes
Plication kills sleeve
Sleeve kills bands
Bands on bypass and plication
I can do it from inside
What’s new in metabolic surgery?
Sept. 28th, 2011 Dr. Shashank Shah (India) T2DM in the Indian Population
Oct. 26th, 2011 Dr. Ariel Ortiz (Mexico) Live Demonstration: Laparoscopic Greater Curvature Plication
Nov. 26th, 2011 IBC at IIIrd Romanian Bariatric Symposium (Bucharest)
Prof. Mervyn. Deitel (Canada)
Dr. Marius Nedelcu ( France)
Dr. Tomasz Rogula (USA)
Dr. Gianfranco Sillechia (Italy)
Prof. Catalin Copăescu (Romania)
Dr. Manoel Galvao Neto (Brazil)
Why Diabetes Does Not Resolve in Some Patients after Bariatric Surgery?
Short Review of the Literature for Metabolic Surgery for Patients with BMI under 35
New Data about Cardiac Risk Factor after Bariatric Surgery
Gastro-Esophageal Reflux after Bariatric Surgery
Gastric Imbrications – Complication Rates, Leaks, Increased Salivation, Weight Regain. Is It Worth It?
His Angle Fistula on Sleeve Gastrectomy Endoscopic Treatment, Dealing with a Nightmare

In addition, the inaugural non-virtual IBC Symposium took place at the XVI World Congress of the International Federation for the Society of Obesity & Metabolic Surgery (IFSO) in Hamburg Germany in September 2011. The event was supported by former IFSO President, Professor Rudolph Weiner.

A similar event is being organised for the IFSO-European Chapter (IFSO-EC) Meeting in Barcelona, Spain in April 2012 and at the next IFSO-World Congress in New Delhi, India, in September 2012 by the IBC organising committee. 

Future Aims

The expansion of the IBC has been clearly enhanced by the internet. We are currently concentrating our efforts on maintaining the high standard of monthly Webinars with an increasing number of live webinars from the operating theatre.

The IBC website allows any bariatric professional easy access to the latest IBC activities, video library and newsletter. 

These presentations will of course be broadcast live over the internet for any registered member to access. Long-term the IBC will, through multi-centre cooperation, be organising randomised controlled clinical trials in relation to bariatric surgery. This has only been possible through the recruitment of large number of enthusiastic, dedicated bariatric professionals as well as the involvement of world experts within the IBC.

Membership

Membership to the International Bariatric Club can be made by sending an email to Dr Tomasz Rogula, President of the IBC based at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA. . A link inviting you to attend the monthly Webinar via WebEx video conferencing provided by the Cleveland Clinic will be sent to you prior to the presentation.

After registering you will receive a confirmation with the details of the upcoming International Bariatric Club Videoconference. Access to the live Webinar can be made via computer (PC or Mac) with a webcam or with a smart phone (iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry). 

Membership to the IBC from February 2012 will be possible through the IBC website.

Aims of the International Bariatric Club

  1. Promotion and exchange of knowledge, ideas and experiences related to the pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative care of the bariatric patient with bariatric professionals throughout the world
  2. Sharing of bariatric surgery videos relevant to management of intra-operative and post-operative complications
  3. Promotion of the monthly Webinar coordinated by the Cleveland Clinic in association with WebEx
  4. Promotion and Involvement in National and International Meetings relevant to Bariatric & Metabolic Surgery