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New IFSO website

IFSO's new dedicated website for professionals and patients

The IFSO Website - the online gateway to obesity and metabolic disorders for bariatric surgery professionals and patients

The International Federation for the Study of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO) has been at the forefront in the fight against obesity and obesity related metabolic disorders since its inception in Stockholm, Sweden in 1995. It remains the largest bariatric/metabolic surgery organisation with over 8200 members and endorses 58 national societies (Figure 1).  

Figure 1: Expansion of IFSO Membership since 2010

The refurbished IFSO website (www.ifso.com) showcases a wealth of high quality information for bariatric surgery professionals and patients and continues to receive increasing interest since it’s’ inception in 2007 (Figure 2a and 2b). The website offers information on the organisational structure of IFSO through its’ prestigious Executive Council, 58 national societies, dynamic subcommittees and regional chapter committees. A vast amount of educational content is continually being added to the website making it a premier source of information for bariatric surgeons, allied healthcare professionals and patients. The website is elegant and detailed and is easy to navigate through its valuable contents. It facilitates a ‘log in’ tab for existing members  but also allows new members to join through the website  The information that can be gleaned from the website benefits not just the bariatric surgery professional but also has proven to be a valuable patient resource.

Figure 2(a): The refurbished IFSO homepage (www.ifso.com)

Figure 2(b): Increase in IFSO website ‘hits’ since 2007

The website offers a broad range of information detailing:

IFSO Structure

The IFSO Executive Council consists of highly respected and eminent bariatric surgery leaders who have contributed to the foundation and progression of IFSO making it the leading global organisation representing bariatric surgery professionals. In addition there are currently 11 IFSO Committees which each address a specific interest of IFSO to allow for its’ seamless expansion (Figure 3).  These committees consisting of dedicating and enthusiastic individuals meet regularly through videoconferencing as well as at the IFSO World Congresses to develop, implement and review new innovations to keep IFSO at the forefront of the battle against obesity and obesity related disorders.

Figure 3: Structure of the IFSO Committees

Showcasing IFSO endorsed courses, symposia and  congresses

All significant educational events/courses pertaining to the field of metabolic/ bariatric surgery are advertised on the IFSO website providing the practicing surgeon/allied healthcare professional ample opportunities to update his/her practice. All such events are rigorously assessed by the IFSO Communications Committee prior to endorsement. In addition details of previous IFSO Chapter Meetings and World Congresses are also uploaded for those unable to attend which help capture the atmosphere and high educational calibre of these meetings. Detailed information of upcoming congresses including the 20th IFSO World Congress to be held in Vienna, Austria from August 26th – 29th, 2015 and Obesity Week in Los Angeles, USA from November 2nd – 7th, 2015 can be currently obtained. The website also allows submission of abstracts for IFSO and IFSO-related congresses.  

Access to the official journal of IFSO: Obesity Surgery

The website offers access to the official journal of IFSO, Obesity Surgery which has been established since 1991 by the eminent Founding Editor, Professor Mervyn Deitel.

Professor Scott Shikora from Harvard University is the current Editor-in-Chief and is assisted by three Advisory Editors, Professor Michel Suter, Professor Paul O’Brien and Professor Ricardo Cohen. The journal is amongst the most widely read in the field with an impact factor that is increasing and allows the dissemination of high quality scientific research in the field of bariatric/metabolic surgery including all aspects of Allied Health disciplines (Figure 4). 

Figure 4: Increase in the Impact Factor of the official journal of IFSO, Obesity Surgery, since 1995

Obesity Surgery is published monthly and currently has over 2180 subscribers. The journal allows the dissemination of high quality scientific research in the field of bariatric/metabolic surgery including all aspects of Allied Health disciplines.

Access to the IFSO e-newsletter

The IFSO Newsletter was established in 2005 and is circulated to all IFSO members 3 times a year. It provides a concise review of all IFSO affairs including policy changes, new developments and significant upcoming meetings/ congresses as well as reviews of recent meetings such as the educationally entertaining 19th IFSO World Congress in Montreal, Canada held in August 2014 under the leadership of Professor Michel Gagner and the well attended, high quality, autumnal 8th Frankfurter Meeting held in Frankfurt, Germany hosted by Professor Rudolph Weiner and Dr. Sylvia Weiner.  Comprehensive reviews of significant meetings hosted/planned by the various IFSO Chapters: North American Chapter (Obesity Week 2014 in Boston, USA), Asia-Pacific Chapter and Latin American Chapter are also advertised and subsequently reviewed in the e-Newsletter. Indeed over the past 10 years the Newsletter has matured into a comprehensive medium for the efficient dissemination of IFSO endorsed events throughout the year.  

Patient education

Using simple, easy to understand terminology the sections on ‘Obesity and Bariatric Surgery’ outline the commonly practiced bariatric surgeries, their benefits and risks for our patients. This information is reinforced by videos of the procedure. Further information pertaining to gastric banding in the ‘frequently asked questions’ section can also be accessed. The website also allows patients and surgeons to find bariatric surgeons in countries throughout the world.

Membership of IFSO

Membership of IFSO can be easily made through the IFSO website and affords a myriad of benefits to professionals with an interest in obesity, obesity related disorders and bariatric surgery.  These include significant discounts to all IFSO Congresses and IFSO endorsed meetings, free subscription to Obesity Surgery and regular e-mail communications of all IFSO endorsed meetings/courses, the IFSO Newsletter and IFSO Scholarships.  IFSO members will also be eligible to gain IFSO endorsement for any courses/meetings they organise.  In addition to membership via the website, membership can also be made via the national bariatric/metabolic surgery society of the applicant.  Individuals who live in countries where there is no national society can apply to become ‘Individual affiliated members’ by writing to the IFSO Secretariat (ifso.secretariat@gmail.com) and requesting an application form.

Important contact information

The success of IFSO as an organisation is spearheaded by the highly dedicated IFSO secretariat consisting of Manuela Mazzarella and Francesco Carignani based at IFSO headquarters in Naples, Italy.  The IFSO secretariat coordinate all meetings and efficiently address all issues of surgeons/allied healthcare professionals registered with IFSO. Indeed the IFSO secretariat remains very much the ‘heart beat’ of IFSO allowing for the IFSO family to continue to grow from strength to strength.

For more information and to learn more about IFSO, please click here

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