The 33rd annual conference of the Indian Association of Surgical Gastroenterology commenced with participation of more than 1500 surgeons coming from all across India at the HICC, Hyderabad. The event hosted by AIG Hospitals is a three-day scientific extravaganza focused on various aspects of gastrointestinal surgery.
“This is by far the most attended IASG conference both in terms of delegate and faculty participation. The three-day conference packed more than 100 hours of scientific sessions across four halls featuring the best of the national and international speakers. We also received a record number of 580 research papers from gastrointestinal surgeons across the country. With the theme of GI Surgery in Digital and AI era, IASGCON 2023 set a benchmark in terms of showcase of advanced GI surgical techniques and technologies leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics,” Dr. GV Rao, Director, AIG Hospitals and Organizing Chairman, IASGCON 2023 said.
“One of the primary focus areas this year was to train the young GI surgeons on the latest surgical equipment; accordingly, we partnered with several industry experts to run continuous hands-on workshops on all three days of the conference. These young GI surgeons were also encouraged to present video case studies before the experts to get practical tips and tricks which will further help patient care across the country,” Dr. Rao further added.
The conference also featured a unique fireside chat session featuring Celebrity MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor, Dr. D Nageshwar Reddy, Chairman, AIG Hospitals and Dr. Adarsh Choudhary, Head of GI Surgery, Medanta Hospital. All three representing the best of knowledge about how food influences our digestive system and role of nutrition in today’s healthcare.
“As a gastroenterologist, I often witness the profound truth that a flourishing gut microbiome is the cornerstone of vibrant health. Just as a garden thrives with diverse and harmonious flora, so too does the human body flourish when its internal ecosystem is balanced and rich in beneficial microbes. The food that we eat impacts this very ecosystem and that either leads to a healthy life or can bring several diseases. We should look into traditional Indian diet that suits our gut microbes and completely avoid ultra-processed foods like soft drinks, potato chips, ready-to-eat burgers, packaged noodles among others,” Dr. D Nageshwar Reddy said.
On being asked about what the best choice of food for anyone would be, MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor emphasized that the food cooked at home with fresh, local ingredients and made with seasonal vegetables is the best. “I believe that our core Indian ingredients like moong dal, yogurt and millets have essential micronutrients that can keep us healthy and fit. Vegetarians in India should also try and incorporate mushrooms in their diet to compensate for the protein requirements. We should keep food simple and stick to our eating pattern. In my household, we have completely abandoned white rice and eat locally grown unpolished rice, ragi rotis keeping it as simple as it can be,” the MasterChef commented.
On a pertinent topic of plant protein vs animal protein, Dr. Adarsh Choudhary said “plant proteins pack more micronutrients and are easier on the gut than animal protein. There’s an environmental side effect to animal protein as well.”
“The importance of gut microbiome is reflected in study that we conducted at the AIG Hospitals where we developed a fusion of Mediterranean and Indian Diet and had two groups of people. One group was given this fusion diet for three months and the other stayed on their regular diet with the same amount of calories. The fusion group lost more weight and had a better gut microbiome profile after the study period,” Dr. Reddy further added.