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Under the patronage of Minister of Higher Education Dr. Khalid Al-Angari, the 11th Asia Congress of Endoscopic & Laparoscopic Surgery will be held December 12-13 at the Marriott Hotel in Riyadh, where the opening ceremony will take place at 8 p.m. Tuesday, December 11.

The congress, organized by the Endoscopic and Laparoscopic Surgeons of Asia (ELSA), is being held in the Middle East for the first time. Its theme is “The dream of tomorrow is the reality of the day.”

More than 200 international experts in endoscopy and laparoscopy from the United States, Europe and Asia will take part, along with pioneers in this field from the Arab world. About 2,000 guests are expected to attend.

The conference will cover the latest surgical developments in 11 surgical specialties, will feature sessions on surgical developments in Asia and will discuss about 500 local and international research proposals.

There will be an array of keynote lectures, parallel paper sessions, poster presentations, workshops, panels, debates and meetings with experts, which will provide opportunities to exchange thoughts and gain new information.

Among the goals of the congress is to exchange international expertise and bolster relations between local and international universities. This helps to pave the way for further development and opportunities for study abroad, particularly because many leaders of top-notch international universities and surgery centers will be attending.

The congress will be headed by Professor Abdullah Al-Dohayan, the president of the Saudi Laparoscopy Society (SLS), which is among the organizers of the congress. King Saud University  (KSU) is the host.

Among the participating societies is KSU’s Obesity Chair. Other participants include the Saudi General Surgery Society, the Saudi Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery, the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties and the Saudi Gastroenterology Association.

The first day’s events will include speeches by the ELSA president, Professor David Lomanto, and the ELSA 2012 president, Professor Al-Dohayan, who will address the history of laparoscopy and robotic surgery in Saudi Arabia. Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah will speak on “The Kingdom of Humanity” and Dr. Gerald Fried will speak on “Simulation & Competency.”

 The second day’s activities will include speeches by Professor Steven Schwartzberg on “Complication of MIS” and by Professor Muhammad Mamdani on the “Use of Administrative Databases in Surgical Clinical Research.”

Endoscopic and Laparoscopic Surgeons of Asia (ELSA) is a nonprofit organization founded by a group of Asian endoscopic and laparoscopic surgery enthusiasts in 1990. The society was chartered in Singapore on June 12, 1992, with the objectives to foster and develop endoscopic surgery in Asia, to share experience and expertise, and to advise on standards of practice in member countries.

 ELSA is the major regional representative for endoscopic surgeons in the Asia-Pacific and is a founding member of the International Federation of Societies of Endoscopic Surgeons (IFSES). ELSA’s governing body consists of leaders in endoscopic surgery from 37 countries in the Asia-Pacific region from Turkey to New Zealand.

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