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King Saud UniversityOn behalf of Minister of Higher Education Dr. Khalid Al-Angari, King Saud University Rector Badran Al-Omar welcomed more than 200 international experts to Riyadh for the 11th Asia Congress of Endoscopic & Laparoscopic Surgery, held in mid-December at the Marriott Hotel.

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

Before the congress convened, Professor Abdullah Al-Dohayan, president of the Saudi Laparoscopy Society (SLS) and chairman of the event, said the event attracted experts in endoscopy and laparoscopy from the United States, Europe, Asia and the Arab world's pioneers in the field. He said the congress examined the latest surgical developments in 11 surgical specialties,  feature surgical developments in Asia and discuss about 500 local and international research proposals.

King Saud UniversityHe said the congress provided the exchange of international expertise and bolster relations between local and international universities. The activities, he explained, were organized to  enhance opportunities for future collaboration and pave the way for further development and study-abroad opportunities, particularly because of the presence leaders of many top international universities and surgery centers.

Rector Al-Omar said KSU is eager to support such scientific meetings. “Such conferences acquire increased importance because their subject matter is human health," he said. "Laparoscopic surgery is witnessing unprecedented progress, and this justifies doing our best to reap the best results of this. Medical and health considerations top the pyramid of research importance because of their direct connection to human health and its role in solving man’s problems.

"Hence, this kind of research has acquired a great value that makes countries and establishments invest heavily in it.”

The Rector added: “The standards and outcome of research depend on the investment that it receives. The more we give to research, the more the health of our citizens will benefit.”

King Saud University Obesity ClinicDr. Aayed R. Alqahtani, chairman of the organizing committee, said that about 200 laparoscopic surgery leaders spoke at the congress, which attracted about 2,000 guests. He said sessions addressed bariatric, colorectal and intestinal, robot surgery, ob-gyn, chest, urinary tract and hernia surgeries, as well as kidney and gallbladder interventions.

Endoscopic and Laparoscopic Surgeons of Asia (ELSA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1990 by a group of Asian endoscopic and laparoscopic surgery proponents. The society was chartered June 12, 1992, in Singapore, 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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