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Improving preparations for gastrointestinal surgery

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Published: 21.09.17
Views: 347

Dr John Alverdy - University of Chicago, Chicago, USA

Dr John Alverdy talks to ecancer at the Microbiome in Cancer and Beyond 2017 meeting about how the gut microbiome influences infectious related complications after surgery. It has become more clear in recent years that certain microbes of the microbiome play an important role in recovery after surgery, and antibiotics which destroy everything could actually be limiting this process.

The issue is how to determine which microbes to target, this is particularly difficult when the composition of the microbiome is so varied and diverse within, and between, individuals. Dr Alverdy is hoping for more parsimonious and rapid diagnostics to understand the composition of the microbiome right before an intervention; it is simply a matter of time before this technology becomes available.

For now, he aspires towards a self-coined 'Bowel Prep 2.0', since previous preparation methods have not been properly studied. Methods such as eating a plant based diet, taking probiotics, and not eating before surgery, haven't yet had thorough biological and statistical analysis. He also emphasises that we should use our modern-day analytical resources to deduce a more targeted preparation for gut surgery.

He concludes that the recovering microbiome must be monitored to understand the composition at the inflection point which dictates either the recovery, or downfall, of gut health. 

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