Vall d’Hebron hosted the 14th International NOTES-WIDER-Barcelona course on 22 and 23 November, which welcomed a hundred international professionals in Surgery, Clinical endoscopy and Gastroenterology to get up to date regarding the immediate future of natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery and the related interventionist therapeutic techniques. “It is a course that we have held since 2007 which was only interrupted last year by COVID-19 and which has been very successful. We renew it year after year, but always following the philosophy that the art of living is to change one’s leaves without losing one’s roots”, said Dr Josep Ramon Armengol, Director of the meeting and of the WIDER-Barcelona Institute course.

This year, the course has had a hybrid format (in person and online), with a theoretical part in the form of conferences on the NOTES (Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery) and another type of practice carried out using a Team comprising the organisational staff and teachers invited from the two experimental surgery operating theatres of the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute Endoscopic Digestive Department, with a video broadcast to the Teaching Pavilion Events Room at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital.

This year, the International NOTES-WIDER-Barcelona Course includes a symposium on artificial intelligence with the participation of Dr Josep Ramon Armengol, who has analysed its application in colonoscopy and endoscopy. Dr Ramon Villalonga, of the Vall d’Hebron Endocrine, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Unit of the General Surgery Department, gave a masterful conference on the surgical treatment of obesity and Dr Eloy Espin, head of the Vall d’Hebron Colon and Rectal Surgery Unit, analysed the new developments in colorectal surgery. One of the special events was a symposium dinner on how the coronavirus has affected Gastroenterology.

The course was directed by Dr Josep Ramon Armengol, Dr Manuel Armengol Carrasco, head of the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute General Surgery Research Group, Dr Antonio José Torres García and Dr Joan Dot Bach, head of the Digestive Endoscopy Department, with the support of Vall d’Hebron University Hospital and the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute with the collaboration of the Welfare Projects of the ”La Caixa” Banking Foundation and the Autonomous University of Barcelona.