Japan Society for Endoscopic Surgery

Japan Society for Endoscopic Surgery (JSES)

Message from the President

Last Update: February 1, 2024

I am Yuko Kitagawa of Keio University, and I have the honor of serving as the sixth president of Japan Society for Endoscopic Surgery (JSES) since December 2023, when I took over the helm from Dr. Yoshiharu Sakai.

Writing in Igaku no Ayumi (Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine) in 2001, Dr. Yasuo Idezuki, the first president of the JSES, described the introduction of endoscopic surgery in Japan more than 30 years ago in 1990 as follows: “After watching a video on laparoscopic cholecystectomy at an American surgical conference in 1990, an eminent elder surgeon scoffed, ‘This is a procedure for simple and easy cases.’” Given the level of surgical equipment, imaging technology, and surgeons’ experience at the time, such an appraisal was to be expected. Today, however, extremely challenging surgical procedures are performed for not only benign cases but also many malignancies using laparoscopy, thoracoscopy, and robotic assistance. To give one example, the long-term results of the JCOG1409 clinical trial, which spanned around ten years from planning, demonstrated the non-inferiority of thoracoscopic esophagectomy to open esophagectomy for thoracic esophageal cancer, as reported very recently at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. Under the visionary foresight and leadership of the second to fifth JSES presidents—Drs. Masaki Kitajima, Seigo Kitano, Masahiko Watanabe, and Yoshiharu Sakai—endoscopic surgery tremendously grew across different fields and organs. Although some surgical societies currently face membership crises, endoscopic surgery is still continuing to expand its possibilities, and has become a goal of many young surgeons. This fills me with great joy, and at the same time it underscores to me the weighty responsibility I must shoulder as the sixth president.

In recent years, robotic surgery has spread rapidly and AI has made it possible to analyze vast quantities of surgical data. We, the JSES, are embarking on a new era. The importance of surgical data science, championed by Dr. Sakai, is gaining greater recognition and Japan’s exceptional surgical techniques, backed by diverse evidence, are a precious national treasure with the potential to create new global industries. Working from the solid foundation that we established with our technical skills certification system and training system, I will lead efforts to further extend this growth through expanded collaboration with other countries, engineering disciplines, and diverse professions.

In addition, we need to increase opportunities for young surgeons to learn robotic surgery and other new technologies, and must construct a system whereby surgeons who have mastered sophisticated techniques can truly receive the social recognition they deserve.

To this end, I call on you, our esteemed members, to lend the support that the JSES needs to play a leading role in paving the way to the future for the next generation of surgeons.

January 2024

日本内視鏡外科学会 理事長 北川 雄光

Yuko Kitagawa, MD, PhD
President of the Japan Society for Endoscopic Surgery

page top