Exciting News from the ASSERT Centre!

Prof Toshi Uraoka, Prof Marietta Iacucci, Prof. Martin Buckley, Dr Donal Sheehan, Dr Aine Ni Chianain, Dr Clodagh Murphy


Today, Professor Marietta Iacucci, a leading figure in Gastroenterology from University College Cork and Consultant Gastroenterologist at MUH/CUH, took the helm in hosting the inaugural Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD) hands-on workshop at the ASSERT Centre UCC.  This marks a significant step forward in providing invaluable in-person training opportunities for Irish consultant gastroenterologists, trainees, and nurses.

Joining Prof. Iacucci in this groundbreaking event was the esteemed visiting professor, Prof. Toshi Uraoka, from Gunma University in Japan, renowned worldwide for his expertise in ESD procedures.  Dr. Yasuharu Maeda, a visiting Fellow at MUH, also enriched the workshop with his insights and knowledge.

What makes this workshop even more special is that it’s the first of its kind in Ireland. Thanks to the generous contributions of cutting-edge equipment from Olympus, Cook Medical, and Irish Hospital Supplies, the ASSERT Centre can now offer top-tier training opportunities to endoscopists eager to hone their skills in this advanced technique.

ESD, born in Japan more than a decade ago, has revolutionized the resection of superficial neoplasms, regardless of their size. It has evolved to encompass applications in the oesophagus and colon, making its journey from Eastern Asia to Europe and beyond.

The key strength of ESD over endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is its ability to remove lesions in one piece, regardless of their size or fibrosis, minimizing the risk of fragmented removal and local recurrence. Yet, it does come with slightly longer procedure times and a higher risk of bleeding and perforation.

For many years, the Western medical community exercised caution in adopting ESD, due to a scarcity of local experts. Most Western endoscopists had to travel to Japan to observe ESD procedures on real patients. But not everyone had that opportunity.

As a result, there is a clear and urgent need for well-structured, comprehensive strategies to make ESD training more accessible and effective. The ASSERT Centre UCC, with its innovative workshop, is taking a big step in the right direction, bridging the gap and propelling ESD into Irish Gastroenterology .