Anders Thorell, Sweden
past President IASMEN

President's Message


It is my great pleasure and honour to welcome you all to IASMEN, the International Association for Surgical Metabolism and Nutrition.


IASMEN was founded 1993 during the 35th World Congress of Surgery in Hong Kong as an integrated society of the International Society of Surgery (ISS) / Société Internationale de Chirurgie (SIC). The idea was to create a platform for clinically active surgeons with an interest in metabolism and nutrition to stimulate education, collaboration and research within this area.


Ever since Sir David Cuthbertson in his pioneer work described the “Ebb and flow” response to trauma, the development and knowledge in the area of surgical metabolism has increased tremendously. Some other important milestones are the development of Intralipid for intravenous provision of lipids, immunonutrition and recognition of the crucial importance of glucose control for outcome in critical illness. Metabolic and nutritional care is therefore since long integrated as an essential part of patient management in clinical practice, not least in the field of surgery.


Like in other areas of science, research within the area of nutrition and metabolism is of crucial importance to increase our knowledge on how to improve surgical care. One important mission for IASMEN is therefore to encourage and facilitate research in all integrated areas including a broad spectrum of topics, such as from basic research aiming at understanding underlying pathophysiological mechanisms behind various states of disease to large-scale pragmatic RCTs to get robust data for evidence-based recommendations.


During the last decades, the development of ERAS (Enhanced Recovery After Surgery), or “fast-track” pathways has been recognized as important means to reduce the metabolic and physical stress that is exposed to patients undergoing surgical treatment. The use of such programs has been convincingly demonstrated to reduce the risk of complications and to facilitate recovery after surgery. The close collaboration between national ERAS societies and IASMEN has been established and gradually increased during the last years and is expected to do so further in the future. This is also reflected by the integration of ERAS sessions in the IASMEN scientific program during the biannual ISS congresses.


Another pivotal mission for IASMEN is to increase collaboration with not only other nutrition related societies, such as ESPEN, ASPEN and PENSA but also with other integrated societies within ISS such as ISBI and ISDS. The awareness that metabolic and nutritional care is an essential part of the treatment of patients within these areas has gradually increased and therefore today constitutes a platform for further collaboration within education and research.


Finally, the perhaps most urgent goal for IASMEN in the near future is to develop and increase our network among clinical and scientific colleagues to improve and strengthen the quality of our activities. One important means to achieve this is by attracting new IASMEN members, in particular young surgeons and colleagues from middle- and low-income countries. A member will immediately be part of and able to take advantage from a network of colleagues that gives great opportunities for a mutual exchange and support between surgeons with an interest in surgical metabolism. All other benefits associated with an IASMEN membership are listed in the “Member” heading on this website.


It is therefore, again, my great pleasure to welcome you all as members of our Society and to share our passion for clinical and academic issues related to our areas of interest. I am also indeed looking forward to take part of the development of IASMEN during the following two years to come and to meet you all at the next ISS Congress in Kuala Lumpur 2021.


Anders Thorell

Consultant Surgeon,

Professor of Surgery Karolinska Institutet,

Department of Surgery,

Ersta Hospital