This book is the fourth in a
series of publications, inaugurated in 1984 after the first World Congress
It was a wager of the most challenging
and venturesome sort, when I first imagined that it would be possible
to bring together all of these specialists, from all disciplines, concerning
one single organ, to participate in an approach that they were not familiar
with. I sought not a conference and I asked neither for an exhaustive
commentary, nor a paper that they would have chosen themselves.
No! I proposed an original and
more difficult procedure: each one, an indisputable specialist of high
reputation, was asked to agree not to report on his or her very
own experience, but rather to make use of this experience to seek, and
find, the elements of an elective synthesis on an extremely precise
and limited point, granting the material for a response to a single
and most specific question.
For this Fourth O.E.S.O. World
Congress, as for the first three, at the time when I was devising the
300 questions focusing on the specific theme, which this time was 'The
Esophageal Mucosa', to answer each question, I thought to ask either
a personal friend, or even a known author whom I had maybe never met,
but whose work had impressed me.
It was then that the members
of the Permanent Scientific Committee of O.E.S.O. fulfilled their role,
and how prominent indeed it was, to polish the terminology of the questions
and widen their potential scope, or to suggest a more appropriate contributor.
And in this way, other valuable
specialists were contacted to participate.
This collective enthusiasm has
made the elaboration of this book possible, as it significantly contributed
to the smooth and original functioning of the Congress: everyone fully
played the challenging game asked of them, and offered a unique and
essential part to construct this kind of encyclopedia that now covers
a fascinating area of esophagology.
I thank each one of them.
I am grateful to each one for
all that was given towards this effort.
I am proud to have Guido Tytgat,
Tom DeMeester, and Jean-Paul Galmiche with me as co-editors of this
fourth volume: they bestow upon it their vast reputations, and all that
their exceptional importance represents to the scientific world.
They are also very close friends,
who have known how to help me efficiently in each step of the laborious
preparation of the Congress that was at the origin of this book.
And it is a privilege for the
Scientific Director of O.E.S.O. to watch this polydisciplinary locomotive,
charged with future projects, now running at full speed driven by the
ardent force in each of us, and to know that it will go far in finding
fascinating areas yet to be explored in our splendid and complex specialty.
Robert Giuli, MD, FACS
Professor of Surgery
Professor of Surgery Scientific Director of O.E.S.O.
Very much apart, because her
participation has been exceptionally remarkable, I would like to pay
particular tribute to Michèle Liégeon.
An attentive and precious assistant, keenly intelligent, communicatively
enthusiastic, endowed with matchless meticulousness in her quest for
excellence, she has been outstandingly efficient in giving this volume,
as the preceding ones, a certain perfection that, I hope, the reader
will easily perceive.