Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon Endo-Surgery (EES) partnered with CBS HealthWatch and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) for a web event broadcast live from EES's booth at the Society's ongoing annual meeting.
The hour-long event (which can be replayed here), featured a parade of surgeons answering questions about colorectal cancer and disease. Questions were gathered online and from audience members, and posed by moderator David Beck, president-elect of the ASCRS. Discussion tended toward the benefits of laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, surgery, as an approach to colectomy, or colon surgery. Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, introduced the web event from CBS studios.
The ASCRS meeting and web event coincided with the launch of several EES devices for colorectal procedures, including two new surgical staplers and the Harmonic Focus Long Curved Shears, a tool designed for open procedures that require deep access, according to a company release.
An educational website (colonsurgeryinfo.com) for consumers, linked via banner to the CBS web event site, provides visitors with information and medical illustrations related to various types and stages of colon disease. Brochures for download encourage patients to ask their doctors about minimally invasive surgery, and a surgeon locator tool helps patients find surgeons that specialize in minimally invasive colon surgeries.
Katie Couric, who lost her husband to colon cancer in 1998, appeared in public service announcements beginning in March and running through May 19, the end of the ASCRS meeting, according to Porter Novelli spokesperson Paula Moggio. The PSAs ran in the top 10 metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, and expect to garner 50 million impressions, Moggio said in an email.
EES has worked with CBS HealthWatch since 2008 to raise awareness on the importance of colorectal cancer screening, according to a company release.