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Belgian Section of Obesity and Metabolic Surgery

  • Category: BESOMS
  • Published: Monday, 16 July 2018 00:00
  • Written by BESOMS Webmaster
  • 30 Jan




It is with deep sorrow that we have learned the death of Dr Mitiku Belachew on April 7th 2021 in Liège. Mitiku was born in Ethiopia in a small rural village in 1942. After his scholarship in Addis-Abeba, he moved to Belgium and obtained the diploma of medical doctor from the University of Liège.

Mitiku was a pioneer in bariatric surgery. On January 1st 1978, he performed the first laparoscopic placement of a gastric band in collaboration with Dr Marc Legrand. He was appreciated by his colleagues not only for his professional expertise but also because of his great humanity.

Ethiopia has lost one of its ambassador but the memory of Mitiku will live forever through the book “Le berger devenu chirurgien” that he published in 2015.

We send our deepest sympathy and our sincerest condolences to his family.

On behalf of the Besoms board members.

Dr Hauters Philippe




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In 1996 the Benelux Association of Bariatric Surgeons was founded to unite specialists from the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg with a special interest in the surgical treatment of obesity. Due to the exponentially growing interest in the field of bariatric surgery, a Belgian organisation was founded in oktober 2005 under the name "Section of Obesity Surgery Belgium" or SOSB, and the BABS structure was kept as the liaison with the IFSO. The names of the original founders were J. Closset, A. De Roover, B. De Waele, A. D'Hoore, B. DIllemans, M. Legrand, L. Lemmens, L. Hendrickx, D. Herman, J. Himpens, G. Hubens, M. Miserez, G. Vander Velpen and E. Van Vyve. The first chairman was Piet Pattyn. 

Further evolution in the field of bariatric surgery revealed the important role of this type of surgery on the control of metabolic disorders like diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnoea and the name of the society was changed to "Belgian Section of Obesity and Metabolic Surgery" or BeSOMS. Meanwhile, the BeSOMS is a full section of the Belgian Royal Society of Surgery (RBSS) and has organised numerous congresse, symposia, workshops and other scientific meetings in Belgium and abroad.



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