Yury Yashkov, MD, PhD was born on October 16, 1957 in Moscow. Although there were no doctors in his family, Yury decided to become a surgeon at a very young age after he was allowed one day to skip lessons in his school in order to observe operations at the local hospital.
After graduating in a public school in 1974, Dr. Yashkov successfully passed his exams and was admitted to the 1st Moscow Medical Institution (currently, the 1st Moscow Medical University). After graduating from the Medical Faculty in 1980, he was admitted to the 2-year surgical residency at the Russian Research Center of Surgery where he then worked in the Department of Liver and Biliopancreatic surgery until 2003.
In 1991, Yury defended his first thesis “Surgical Treatment of Cholelithiasis in Patients with Acquired Heart Disease” and was granted a degree of Candidate of Medical Sciences. Also at that time, liver transplant surgeons from his department traveled to Richmond, VA, USA. They returned to Moscow and spoke to Dr. Yashkov about the obesity surgery program initiated by Professor Harvey Sugerman at the Virginia Commonwealth University. In Russia at that time, bariatric surgery was not very popular secondary to the unsuccessful experience with the jejunoileal bypass. However, one program, led by Prof. N. Kuzin at the Moscow Medical Academy, gained significant experience placing non-adjustable gastric bands. Dr. Yashkov became interested in this new field of surgery. In November 1992, Dr. Yashkov performed the first two vertical banded gastroplasties (VBG) in Russia.
In 1995, Dr. Yashkov was invited by Prof. Sugerman to visit him at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond where Dr. Yashkov observed Prof. Sugerman perform open gastric bypass operations. He was impressed both by Prof. Sugerman’s surgical technique and his work as a researcher. Dr. Yashkov spent time in the University library studying the published articles on bariatric surgery, which were not available in Russia at that time.
When Dr. Yashkov returned to Moscow, he intended to incorporate the gastric bypass into his clinic. However, because of strong opposition among leading surgeons in his clinic, he could not.
In that same year (1995), Dr. Yashkov attended his first international symposium in Stockholm. At that meeting, a small group of leading international bariatric surgeons created the International Federation for Surgery of Obesity (IFSO). In the following year (1996) at the first IFSO symposium in Prague, Dr. Yashkov presented the first Russian series of VBGs. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Yashkov received an invitation from Dr. Cornelius Doherty to visit him at the University of Iowa. It was there that Dr. Yashkov met the father of obesity surgery, Prof. Edward Mason. Prof. Mason pioneered the gastric bypass procedure and also the VBG. During that visit, Prof. Mason and Prof. Doherty demonstrated for Dr. Yashkov the nuances and tricks of performing the VBG.
Since 1999 Dr. Yashkov has organized annual seminars on bariatric and metabolic surgery for general surgeons from all over Russia to obtain basic knowledge on bariatric surgery. During the last 10 years, such seminars were organized with Dr. Alexandr Neymark and held twice yearly, in Moscow and in St. Petersburg.
Encouraged by the first IFSO presidents, Professors N. Scopinaro, M. Fried, and G. Cowan, Dr. Yashkov created The Society of Bariatric Surgeons of Russia which was officially approved in 2000. Initially, the society had only 6 members. Dr. Yashkov was elected as its first president and he remained as president for the next 17 years. In October 2017, Dr. Yashkov was elected as Honorable President of the society. During his presidency, Dr. Yashkov organized 10 national congresses in different regions of Russia including the Moscow International Bariatric Congress in 2016 that attracted more than 400 participants. Together with Mikael Wyren (Sweden), Dr. Yashkov was a co-president of the 1st European Obesity Summit held in Gothenburg that year.
During the period of 2012–2014, Yury Yashkov was the president of the IFSO-European Chapter (IFSO-EC). During his presidency, several new countries joined IFSO. In 2016 during the XXI IFSO Congress, Dr. Yashkov was given a special IFSO award for his contributions to the growth of the federation. He is also an honorary member of the bariatric societies of Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
In 1999 Dr. Yashkov defended his second thesis, “Vertical Banded Gastroplasty in the Treatment of Morbid Obesity” and was granted a Doctor of the Medical Sciences degree. Impressed by the publications of Prof. W. Pories and Prof. G. Noya, Dr. Yashkov was the first surgeon in Russia to propose the concept of treating type 2 diabetes mellitus with surgery (gastric bypass or biliopancreatic diversion) independent of the degree of obesity. In 1999, he performed the first BPD/duodenal switch in Russia. In 2000, Dr. Yashkov became one of the first surgeons in Russia to place the intragastric balloons. He still routinely uses the balloon for achieving preoperative weight loss for his high-risk patients.
From 2003 to the present, Dr. Yashkov has been the head of the Obesity Surgery Service in the CELT-clinic (historical name—Center of Endosurgery and Lithotripsy), one of the first private clinics in Russia. In 2011 CELT-clinic became one of the first in Europe to be granted the title of European Center of Excellence. In addition, for the past 10 years, Dr. Yury Yashkov has held the position of Professor of The Course of New Medical technologies in The First Moscow Medical University.
Dr. Yashkov is a strong proponent of multifunctional abdominoplasties performed concomitant with primary and revisional bariatric surgery. More than 80 % of his abdominoplasties had such concomitant operations (altogether more than 300 patients). These combined operations are of importance for the patients who have no insurance support for bariatric surgery.
For over 20 years, Dr. Yashkov has been an Editorial Board member of the official journal of IFSO, Obesity Surgery. He is also a member of the Editorial Boards of Russian journals Obesity and Metabolism and Moscow Surgical Journal.
Yury was married twice. His first wife, Elena, died in 1996. His second wife, Tatiana, has worked for many years as a Secretary of The Society of Bariatric Surgeons of Russia. Yury has two children from the first marriage and three grandchildren. Yury Yashkov’s hobbies are painting, listening to a wide spectrum of music, kayaking, and travel.
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