Practitioners explore contemporary solutions

By Caroline Thacker, Optegra

In the illustrious surroundings of the Royal College of Physicians, alongside Regent’s Park in Central London and with halls replete with portraits of eminent physicians, nearly 80 ophthalmic surgeons, industry personnel and eye care practitioners gathered in June for a consultant-led symposium and workshop entitled “Contemporary Solutions for Cataract, Refractive, Retina & Glaucoma; Technology driven innovations in OCT”. 
The event, which was jointly hosted by ZEISS Academy & Optegra Eye Sciences focused on the range of benefits that OCT brings into patient care across disciplines, from diagnosis to treatment and further management.
Optegra Eye Sciences and ZEISS Academy event photo

L to R: Dr Clare O’Donnell (Optegra Eye Sciences) Prof Wolfgang Haigis (University of Wurtzburg), Ms Lyn Millbank (Zeiss Academy) Prof John Wild (Cardiff University),  Claire Martin (Zeiss), Dr Hema Radhakrishnan (University of Manchester).

Dr Clare O’Donnell from Optegra Eye Sciences welcomed delegates and keynote speaker Prof. Wolfgang Haigis of Würtzburg University led a discussion on innovations in biometry.  This began with a foray through the development of modern intraocular lens formulae from the first formulae of 1980, up to more state of the art methods.
Topics raised in the discussion included the emergent SWEPT Source biometry and its innovative features and capabilities in relation to developing a precise prediction of effective lens position. Prof. Haigis concluded with a description of the Haigis Suite, including the new Haigis-T formula for toric IOLs.
With the symposium having raised the subject of higher order aberrations, Dr Hema Radhakrishnan (The University of Manchester) led a detailed overview of ocular aberrations, and the positive and negative effects on vision, taking a welcome primer on aberrations of the eye further in discussions from the floor to take a look at the question “are aberrations always bad?” to which of course the answer is ‘no’.
Prof. John Wild of Cardiff University led an engaging and helpful synopsis of current understanding of the glaucomas. Structural and functional aspects of the glaucomas are independently important, a fact which Prof. Wild asserts is becoming clearer as our knowledge of the conditions improves and continues to thwart attempts to isolate a clear linkage of the two.
Prof. Wild went on to outline precisely why the advent of OCT technology will be so important to furthering our understanding of glaucoma, with future techniques looking at lamina pore scans to indicate the stage of the disease, with obvious benefit to the patients of the future.
In the afternoon session, Mr Mahi Muqit of Moorfields Eye Hospital gave delegates an insight into “What’s new in retinal?”, describing the emerging technologies and practices for the posterior segment, including ‘chemical vitrectomy’, advanced heads-up 3D surgical technology and minimally invasive laser treatments, seeking to titrate a greater number of laser burns in photocoagulation against shorter duration.
The technology theme continued with a look at methods to use intraoperative OCT in epiretinal membrane surgery, and the tremendous potential of strides toward the development of the ‘bionic eye’, and its potential to change lives.
To conclude Wednesday’s programme, a range of topics were covered in free paper sessions, including the options for presbyopic corneal inlay surgery, offered by Mr Mark Wevill from Optegra Eye Health Care, which sought to stress the importance of patient selection in the success of this emerging range of treatment options.
Mr Jay Dermott (Optegra Eye Sciences) presented comparative results of multifocal versus trifocal IOL technologies, Dr Andreas Hartwig (Optegra Eye Sciences) presented interim results of an intraoperative imaging system for monofocal toric IOL alignment. To conclude, Mr Say Aun Quah spoke on real-life case learnings regarding the effects of patient medication on pupil diameter, and the importance of this in patients undergoing IOL surgery, particularly the effects it has on visual symptoms and outcomes.
The accredited workshop on the second day was an opportunity for more of a hands-on and interactive format, attended by consultants, ophthalmic professionals including nurses, health-care technicians and optometrists. 
Lyn Millbank from the Zeiss Academy gave an overview of developments in ocular biometry and summarized how current IOL power calculation formulae should be applied. The presentation was concluded with a real-time demonstration of the features of the newly developed IOL Master 700 instrument.
Prof. John Wild provided an informative overview reminding the audience of the definition of glaucoma as well as an interpretation of visual fields and retinal OCT data. He pointed out the need to consider graphical diagnostic results as well as statistical approaches that can be used to look at structure versus functional deficits as well as disease progression.
A presentation entitled “What’s new in retinal OCT interpretation?” by Mr Nicholas Lee from Hillingdon Hospital and Western Eye Hospital provided delegates with an update on advances in diagnosis and treatment of retinal conditions and also focused on OCT imaging illustrating the effects of treatments now available.
In a technical presentation Dr Andreas Hartwig (Optegra Eye Sciences) gave an overview of ocular higher order aberrations for the eye care practitioner. He described ways of visualizing higher order aberrations and pointed out which terms are useful to consider in clinical practice.
Christa Gore and Michelle Hanratty (Optegra) provided an insightful presentation offering tips for managing refractive surgery patients.  An overview of patient suitability and flow and post-operative evaluation was provided.
The day was concluded by an interactive presentation on OCT led by Lyn Millbank. Participants had the opportunity to have an OCT scan and have their images discussed by the group. One attendee, Mr. George Mumford (optometrist), commented ‘I found the presentations and workshops stimulating and very relevant to clinical practice. I particularly enjoyed the interactive format with the multidisciplinary group of eye health professionals.’
Attracting nearly 80 attendees across the two days, the event was largely a consultant-led symposium and CPD and CET points were available for surgeons and optometrists attending.

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