Optegra Eye Sciences and ZEISS Academy host successful ‘Contemporary Solutions for Cataract & Refractive Surgery’ meeting

Report by Dr Clare O’Donnell and Emma Scarlett

4-5th June 2014

Some of the leading European ophthalmic surgeons and eye care practitioners gathered at Aston University to attend the Contemporary Solutions for Cataract & Refractive surgery meeting. Hosted by Optegra Eye Sciences and ZEISS Academy, the two-day event offered delegates the opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience on the latest technologies, treatments and techniques driving innovation within the field. Attracting nearly 100 attendees across the two days, the 4th June event was a Consultant-led symposium, with many top international ophthalmic surgeons present. Dr O’Donnell (Optegra Eye Sciences) chaired the event which had a more hands-on and interactive format.  CPD points were available for surgeons attending.

Each day had a programme full of high calibre speakers and content, with both morning sessions being opened with a keynote presentation from Professor Wolfgang Haigis (Würzburg University). In a long-standing cooperation with Carl Zeiss Meditec, Professor Haigis has been instrumental in the development of Optical Biometry and measurement devices such as the IOLMaster and the ACMaster. His talk entitled ‘Is Biometry Meeting the Challenges?’ discussed the obstacles often faced when obtaining accurate IOL power calculations, offering valuable insights into the suitability of various formulae for a range of different clinical scenarios as well as the benefits of optimising A-constants. The case for non-contact biometry methods versus ultrasound biometry was also a hot topic. Professor James Wolffsohn (Aston University) gave a presentation on the role of topography in biometry, contrasting the features and benefits of a range of different approaches.

Mr Teifi James delivered an interesting talk on optimising outcomes of Cataract & Refractive Surgery through the preparation of the ocular surface. Using recent research findings, Mr James discussed the strategies for optimising the ocular surface, such as the role of omega 3 dietary supplements and the evidence base for the effective use of warm compresses. Through the use of videos and interactive content, Mr James ensured that the audience were kept informed and entertained!

A wide range of topics were covered over the two days, including the comparative clinical performance of different multifocal IOL designs, presented by Mr James Ball (Optegra Yorkshire), Mr Shafiq Rehman (Optegra Yorkshire), Dr Lenka Filipova (Lexum) and Dr Marketa Santarova (Lexum).  An overview of a study on an intraoperative imaging system for markerless toric IOL alignment was also provided by Dr A Hartwig (Optegra Eye Sciences) in the rapid fire session. Mr V Berktold (Zeiss) and Mr B Hallsworth (Zeiss Academy) gave an overview of the components of the system in an interactive workshop session.

An excellent overview of what the cataract and refractive surgeon needs to know about interpreting OCT scans was delivered by Mr Moin Mohamed (Optegra Surrey).  This topic sparked many questions and provided a rare opportunity for surgeons to openly debate some of the issues faced when counselling patients considering surgery. Mr Mohamed emphasised that OCT has now become the standard of care in evaluating the integrity of the macula.  Mr Jay Dermott (Optegra Eye Sciences) asked whether laser assisted cataract surgery was making the grade with an overview of some early outcomes data and Mr Brendan Moriarty (Optegra Manchester) delivered a comprehensive presentation on the use of yag vitreolysis for floaters.  Mr Moriarty described how, in selected patients, this approach can offer an alternative to vitrectomy for the management of troublesome floaters.  A fascinating presentation of a challenging cataract case was provided by Mr I Masood (Optegra Birmingham), illustrated with high quality video footage.

The workshop event on the 5th June attracted attendees from a wide range of backgrounds, including ophthalmic nurses, optometrists and associated health care technicians. CET points were available for optometrists.  In addition to the dedicated presentations on biometry (Prof Haigis), topography (Prof Wolffsohn), ocular surface disease (Mr James), fascinating developments in the field of retina (Mr A Mitra, Optegra Birmingham) and glaucoma (Mr I Masood, Optegra Birmingham) were also provided. Mr Oliver Bowen-Thomas (Optegra Solent) gave a clear and comprehensive overview of patient selection and the clinical pathways for laser vision correction and refractive lens exchange.  Interactive sessions and lectures also included workshops on optical biometry, OCT interpretation (Ms L Millbank, Zeiss Academy) and cataract surgery with and markerless toric IOL alignment (Mr B Hallsworth and Mr V Berktold, Zeiss Academy).

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, as delegates appeared to appreciate the intimate feel of the meeting. With numerous opportunities for discussions with the panel and question and answer sessions, both days fostered an environment for the exchange of ideas in an informal and supportive environment.

In light of such a successful meeting, the organisers from Optegra Eye Sciences and Zeiss would like to thank the speakers and chairs who contributed to the meeting, and to those who participated in the interactive sessions. It is hoped that this can become an annual event, continuing to provide a forum for high quality educational content and discussion, for the ultimate benefit of patients.