Kiawah Eye Conference Provides Tips on Cataract, Cornea, Refractive Surgery and Retina
I had the please of attending the 2016 Kiawah Eye Conference on Kiawah Island in South Carolina. I was the only surgeon from Melbourne, and I believe the only person from Australia, in attendance. The conference is designed to touch on a variety of topics and bring some of the ophthalmology thought leaders together to discuss progress in the field. The latest technological advances and breakthroughs in the areas of cataract, cornea, glaucoma, refractive surgery, and retina were on the agenda. Surgeons presented complex ophthalmic cases on video while describing their though process, approach and method to obtain the best surgical result and outcome for patients. I certainly picked up a few helpful tips along the way, and it was worth the long trip.
Within the area of cornea and refractive surgery, several talks stressed the importance of optimising the corneal surface prior to a surgical procedure. An update was presented on corneal collagen cross-linking, and I was happy to learn that the FDA has given approval for this procedure the United States. Talks were also presented on external disease, including the use and benefits of amniotic membrane transplantation (AMT) and the treatment of ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN).
I always find the talks on cataract surgery tips and techniques for challenging cases very useful. Though the techniques describe are well known, it always helps to see and hear things many times and note some subtle differences between different surgeons’ techniques. Surgeons presented a variety of topics for discussion, including the management of astigmatism, strategies for managing small pupil cases, and techniques for using capsular tension rings and capsular hooks in cases of weakened zonules.
Retinal surgeons discussed updates from the most recent studies in medical retina. They presented data from large trial protocols including the DRCR.net. Implications of these studies for clinical practice were discussed including their impact on the treatment of diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular oedema. Protocols and comparisons of treatments for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) were also presented. Some exciting news in the area includes studies that are looking at combining Ang2 antibodies with current Anti-VEGF agents to prolong their effect. This could potentially reduce then number of injections required to treat AMD in the future.