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ESCRS Ophthalmology Conference 2017 Lisbon, Portugal

ESCRS Ophthalmology Conference 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal

The XXXV Congress of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) took place from the 7th-11th of October 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal. You may wonder why we at Parker Cornea travel thousands of miles, deal with TSA, foreign airport security, immigration control, and Customs, not to mention jet lag, to attend ophthalmology meetings around the world.

We actually can’t imagine missing these meetings. Here’s why:

Education: There are hundreds of lectures, posters and videos on the latest advancements in cataract surgery and corneal surgery. Every day is educational for us. We presented a new way to save a group of very sick eyes with DMEK. Another study we presented looked at eyes of patients who had DMEK but later died and donated their eyes for study. Such information allows ophthalmologists better insight into the uses and possible limits of DMEK surgery.

Exchange of Ideas: Medical conferences give doctors the ability to exchange ideas about theories, surgeries, and instruments, which often leads to revolutionary change. For instance, we first heard Gerrit Melles, MD, PhD, the originator of DSEK, DMEK, Bowman layer transplantation, and virtually all of the new corneal transplant procedures performed today, speak at an international medical conference more than a decade ago.

This year, we heard a variety of great new ideas about cataract surgery and corneal surgery particularly from specialists from Japan, India and Singapore.

The Latest in Special Equipment:  Ophthalmic technology changes at least as fast as cell phone technology. New hardware and software give us better information so that we can help our patients make better decisions and get better outcomes.

Better Patient Care: How are we doing? Ophthalmology is a wonderfully objective field. Visual acuity is just one specific variable that can be compared between patients with similar problems from around the world. When physicians compare diagnostic and therapeutic approaches along with their outcomes, everyone wins.

Cultural events: After a long day at the conference we were able to enjoy some delicious Lisbon neighborhood restaurants. Our favorite spot was a local Portuguese restaurant where dined on rabbit and octopus. But a small Nepalese café with its goat stew and mango ice cream was a very close second!

All in all the trip couldn’t have been better.  We left with lots of new information and lots of new friends.

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keratoconus, cross-linking, corneal cross-linking, collagen cross-linking

Why Should I Have Cross-Linking Now?

I Can Still See Clearly with my Contact Lenses.

Keratoconus is a relatively common bilateral condition that is characterized by progressive corneal distortion. The disease causes the corneas to bulge into an irregular cone shape which permanently blurs vision. In early keratoconus, contact lenses or even glasses can effectively correct vision. Even hard contact lenses do not prevent keratoconus progression. In most cases, corneal cross-linking actually halts the progression of keratoconus.

Vision changes are often a specific, but not sensitive, indicator that keratoconus is progressing. Since only some corneal deformation can be corrected with hard contact lenses or even surgery, it is important to stop a cornea from deforming as soon as possible. A cornea that is too deformed is not able to see well even with a hard contact lens.

Parker Cornea is the first provider of FDA approved corneal cross-linking in the state of Alabama because we participated in Avedro’s FDA trials. We offer a full range of keratoconus interventions including Intacs and partial-thickness corneal transplants. We were the first surgeons in the United States to offer Bowman layer transplantation for keratoconus and we teach and speak internationally on the treatment of keratoconus.


Ophthalmic images are © 2009 American Academy of Ophthalmology.

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Keratoconus Treatment, bowman layer, bowman layer transplantation

Dr. Jack Parker Discusses Bowman Layer Transplantation at EuCornea

At the EuCornea meeting in Barcelona, Spain, on Sept. 9, Jack Parker, MD, talked about Bowman’s layer transplantation, a minimally interventional procedure to arrest progression of the disease in patients with advanced keratoconus otherwise ineligible for other procedures. Watch a video of the presentation below and learn more about Bowman layer transplantation at Parker Cornea here.

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