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: Lisbon is centuries older than any other major city in Western Europe. After long conference hours, we were able to enjoy some delicious Lisbon neighborhood restaurants and tour beautiful coastal sites. Our restaurant favorite was a traditional Portuguese spot where we dined on rabbit and octopus. 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.