The 51st Annual Congress of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) was held in Sydney over 5 days in November. Celebrating the 50 year anniversary of RANZCO, the meeting showcased top national and international speakers delivering topics covering current and emerging practices in eye disease diagnostics, technology, surgical and medical treatment, including gene therapy. Highlights included presentations on the Bionic Eye* project at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) and the evolution of laser treatment in the eye, by Prof John Marshall, inventor of the excimer laser used in refractive eye surgery and of the new sub threshold nanosecond laser, or 2RT, now in use for treatment of dry AMD and diabetic macular swelling.
*Associate Professor Penny Allen is delivering the 2019 Gerard Crock Lecture on the Bionic Eye Project on Thursday 21 November in Melbourne. To register for this Free Event click this button:
I attended the 19th Congress of the European Society of Retina Specialists in Paris, early this month.
A gathering of the top minds from Europe, USA, Asia and the rest of the world in the stunning setting of the City of Lights, made for an enlightening meeting .
I was invited to present a lecture on the management of Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) at the Lady Bay Conference Centre at the end of July. The meeting was attended by GPs in Warrnambool and surrounding districts, as well as industry representatives.
The intent of the DR Insight meeting is to accelerate awareness amongst General Practititioners about DR screening pathways in primary care settings. Welch Allyn and Mylan Pharmaceuticals, as part of the Keep-Sight program https://www.keepsight.org.au/, host multiple educational events across regional Australia. The educational events include a presentation delivered by an Ophthalmologist and an Endocrinologist (Dr Shannon McCarthy, Epworth Geelong) along with hands on experience with the RetinaVue device to increase awareness of DR screening & demonstrate the unique telehealth component of the RetinaVue camera.
It was a privilege to attend the EURETINA Congress, a meeting of the European Society of Retina Specialists, held in Vienna in September. Apart from the simply awesome city which was the venue of the meeting, it was gratifying to learn that much of the latest technology available to the world, in terms of the diagnosis and treatment of retinal and macular diseases, is also currently available right here in the south west of Victoria.
Nevertheless, there was also much to discover in relation to new technology and treatment modalities that are just on the horizon.
For example, I was very excited to learn that a number of longer acting drugs and a slow release device are about to be introduced, which will mean that patients, who need regular eye injections for macular disease will soon see benefits in reduced frequency of injections and a longer interval between injections of up to 6 months!
The Allergan Beyond conference was held in Sydney on the 21-22 July 2018. An eminent group of world leaders in glaucoma was convened to present the latest information on MIGS, in particular the Xen Gel Stent.
The XEN® Gel Stent is a surgical implant consisting of a 6mm long gelatin stent designed to lower high eye pressure in open-angle glaucoma patients where previous surgical treatment has failed and/or medications alone were insufficient (also known as refractory glaucoma).
Dr Ike Ahmed from Toronto Canada, widely regarded as a 'guru' of MIGS, was present to pass on some invaluable tips on the use of the Xen stent and his views on the use of this and other MIGS devices.
Dr Vincent Lee,