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.
In what is likely to be the first operation of its kind in regional Australia, a 32 year old patient from Hamilton last week received an Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL or Intraocular Contact Lens or Phakic Intraocular Lens) at St John of God Hospital in Warrnambool.
The 20 minute operation was performed by Warrnambool Eye Specialist Dr Vincent Lee and involved inserting a very thin lens into each of the patient's eyes to remove the need for glasses or contact lenses.
The patient made a rapid recovery. Immediately after the operation, she was able to see well enough for the first time to walk around safely without thick spectacles or contact lenses. By the next morning, the patient's vision in each eye was excellent, measuring 6/9, without the help of spectacles. On day 2, she reported that her vision was so clear it was like she was "watching a High Definition television". At the 1 week check, her vision was effortlessly 6/6 or 20/20.
The Implantable Collamer Lens or ICL is like a contact lens but, rather than sitting in front of the eye on the cornea, it is placed inside the eye and therefore, is permanent and does not have to be removed each night or each week.
The patient is a young professional who had required very thick spectacles (-11.00 diopters) for severe myopia or short sight from the age of 6 years. She said that by the time she was in high school,
Zovirax® (aciclovir) 3% eye ointment will be discontinued and deleted from the market in February 2019 after GSK ceased manufacturing in the 3rd quarter of 2018.
When existing supplies of Zovirax® (aciclovir) 3% eye ointment are exhausted the following options may be considered:
*Please note that I have made arrangements for the Pharmacy Departments at St John of God Hospital and South West Health Care to ensure they carry stocks of AciVision® for prescribers in Warrnambool. Patients will simply need to present their prescriptions to access the drug. I will be speaking to Pharmacy Departments in Colac and Hamilton soon to ensure this brand of aciclovir is made available. If prescribers have difficulty accessing this drug for their patients, please contact me directly - Dr Vincent Lee.
For short sighted people who want a permanent solution to get rid of their spectacles, LASIK has been a go-to choice for a long time.
However, many are not suitable for LASIK - their level of shortsightedness may be too high or their corneas too thin, or too irregular, or too dry. There are also a proportion of patients in whom shortsightedness returns after their LASIK procedure. Furthermore - a process termed regression, LASIK is tissue-destructive - a thin layer of cornea is removed in reshaping its surface and it cannot be repeated more than once, if an incorrect result is obtained at the first attempt. Finally, when cataracts eventually develop, post-LASIK patients, will find that their options are limited when it comes to whether they can have premium Intra Ocular Lenses (IOLs) to enable them to remain spectacle free after cataract surgery. This is due to the higher order aberrations created by the laser procedure (from unpreventable tiny movements of the eye during the laser re-shaping process). So a procedure that frees you from glasses in your younger years may actually reduce your chances of being spectacle free in the second half of your life.
However, shortsighted people can choose another procedure, known as ICL (or Implantable Collamer Lens/ Intraocular Contact Lens or Phakic IOL). The ICL procedure does not have any of the above disadvantages of LASIK and has a number of additional benefits that may give it an advantage over LASIK, as explained yesterday at a meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, in Chicago.
Click the button below to access the link to the AAO webpage:
Click the button below to learn more about the ICL
Today, 2 of our patients became the first to receive a Hydrus Microstent implant in Victoria. The Hydrus is the latest MIGS device to be approved for use in Australia by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration).
MIGS or, Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery, is a new class of surgery which is considerably less invasive than traditional glaucoma surgery. The use of microstents and other MIGS procedures has greatly reduced the burden of eye drops in glaucoma sufferers with nearly all patients experiencing a reduction in the need for glaucoma eye drops following this type of surgery and many patients not requiring any drops at all.
The surgery was performed by Dr Vincent Lee at St John of God Health Care in Warrnambool.
A highlight of the EURETINA Congress held in Vienna in September was the announcement, for the first time, of the results of a study which showed that a new laser treatment - known as Retinal Rejuvenation Therapy or 2RT - reverses the ageing changes in Macular Degeneration (AMD) and leads to a substantial reduction in advancement to the late stages of AMD, including Wet AMD.
Up until this time, there has been no treatment for Dry AMD and the worry for many with this disease has been that there was no preventive therapy that could reduce their chances of progressing to the late stages of Wet AMD.
It now appears likely that there will soon be a laser that, simply and painlessly applied to the eye in the clinic over a few minutes, could prevent the late stages of AMD and the risk of requiring monthly eye injections for life!
It is very pleasing that the study was conducted in our Victorian capital city of Melbourne, at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, and that the new laser is built just across our state border, in Adelaide!
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!
Dr Vincent Lee,