The 18th annual AUSCRS Conference in late July has been hailed as “the best ever” in terms of content, attendance and participation, with 395 delegates travelling to Port Douglas in Queensland from around Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Austria and Germany.
Themed ‘Forever Young’ the conference presentations, discussion and debate naturally focussed on achieving emmetropia, primarily through cataract and refractive surgery.
Professor H. Burkhard Dick, an international leading ophthalmologic surgeon from Germany, who has extensively researched laser assisted cataract surgery, delivered the Gold Medal Lecture. He compared results of femtosecond laser assisted cataract surgery with standard procedures, concluding that the former has achieved good results and has a big future. Professor H. Dick’s lecture inspired strong debate among his audience.
Professor Dick also spoke about a light adjustable intraocular lens, which has been in development for many years. Having researched this technology extensively, he was able to advise that the new lens is extremely close to achieving emmetropia, and probably better than vision that can be achieved by ophthalmologists using preoperative formulas and standard IOLs.
He said the desired refraction is achieved by using ultra violet light to irradiate specific areas of the light adjustable lens. The adjusted power is then locked in by shining UV light on the entire lens again. A date for commercialisation is yet to be announced.
Several specialists presented alternative ways to achieve emmetropia, including formulas that can be particularly useful for treating astigmatism. Both Professor Graham Barrett from Perth and Dr. Michael Goggin from Adelaide discussed their toric nomograms that take into account the posterior surface of the cornea.
Dr. Michael Lawless from Sydney presented his findings on the value of the new Alcon Verion surgical guidance positioning system. His presentation generated strong debate about whether it would – or would not – add a great deal to the accuracy of toric placement.
A third approach to achieving accuracy of the emmetropia prediction following cataract surgery or lens exchange was discussed by Dr. Robert Weinstock. He presented his results from determining the power and toric axes of an IOL on the table using the Optiwave Refractive Analysis (ORA) device for intraoperative aberrometry.
Presbyopia was also a major theme at the 18th annual AUSCRS conference, with extensive discussion focussed on the benefits of implanting multifocal and trifocal intraocular lenses. Delegates also debated the use of lenses with different add powers for left and right eyes as a viable alternative to using multifocal or trifocal IOLs to achieve greater depth of focus for near, intermediate and distance vision.
Speaking at the conclusion of the conference, Dr. Rick Wolfe, secretary/ treasurer of AUSCRS said solid content and frank discussion among a strong contingent of ophthalmologists and optometrists made AUSCRS 2014 an exceptional conference to attend.
“Dr. Graham Barrett and I formed AUSCRS 20 years ago in response to the obvious, unmet need for improved educational opportunities and the need to share experience in the burgeoning fields of cataract and refractive surgery. Eighteen very successful conferences later AUSCRS still leads in the advancement in the science and art of cataract and refractive surgery. Port Douglas 2014 was the best ever and we look forwards to an even better meeting at Noosa in October 2015,” he said.