Keeping up to date is vital in medical practise and at Sarum Vision we understand the importance of being at the vanguard of developments in medical science. This applies both to more general ophthalmology and areas of sub-speciality interest. Mr Haq and Mr Wakefield have recently both attended important UK based international conferences to keep up to date and also keep an eye on exciting new developments in the field of Ophthalmology.
British Oculoplastic Surgery Society Annual Meeting 2022
Mr Haq’s area of sub-speciality expertise lies in Lid, Lacrimal (tear duct) and Orbital (eye socket) surgery in addition to advanced cataract surgery. He recently attended the British Oculoplastic Surgery Society (BOPPS) meeting in Manchester, an international meeting hosted by various centres in the UK and Ireland. Mr Haq is proud to be a member of BOPSS and has regularly contributed research to the congress. The meeting is attended by delegates from all over the world and this year the keynote lectures were delivered by world renowned leaders in our field from Australia, Netherlands, UK and the USA.
Interesting developments included the use of multimodal imaging in enhancing orbital surgery and novel approaches to rehabilitation in facial nerve palsy. There were also important updates on changes to the management of thyroid eye disease and complications from fillers.
The meeting also provides a valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with peers for advancing our field and improving care for our patients. Manchester is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city and it was not all work and no play however, we all enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with old friends over dinner particularly with the challenges we have all faced over the past couple of years.
Overall it was a fantastic meeting and the feedback from delegates was very positive. Next year the meeting takes place in Oxford and there is an interesting programme already in place.
Oxford Ophthalmological Congress 2022
Both Mr Haq and Mr Wakefield attended the Oxford Ophthalmological Congress last month. This is an internationally renowned conference attended by delegates from all over the world, set in the beautiful and historic city of Oxford. This year the keynote lecture was given by Demis Hassabis CEO of Deep Mind the Artificial Intelligence (AI) company working with Google which has made incredible advances in applications of AI to healthcare. The most impressive development has been the ability of Alpha Fold to determine the 3D structures of proteins. Proteins are the most important biochemical structure in living structures. They are involved in every critical function in living organisms. They are made from amino acids, the building blocks of life which are coded into specific sequences by our genes on chromosomes.
The 3D structure of a protein determines it’s function; if known it can give insights into how to address problems in malfunctioning proteins or provide targets for treatments such as drugs. Alpha Fold is AI software that has essentially solved the problem of working out how proteins fold, one of the greatest challenges in science. Previously work that took years in laboratories can now be solved in minutes. Perhaps the greatest aspect of Alpha Fold is that it is open-source. The creators are to be applauded for publishing the source code for Alpha Fold, making it freely available to the scientific community and published two peer-reviewed papers in Nature detailing its methodology.
The congress was a fantastic event which is truly inspiring in additional to being educational. Useful updates included long term data in the use of Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT), a treatment Sarum Vision is proud to offer and recent advances in biometric assessment in cataract surgery. Sarum Vision is at the forefront in the application of new technology in improving care and we already use Optical Coherence Tomographic (OCT) based biometry which enables us to make calculations with the highest degree of accuracy and perform enhanced cataract surgery with excellent results.
European Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ESOPRS) annual meeting Nice, France September 2022
The practise of medicine varies throughout the world and it is important to learn from research enabled by disparate healthcare systems often influenced by different regulations. The annual ESOPRS conference met in a face-to-face setting for the first time since the Covid-19 outbreak in the lovely city of Nice on the Cote d’Azur. Mr Haq, the Consultant Specialist at Sarum Vision with an interest in this area attended the meeting and commented that it was a pleasure to learn from and share knowledge with world-renowned authorities in various fields of Oculoplastic, Lacrimal and Orbital surgery. One of the highlights was further data on the use of non-surgical chemotherapeutic agents called “checkpoint inhibitors”. These drugs are designed to “shrink” away cancers of the eyelids and eye-socket either to try and cure the disease or facilitate more efficacious and less invasive surgery.
European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ESCRS) annual meeting Milan, Italy September 2022
Following on from ESOPRS in Nice was the ESCRS annual meeting, the largest conference in Europe and one of the largest in the world focussing on cataracts. There was a huge variety of lectures, research presentations, workshops and skills training over five days in Milan. Mr Haq, one of the Consultant Specialists performing cataract surgery at Sarum Vision, attended to evaluate the latest research and technologies pertinent in the field of cataract surgery. Highlights included the methods for reducing the carbon footprint of cataract surgery, integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the diagnosis and management of cataract, and further “real-world” data supporting the use of Ocular Coherence Tomography “OCT” in the refining our practise in the field of cataract surgery. There were also further data presented by several groups further supporting the use of extended depth of focus (EDOF) lens implants which seemed to be the implant of choice in much of Europe.
Sarum Vision is proud to offer both OCT and EDOF in our armamentarium of methods to treat cataracts and it was reassuring to know that we are able to offer our patients the best possible evidence-based technology and treatments.