Chicago is a beautiful city, clean, vibrant and for the week of the annual American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting it was sunny and charming. The meeting was complemented by a wide range of social activities, highest among them fine dining each evening. The food was magnificent and I had the excellent fortune of dining one night at Les Nomades, perhaps the finest French restaurant I’ve visited outside of France itself.
But that is a sidelight to the real work of the week, the Academy meeting and the very wide scope of ophthalmology. The size and breadth of the meeting was staggering, but the highest interest seemed to be devoted to the femtosecond laser systems for cataract surgery which are very interesting, but I do not see as being ready for general use yet. Alcon has obtained the LenSx system, which looks like it needs quite a bit more work before it’s ready for release. LensAR and OptiMedica both have systems which are not as far along in regulatory, but seem to be more sophisticated in imaging and treatment delivery systems. We’ll watch with interest as these systems move towards the marketplace.
Glaucoma surgery was also high in interest and it appears Canaloplasty has finally taken its place among the primary surgical interventions. The three- year results are excellent, both in IOP drop and in stability. A tremendous advantage is that it improves normal outflow without punching any holes in the eye – which gives it a significant attractiveness compared to trabeculectomy or any of the tiny shunt devices. A hole in the eye lets fluid out, but it also causes inflammation and lets bacteria in, both unattractive sequelae.