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Retinal perspective from AAO: Day 1

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Michael Ammar, MD, a retina specialist and surgeon at Retina Consultants San Diego (RCSD), shares his clinical perspective from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) annual meeting, including his top sessions and topics from subspecialty day as ophthalmology kicks off the year’s biggest meeting.

First things first, what’s a hot topic you’ve noticed?

The future of wet macular degeneration treatment.

While traditional treatments have been delivered individually and are typically one of a number of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents, there are a number of clinical trials investigating new approaches to delivering medicine into the eye, as well as new agents and pathways.

Any specific session in particular that highlighted this?

In Section I: Neovascular AMD—part of Retina Subspecialty Day—Peter Kaiser, MD, from the Cleveland Clinic’s Cole Eye Institute, and Baruch Kupperman, MD, PhD, from UC Irvine, both discussed this in their sessions:

  • What’s Next in Wet AMD? (Dr. Kaiser)
  • Drug Delivery for Posterior Segment Diseases (Dr. Kuppermann)

Among the topics were new targets for macular degeneration (tyrosine kinase inhibitors [TKI]) along with new surgical approaches (suprachoroidal injections, subretinal injections).

Gene therapy, in particular, has been an exciting area as well. In his professional medical opinion, it's exciting to think that we could potentially have a one-time treatment that could treat the eye forever.

Which session did you find most clinically informative?

Sticking with the retina, Section IV: Medical Retina and Chorioretinal Vascular Disease moderated by Sobha Sivaprasad, MBBS, MS, DM, FRCS, FRCOphth, discussed a number of different chorioretinal vascular diseases and how we currently diagnose, manage and monitor them.

Gregg Kokame, MD, MMM, FASRS, spoke about polypoidal chorioretinopathy, or polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV), a condition that can often be mistaken for macular degeneration—and how we monitor and treat it differently than macular degeneration.

Michael Singer, MD, also discussed novel approaches to the treatment and management of central serous retinopathy (CSR), a condition that can be very difficult to treat, and Robin Vora, MD, spoke on central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) and the importance of time to presentation and diagnosis.

Lastly, Michael Ip, MD, rounded out the session with a discussion on managing central and branch retinal vein occlusions (CRVO and BRVO, respectively), with an overview of current available data, along with anti-VEGF approaches in managing these conditions.

Is there any way I can view these sessions myself?

Side note from our Glance editorial team here…

Yes! A number of sessions are available live and on demand, including these subspecialties.

Click here to open the sessions for the virtual meeting via the AAO app (but make sure you’re logged in as attendee first)!

Now back to our conversation…

So what’s on your agenda for Saturday?

Section XVIII: Vitreoretinal Surgery, Part II (RET 21). (In case you missed Part I, visit that on-demand link above to watch it.)

The session is presented by:

  • David R. Chow, MD
  • Carl C. Awh, MD, FASRS
  • Zofia Ann Nawrocka, MD, PhD
  • Homayoun Tabandeh, MD, FASRS
  • Szilard Kiss, MD

The discussion will include complex cases and experts from around the United States debating their approaches to difficult cases.As a surgeon, I'm always looking to expand my toolbox and pick up new and innovative techniques for these complex cases from some of the best surgical experts in the field.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting is being held Nov. 3-6 2023, in San Francisco, California.

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