2008: The Debates

December 1, 2008

A series of debates on the most relevant, and most controversial, topics in ophthalmology, in which today's most eminent ophthalmologists argue for the validity of their differing opinions and practices.

Medical science is not scientific. So rarely is there a definitive answer; oftentimes, diagnosis is educated guesswork, and treatments are based on available experience rather than definitive proof. Although the medical community tends to reach a consensus eventually, there will always be areas of conflict, particularly when new techniques or technologies are introduced.

Here at Ophthalmology Times Europe, we love nothing more than a good debate, and the multitudes of both innovations and disagreements on their application in the field of ophthalmology provide us with more than enough material to be satisfied. We know that you, as our readers, are heavily invested in providing the best possible care for patients, and rely on resources such as OTE to provide you with guidance regarding the safety and efficacy of newer treatments. But the truth of the matter is that there is rarely thorough evidence of a single correct answer; in any case, there are generally merits to both sides of the debate, and there is value in having these discussions rather than resigning oneself immediately to the answer that seems most obvious.

For these reasons, OTE is proud to present a series of debates on the topics that matter most to you. These are topics in each of the subspecialty fields that have generated headlines as well as heated discussion throughout 2008. Arguing the pro and con sides of each case are experts in the field, who present their arguments for your consideration.

The debate topics are as follows:

Are blue-light filtering IOLs necessary?Yes, claims Dr James McCulley.No, argues Dr Jack T. Holladay.

Should we be cutting a flap at all?Yes, claims Dr Omid Kermani.No, argues Dr Massimo Camellin.

Should we perform refractive surgery in the glaucoma patient?Yes, claims Dr Johan Blanckaert.No, argueDr Tarek Shaarawy and Dr Nikolaos Mavrakanas.

Should fixed-combinations be given as first-line glaucoma therapy?No, claims Professor Gábor Holló.Yes, argues Professor Anastasios Konstas.

25 G vitrectomy surgery: abandon or adopt?Adopt, claims Professor Stanislao Rizzo.Abandon, argues Professor Albert J. Augustin.

What therapy should we be administering to our DME patients?Steroids, claims Professor Francesco Bandello.Anti-VEGF, argues Professor José Cunha-Vaz.

We invite you to read the arguments and make up your own mind; should you choose to, you may also continue the spirit of Socratic learning in your own life, by debating these and other topics with your peers on our European Ophthalmology forum.

More than anything, debates such as these remind us that medicine is not only a collaborative effort but is evolving all the time, as our knowledge, experience and capabilities continue to grow. The essence of medicine is discovery, and the root of this is discussion, and conflict of opinion.