AAO 2023: What's new in artificial corneas with Esen K. Akpek, MD

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Esen K. Akpek, MD, discussed her presentation at this year's American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting, covering recent advancements in artificial corneas

David Hutton of Ophthalmology Times spent time with Esen K. Akpek, MD, who discussed her presentation at this year's American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting. Here's what she had to say about her presentation topic, recent advancements in artificial corneas.

Editor's note: This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

David Hutton: I'm David Hutton of Ophthalmology Times. During the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting in San Francisco, Dr Esen Apek presented what's new in artificial corneas. Thanks for joining us today. Tell us about your presentation.

Esen K. Akpek, MD: Hi, thank you for a chance to talk about my presentation and the latest research. As you all know, corneal transplantation is one of the most commonly performed transplantation surgeries in the US. Approximately 50,000 cases are yearly performed. Mostly, the results are good, but sometimes they're not so good. Some patients with high risk situations, such as corneal neovascularization, aphakia, or prior donor corneal graft rejection are not good candidates for donor corneal transplantation.

So hence, the efforts, continuing efforts, in the field of artificial corneal transplantation. Today we talked about currently available artificial corneal transplants, as well as what's in the pipeline, such as an endothelial device, a full thickness device and another anteriorly implanted device. I think that it will be useful to review the literature as well for detailed information and study results about these artificial transplants.


David Hutton: What can these mean for patients?


Esen K. Akpek, MD: Well, currently in the United States, there is really no shortage of corneas. But across the world, even in developed countries, there's such severe shortage of donor corneas. So this means, perhaps, hope for those patients in outside of–who live in outside of the US, who are waiting for a cornea to become available. For patients in the US, it means that some of these cases that we don't offer surgery because these are difficult and high risk for rejection cases, perhaps we can offer them hope to improve their vision.

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