XXIV Congress of the ESCRS

July 1, 2006

From the 9-13 September, the Excel Exhibition and conference centre in London will open its doors to more than four thousand delegates for the 24th Congress of the European Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS). This year's congress is full to the brim of symposia, courses and skills training, in addition to having one of Europe's largest ophthalmic exhibitions. The congress is also playing host to this year's annual meeting of the United Kingdom and Ireland Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (UKISCRS), who will be hosting a free papers session as well as three presentations on complicated cases and videos, training refractive surgeons for the future and femtosecond lasers.

From the 9-13 September, the Excel Exhibition and conference centre in London will open its doors to more than four thousand delegates for the 24th Congress of the European Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS). This year's congress is full to the brim of symposia, courses and skills training, in addition to having one of Europe's largest ophthalmic exhibitions. The congress is also playing host to this year's annual meeting of the United Kingdom and Ireland Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (UKISCRS), who will be hosting a free papers session as well as three presentations on complicated cases and videos, training refractive surgeons for the future and femtosecond lasers.

Main symposia & clinical symposia

As usual, the congress is jam-packed with symposia, courses and wet-lab sessions. Below we have outlined just a few of the events taking place.

In the afternoon, the clinical symposium turns its attention to measurements for refractive surgery, in a session to be chaired by Joaquim Murta, Dan Reinstein and Philippe Sourdille. Speakers from the US, France, Austria, Denmark and the UK are lined up to lead discussions on subjects such as the reliability of laser ablation depth readouts when planning corneal photorefractive surgery and corneal pachymetry in refractive surgery.

The week's busy schedule of symposia continues on Sunday with Sheraz Daya and Dan Epstein chairing a session on external eye diseases. Speakers on this subject include Timo Tervo from Finland and Thomas Neuhann from Germany.

José Güell and Ulf Stenevi take the chair on Monday for a discussion on endophthalmitis following cataract surgery. The highlight of this session will be the Ridley Medal where Peter Barry from Ireland will be presenting the results of the ESCRS endophthalmitis study. The full presentation of the results has been eagerly anticipated after the news that recruitment for the two-year study of antibiotic prophylaxis of endophthalmitis was terminated early following results that showed intracameral cefuroxime had clear beneficial effects when given after cataract surgery.

Tuesday sees a session on "Better Optics for Better Vision", chaired by Ioannis Pallikaris, ESCRS President, and Marie José Tassignon. Among the speakers are Oliver Findl and Thomas Kohnen who will discuss parameters for defining quality of vision after cataract and refractive surgery.

Chaired by Paul Rosen and Risto Uusitalo, one of Wednesday's symposia, "Assessing outcomes in refractive surgery", includes a presentation by Matts Lundstrom on how to collect data, while Jorge Alió will be looking back at 10 years of PRK and LASIK.

Instructional courses

Between Saturday and Tuesday, a record number (103 in total) of instructional courses will be taking place covering an enormous range of topics. This year, in order to offer an even broader range of subjects to its members, the ESCRS has invited three other European ophthalmic societies to run courses on their fields of interest. The European Society of Retina Specialists will be running a course on the fundamentals of medical and surgical retina for cataract and refractive surgeons whilst the European Glaucoma Society and the British Oculoplastic Society have also been asked to contribute towards additional skills training for the cataract and refractive surgeon.

Surgical skills training

The surgical skills training courses are hands-on wet-lab sessions using high-communication wet-lab technology. In addition to an eye model with red reflex and changeable intraocular pressures, the classes provide participants with the opportunity to practice surgical techniques on porcine eyes. The small numbers in each class and the use of two-way audio and video equipment as teaching tools guarantees to make them extremely productive sessions.