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AAO 2017: New solutions, New inspirations, New Orleans


The 2017 meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology will convene in New Orleans from Nov. 11 to 14. Go to www.aao.org/annual meeting for the latest updates

By Beth Thomas Hertz

The focus for this year’s meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) in New Orleans, Saturday, Nov. 11, through Tuesday, Nov. 14, will center on the theme of “new,” emphasizing the novel, late-breaking, cutting-edge courses, events, and ideas that will be presented, said Maria M. Aaron, MD, secretary for the annual meeting.

“Out of more than 450 instruction courses (including 100 practice management courses), 100 hours of free programming, and seven Subspecialty Day meetings, there’s something new for everyone-new techniques, research, technologies, strategies, therapies, and even new friends and connections,” Dr. Aaron said.

“New” also ties into the host city-New Orleans-which has experienced a renaissance over the past several years. With an influx of new residents and businesses, it continues to be one of America’s most exciting cities, she said.

“In the past year, New Orleans has earned recognition for its outstanding restaurants and the National WWII Museum from Condé Nast Traveler, TripAdvisor, and Travel+Leisure,” Dr. Aaron said.

With many hot topics at this year’s meeting, she predicted that those of particular interest will include drop-free cataract surgery, crosslinking (now approved by the FDA), refractive topography, minimally invasive glaucoma surgery, and optical coherence tomography angiography.

Here are some highlights that attendees can expect at the meeting.

The AAO adds new courses and events to the meeting every year, Dr. Aaron said.

Saturday will especially see many changes this year, including the addition of an International Council of Ophthalmology conference for ophthalmic educators, coding sessions, American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives practice management master classes, two Academy Café sessions, and six symposia.

Skills transfer labs will start on Saturday for the first time, as well, she said.

There will be 111 new sessions offered this year. Among those that Dr. Aaron predicts will be especially popular include:

  • Sutureless Scleral Buckling: A Hands-On Practicum (LAB100), Course director: Christina Y. Weng, MD, MBA, Saturday, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

  • A Typical Day in the Operating Room of a Pediatric Ophthalmologist: Adjustable Sutures for Strabismus Surgery (LAB102), Course director: Jasleen K. Singh, MD, Saturday, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

  • Small-Incision Lenticule Extraction: Step-by-Step Transitioning (222), Senior instructor: Arturo J. Ramirez-Miranda, MD, Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

  • OCT and OCT Angiography in Glaucoma: Pearls and Pitfalls in Diagnosis, Monitoring, and Management of the Disease (425), Senior instructor: Ahmet Akman, MD, Monday, 9-11:15 a.m.

  • Echographic Interpretation of Vitreoretinal Disorders: What a Comprehensive Ophthalmologist Should Know (462), Cagri G. Besirli, MD, Monday, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

  • Ophthalmic Viscosurgical Devices in Cataract Surgery and Complication Management (497), Senior instructor: Steve A. Arshinoff, MD, Monday, 2-3 p.m.

  • Lean Flow Simulation for Solo and Small Practices: Creating a Differentiated Patient Experience (230), Senior instructor: Aneesh Suneja, Sunday, 2-3 p.m.

  • How the IRIS Registry Helps You Participate in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) (260), Senior instructor: Rebecca Hancock, Sunday, 3:15-4:15 p.m.

  • Physician Wellness: Lotte N. Dyrbye, MD, will talk about “Physician Burnout: Prevalence, Drivers, Consequences, and Mitigating Strategies” and Michael D. Lumpkin, MD, will discuss “Stress and Mindfulness: Harnessing Them for Wellness.” Chairs: Lynn K. Gordon, MD, PhD, and Florentino E. Palmon, MD. Monday, 8:30-10 a.m.



Opening Session

The Opening Session will be held Sunday from 8:30-10 a.m. in The Great Hall. Cynthia A. Bradford, MD, will give the Academy President’s Address and David W. Parke II, MD, will give the Academy CEO’s Address. Keith D. Carter, MD, FACS, will give the Academy President-Elect’s Address.

Other highlights will include the 2017 Jackson Memorial Lecture, which will be given by Daniel F. Martin, MD, Chairman of the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute and the study chair for the Comparison of AMD Treatments Trials (CATT) and the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR). His topic will be “Evolution of Intravitreal Therapy for Retinal Diseases: From CMV to CNV.”

Also, musician Henry Butler will give the Michael F. Marmor Lecture in Ophthalmology and the Arts-his presentation will be part lecture, part performance. His music is a mixture of jazz, Caribbean, classical, pop, blues, and R&B.

Blinded by glaucoma at birth, Butler has been playing the piano since he was 6 years old. He has been arranging, composing, and performing professionally since he was 12. Butler has performed and conducted workshops and master classes throughout the country, and has developed a camp for blind and visually impaired teen musicians, the subject of a 2010 documentary, “The Music’s Gonna Get You Through.”

Irene H. Maumenee, MD, a research professor of ophthalmology, pediatric and adult strabismus service and the director of ocular genetics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago, will be given the Laureate Award. Dr. Maumenee introduced formal genetic concepts to the field of eye care and ushered in the creation of ophthalmic genetics as a subspecialty in the United States. While a faculty member of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University, she founded and directed the Johns Hopkins Center for Hereditary Eye Diseases. She also co-founded the International Society for Genetic Eye Diseases and Retinoblastoma and initiated the foundation of an ophthalmic genetics center at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary in Chicago. 



Named lectures

Many named lectures will be given at the AAO. Among the highlights:



William F. Hoyt Lecture: This will be given during “From Ground Zero to the Moon: How Intracranial and Intraocular Pressure Disparities Relate to Vision,” a symposium co-sponsored by the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society from 10:30 a.m.-noon. Kathleen B. Digre, MD, will speak on the topic “More Than Meets the Eye: What an Ophthalmologist Needs to Know about Migraine and the Eye.”

Zimmerman Lecture: This will be given during “Molecular Pathology of Ocular Diseases: Implications for Targeted Therapy,” an event co-sponsored by the American Association of Ophthalmic Oncologists and Pathologists from 10:30 a.m.-noon. Seymour Brownstein, MD, will speak on the topic “Electron Microscopy: An Invaluable Diagnostic Adjunct in an Ophthalmic Pathology Laboratory.”

Whitney G. Sampson Lecture: This lecture will be given during “Infections, Corneas, and Contact Lenses,” a symposium cosponsored by the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists from 2-3:30 p.m. Sheraz M. Daya, MD, will speak on the topic “Corneal Crescents and Patches.”

Ruedemann Lecture: This lecture will be given during “Volume Augmentation: Fillers, Grafts, and Implants,” a symposium cosponsored by the American Society of Ocularists from 3:45-5:15 p.m. James J. Augsburger, MD, will speak on the topic “Enucleation in the Management of Primary Choroidal Melanoma.”




Charles D. Kelman Lecture: This lecture will be given during “Spotlight on Cataracts,” from 8:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Alan S. Crandall, MD, will speak on the topic “Phaco at 50: The Collision of Cataract and Glaucoma (Plus).”

Marshall M. Parks Lecture: This will be given during “Genetic Disorders in Pediatric Ophthalmology,” an event cosponsored by the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus from 8:30-10 a.m. Edwin M. Stone, MD, PhD, will speak on the topic “Curing Heritable Blindness.”

Arnall Patz Lecture: This lecture will be given during “Current Management of Neovascular AMD,” an event cosponsored by the Macula Society from 8:30-10 a.m. Neil M. Bressler, MD, will speak on the topic “DRCR Network: Accomplishments and Vision for the Future.”

Wendell L. Hughes Lecture: This lecture will be given during “The ABCs of MTAs (Molecularly Targeted Agents) in Oculoplastic Surgery,” co-sponsored by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from 10:15-11:45 a.m. John W. Shore, MD, will speak on the topic “The Forces That Affect Upper Eyelid Movement, Position, And Contour During Ptosis Surgery.”

Castroviejo Lecture: This lecture will be given during “Management of Chronic and Recurrent Anterior Segment Disorders,” an event co-sponsored by the Cornea Society from 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Jonathan H. Lass, MD, will speak on the topic “Advances with Randomized Clinical Trials in Corneal Transplantation.”

C. Stephen and Frances Foster Lecture on Uveitis and Immunology. This will be given from 12:45-1:45 p.m., with Russell N. Van Gelder, MD, PhD, speaking on the topic “Idiopathic Ocular Inflammatory Disease: Lessons from Deep DNA Sequencing.”

Dr. Allan Jensen & Claire Jensen Lecture in Professionalism and Ethics, co-sponsored by the Ethics Committee, will be given from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Thomas S. Harbin, MD, will speak on the topic “Practical Ethics in Ophthalmology.”

Jones/Smolin Lecture: This will be given during “Hot Topics for Minimizing Infections in Cataract Surgery,” an event cosponsored by the Ocular Microbiology and Immunology Group from 3:45-5:15 p.m. Herbert E. Kaufman, MD, will speak on the topic “Converting Concepts Into Cures.”




Robert N. Shaffer Lecture: This lecture will be given during “Development of New Antiglaucoma Medications and Drug Delivery Systems,” an event co-sponsored by Prevent Blindness from 8:30-10 a.m. Janey Lee Wiggs, MD, PhD, will speak on the topic “Glaucoma Genes and New Opportunities for Therapy.”

Barraquer Lecture: This lecture will be given during “Presbyopia: The Next Frontier in Refractive Surgery?” an event co-sponsored by the International Society of Refractive Surgery from 10:15-11:45 a.m. Scott M. MacRae, MD, will speak on the topic “Refractive Indexing: A Revolutionary Approach to Refractive Surgery.

Ethics courses

The Ethics Committee will presents two instruction courses, both available with the Academy Plus course pass.

  • Monday, 4:30-5:30 p.m.: Ethically Co-managing Ophthalmic Postoperative Care: Understanding the Comprehensive Co-management Guidelines. This course will analyze the Academy’s Comprehensive Guidelines for the Co-management of Ophthalmic Postoperative Care from the perspective of compliance with the Academy’s Code of Ethics. Presentation of case studies will illustrate pertinent points in the guidelines and relevant ethical practices.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 14, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Expert Witness Survival Skills: Tips and Tools from Ethics Committee Case Reviews. Expert witnesses are invaluable to the malpractice litigation process, and they protect both patients and physicians. This course will provide guidance for expert testimony for either plaintiff or defense in this cross-professional arena without negative legal, ethical, or professional consequences.



Scientific posters

  • Session One: Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Presenters will be at their displays on Sunday, 12:30-2 p.m.

  • Session Two: Monday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m., and Tuesday, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Presenters will be at their displays on Monday, 12:30-2 p.m.


Orbital Gala

The theme for this year’s Orbital Gala is “Celebrate the Fun of Mardi Gras.” This year’s honoree is H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, who served as AAO executive vice president from 1993 to 2009. The event will be held at Mardi Gras World, 1380 Port of New Orleans Place, on Sunday from 6 to 10 p.m. Business/cocktail attire is appropriate. Tickets are $300 with a discounted price of $150 offered to young ophthalmologists. Tickets are on sale until Nov. 6.

Run for Vision

Join ophthalmologists, eye bankers, donor family members, and corneal transplant recipients and support the Eye Bank Association of America’s mission to restore sight at this 5K Chip-Timed Run/5K Fun Walk on Sunday at 6:30 a.m.

The event will start and finish at the New Orleans RiverWalk at Canal Street and Convention Center Drive.

The information booth opens at 5:45 a.m. Entrance fee is $50, which includes a technical dri-fit event t-shirt.

Not a runner but still want to help? Register for the “Sleep In & Support” option and have your race T-Shirt mailed to you.

The event is sponsored by Bausch + Lomb. Visit http://restoresight.org/32nd-annual-run-for-vision for details or to register.



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