14th ANNUAL CLEI CENTER FOR KERATOCONUS PATIENT SEMINAR
On March 9, 2019, The CLEI Center for Keratoconus, a division of The Cornea and Laser Eye Institute-Hersh Vision Group held our 14th Annual Keratoconus Patient Educational Seminar at the Glenpointe Marriott Hotel in Teaneck, New Jersey.
For all who attended, the seminar was an interactive session between the participating doctors and attendees. Presentations covered the entire gamut of keratoconus from diagnosis to new treatments currently under investigation.
Dr. John Gelles, head of our Contact Lens Division started off the seminar discussing diagnosis and cause of keratoconus. He later jumped into his specialty, which is contact lens fitting for keratoconic eyes. At The CLEI Center for Keratoconus, Dr. Gelles fits patients with a number of different lenses, from custom soft lenses, to RGP lenses, to scleral lenses, and even the EyePrintPRO device which is a type of lens that is custom made to fit your eye. He has achieved success, even in patients who have failed other contact lens modalities in the past. Dr. Gelles works very closely with contact lens companies with the design of new lenses to better fit the KC patient.
Dr. Peter Hersh, M.D., founder of The Cornea and Laser Eye Institute and The CLEI Center for Keratoconus lectured on new surgical strategies for keratoconus. Corneal Collagen Crosslinking (CXL), Intacs, Conductive Keratoplasty, corneal inlays, and laser procedures to rehabilitate the cornea in select KC patients, were reviewed.
Topography-Guided PRK (TG-PRK) was reviewed in detail by both Dr. Hersh and Dr. Greenstein. TG-PRK is a laser procedure which may improve visual function in select keratoconus patients. With technology similar to LASIK, TG-PRK can be used in patients with keratoconus to reduce corneal optical irregularities which causes the static and decreased visual function in the eye. The goal for this procedure is to improve the corneal shape in order to improve visual quality with glasses or contact lens fittings. CXL may also be performed concurrently, to strengthen the cornea and obtain stability. Dr. Hersh was the medical monitor of Avedro, and played an important part in the FDA meeting to officially establish CXL as an FDA approved method of treatment for both keratoconus and corneal ectasia.
Dr. Steven Greenstein, M.D., corneal surgeon and keratoconus specialist, discussed candidacy of patients for corneal collagen crosslinking (CXL). Like most procedures, it is only beneficial to you if you are a good candidate. If your cornea is below a certain micron or you have deep corneal scarring, you may not be a candidate. Typically, patients with keratoconus tend to stabilize sometime in their 40’s – 50’s. If you have been stable for some time, CXL may not be needed in your case. At The CLEI Center for Keratoconus, we are performing a number of CXL procedures, catered to each patient.
Dr. Greenstein also discussed laser assisted corneal transplantation (IEK) and deep lamellar keratoplasty (DALK). These are newer methods of corneal transplantation that may be beneficial in keratoconus. IEK uses a femtosecond laser to prepare both the recipient and donor cornea to matching specifications. A zig-zag edge design may be made with the laser to improve graft-host fit.
Dr. David Chu, founder of Metropolitan Eye Research and Surgery Institute, brought his knowledge of ocular dry eye to the seminar. Dr. Chu is an international key opinion leader in areas of uveitis and ocular immunology and we are very fortunate that he is able to join us each year to discuss ocular dry eye and allergy in keratoconus patients.
Although not the only option for patients with keratoconus, corneal transplantation is still a great option if you have keratoconus, based on your doctor’s recommendation. Dr. William Constad, Partner Physician at Hudson Eye Physicians joined our physicians and discussed corneal transplantation and eye banking. Dr. Constad, who is Director of the New Jersey Eye Bank, has a vast knowledge of the corneal tissue process. Unlike other countries, we are very lucky in the United States that more corneas are available, and unlike other organ transplants, there is typically not a waiting period for a corneal tissue, should you need a transplant.
Our annual seminar is always well received and enjoyed by all participants. Each year our seminar grows and we try to improve upon topics each year. Such seminars, with the support of the National Keratoconus Foundation and other leaders in the field who join our meeting are meant to be educational and to keep those with keratoconus, as well as their family and friends, up to date with the latest advances on the disease. For information about attending this year’s seminar please call us at 201-692-9434 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.