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Madrid, March 6, 2023. The new treatments for AMD and pediatric surgery techniques have been the most outstanding novelties during the 26th Annual Congress of the Spanish Retina and Vitreous Society (SERV) held in Valencia, which has ended with the assistance of 1300 professionals.
The meeting whose objective has been to establish exchanges that allow expanding, promoting and updating studies related to the main diseases of the retina, choroid and vitreous, as well as pharmacological novelties in their treatment, has been "a success", in the words of the doctor José García-Arumí, president of the SERV.
“It has been very interesting and we have had many novelties, it is worth highlighting the new treatments for dry macular degeneration (AMD), the new surgical techniques for children or the new wide-field OCT imaging systems that allow us to study the retina much better. ”, he highlights.
Challenges: reaching more pathologies and optimizing treatments
There are many current challenges in the specialty, among which are advancing in the treatment of degenerative diseases of the retina, adapting resources to the demand for care, especially for diseases derived from the aging of the population; or the incorporation of new technologies and pharmacological innovations.
“The challenges are really treating the pathologies that we have not treated up to now and minimizing the impact of the increase in the number of treatments on patients”, as pointed out by García-Arumí, the first Spaniard recently elected to preside over the Jules Gonin Club. “A few years ago macular degeneration was not treated and now with intravitreal injections we can increase or improve the vision of patients and maintain it for many years”, he adds.
For the SERV, this challenge must be addressed mainly from public health since it requires very frequent visits and a large number of injections into the eye. “It really is difficult to be able to treat many more patients, many more times, with the same structures”, according to the president of the society. Among the solutions that are being proposed is the creation of intravitreal injection treatment units or the accreditation of hospitals so that they can carry out these treatments.
Concern over the myopia pandemic
The gathered ophthalmologists have shown their concern about the so-called "myopia epidemic" that has a genetic basis that mainly affects Asian and Mediterranean countries. "We have to consider that a very high percentage of the Spanish population, approximately 20%, is myopic, and the same is true of countries like Portugal, Italy or Greece," García-Arumí points out.
As they warn, it is increasing because children and adolescents spend more time indoors with electronic devices. In this way, by going out less and less and spending more hours on screens "the eye evolves to the new needs to see better up close and worse from afar".
Despite the fact that, according to the doctor, the results, both medical and surgical, are currently "much better", early treatment is "the most important thing". For this reason, one of the measures that they have proposed to stop this epidemic is for students to receive some classes outdoors, a solution that has been successfully implemented in some Southeast Asian countries.
Satisfied with the fulfillment of the strategic plan
Like every congress, the SERV has held its Ordinary General Assembly where it has been confirmed that society is economically healthy "despite the pandemic", the increase in the number of scholarships and the success of the master's degree in training new retina specialists in the most prestigious hospitals in Spain.
In addition, the strategic plan developed by the company four years ago has been discussed. “More than 70 percent of the points that were proposed as a strategic plan have been fulfilled. We are also very satisfied with the spectacular increase in the number of members, we have gone from 740 to almost 1,000”, he has shown proudly.
Professor Kazuaki Kadonosono, Medal of Honor of the SERV
One of the most important moments of this edition has been the delivery of the SERV Medal of Honor, to the Japanese professor Kazuaki Kadonosono, head of the Department of Ophthalmology and Microtechnology at Yokohama City University Medical Center (Kanagawa-ken, Japan), for his extensive professional career and his contribution to vitreoretinal surgery. “It is a great honor for me, because Spain and the Retina and Vitreous Society are at the highest level of the retinal specialty”, he acknowledged.
As usual, the next edition of the SERV Congress will be held in Madrid on March 8 and 9, this time at the Marriot Auditorium Hotel
For more information: https://www.congresoserv.org/
About the SERV
The Spanish Retina and Vitreous Society is a non-profit scientific association whose purpose is to promote the study of diseases of the retina, choroid and vitreous. Its objectives include establishing exchanges to expand, promote and update studies related to the pathology and surgery of the retina, choroid and vitreous, promote the dissemination of therapeutic methods, and contribute to the training and updating of its members in this area of the knowledge.
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