Tension and excitement

Dr Leigh Spielberg looks forward to the 17th EURETINA Congress which takes place in Barcelona from 7-10 September.

Leigh Spielberg

Posted: Monday, September 4, 2017


I will attend the 17th annual EURETINA Congress in Barcelona both as a delegate retinal surgeon and as a reporter for EuroTimes magazine and ET Today, the daily newspaper produced on site at the conference.

This dual role creates both tension and excitement. I’ll be there to make sure I’m personally up to date regarding new developments in retinal treatment. I’ll also be there to report on these developments, selecting the presentations that I think matter most to our readers. Hopefully these two roles will coincide to a great degree.

It has been two years since I finished my vitreoretinal surgery fellowship, and I now feel comfortable in most situations. But I have developed a distinct desire to fill in whatever gaps remain in my knowledge. Fortunately, the gaps have become few and far between, but there are still some points that I want to hear from the experts. I’ll be attending Thursday’s “Instructional Course 10: Surgical Controversies in Vitrectomy for Retinal Detachment,” which will discuss whether ILM peeling is necessary and whether leaving some sub retinal fluid at the end of retinal detachment surgery does any harm.

My practice is limited to surgical retina, so I don’t regularly care for patients with medical retina problems. But I find it necessary to stay up to date regarding treatment paradigms for the more common pathologies that affect my retinal surgery patients. Attending “Instructional Course 21: Management of Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy” on Friday will certainly help me treat more of these patients myself rather than having to refer them to my colleagues in the medical retina department.

I also always attend at least one free paper session. I enjoy the great variety of topics covered, as well as the enthusiasm of the many early-career presenters. New this year is the Young Retina Specialists (YOURS) Day on Friday, which aims to address the concerns of these early-career specialists, both medical and surgical.

I’m looking forward to arriving, not only for the medical & scientific learning, but also for the social aspect of a big European meeting. I’ve made plans to meet up with ex-colleagues from the other places I’ve worked, both at the conference and in the city. And of course, Barcelona is a draw in and of itself. I plan on renting a motorcycle to cruise around and visit a museum or two.

  • Dr Leigh Spielberg is a vitreoretinal surgeon at the Department of Ophthalmology, Ghent University Hospital