Konstantina Koufala, HSIOIRS President, reflects on the Society’s distinguished history
The Hellenic Society of Intraocular Implant and Refractive Surgery (HSIOIRS) was founded in 1984. At that time, the revolution in cataract and refractive surgery had already begun. The new method of phacoemulsification, as well as the use of intraocular lenses to restore vision after cataract surgery, was not easily accepted by the academic community. So, the necessity for something new and progressive in the field of ophthalmology was addressed by pioneering colleagues with the initiative of Spyros Georgaras and a small group of ophthalmologists, who founded HSIOIRS.
Our Society has always operated with the main goal of education and training of Greek ophthalmologists in cataract surgery, refractive surgery and ophthalmic microsurgery. In all our annual conferences and other scientific events, we try to offer ophthalmologists the most advanced knowledge in the above fields, in an effort to contribute to their continuous education, which should not stop after the completion of the residency. We must emphasise that even in the years of economic crisis in our country we have managed to keep the quality of our conferences and other events at a very high level.
From the very beginning, HSIOIRS enriched the programme of its scientific events with the participation of internationally distinguished ophthalmologists and has pursued collaborations with other established European and International ophthalmological societies. We especially need to mention that our Society has maintained strong ties with the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) for many years.
We are also very pleased to present the Kelman award to Professor David Spalton. The title of his lecture, which was delivered during the Welcome Ceremony yesterday, was ‘Life Behind The Lens’.
Stressing that the level of ophthalmology and ophthalmic surgery in Greece has always been extremely high, we are proud that many of our Greek colleagues have distinguished themselves in the international field of ophthalmology. We need to especially mention Professor Ioannis Pallikaris, the “father” of LASIK, who has helped develop refractive surgery worldwide. On the Board of Directors of the ESCRS, Greece is currently represented by our internationally active colleague Vikentia Katsanevaki.
Our cooperation with ESCRS in co-organising its Winter Meetings started in 1999 and continued in 2007 and 2016. The success of these three previous conferences gives us the assurance that the 23rd ESCRS Winter Meeting in conjunction with the 33rd International HSIOIRS Meeting in Athens will also be a great success, with a large number of participants from Greece and abroad. I would like to welcome you all to Greece and the city of Athens.