Exciting new projects planned after successful ESCRS meetings

The ESCRS is increasing its commitment to year-round education and training by developing the resources on its website

David Spalton

Posted: Monday, May 9, 2016


The ESCRS has just had the two most successful meetings in its history, with over 8,500 delegates at the annual congress in Barcelona last September and over 2,200 delegates from 74 different countries at the winter meeting in Athens in February. 

We face headwinds from financial stringency and changes in medical regulation over the next year, but we go forward in robust health and a strong financial situation.
In Athens, the Board agreed to increase our commitment to year-round education and training by developing the resources on our website:
At present, we have the very successful iLearn platform aimed at trainees, the Video of the Month, the Eye Contact studio interviews, and ESCRS on Demand to catch up on what you missed at the meetings.

The next development will be to offer a ‘Surgical Reference Video’ section illustrating high quality ‘how to do’ surgical technique and we would like you to submit material for this teaching archive.

There are many videos on YouTube of variable quality and content, but our site will offer only high-quality material selected for its teaching impact. Examples could be something simple such as a clip on how to perform stop and chop or divide and conquer, or how to handle a particular complication.
For example, Dr Brian Little showed a lovely clip in Athens of how to avoid disaster from a PC rupture during IA, which would be ideal. Other examples might be to show how to manage zonular dialysis, a subluxed lens or fixation in absence of capsular support, or procedures which cataract surgeons do from time to time such as removal of a pterygium, a trabeculectomy or  MIGS procedures.

The aim is to have a tagged and searchable comprehensive collection, but not to have glitzy fascinomas – there are other forums for these enjoyable exercises of surgical dexterity. We want to build a bank of clear and explicit surgical techniques, and Dr Richard Packard has kindly agreed to take charge of this project. Videos can be submitted to:

Voice-overs will often be helpful but musical backgrounds not. Videos will be credited to the author but we reserve the right to edit them appropriately. Videos will not be downloadable but only viewable by members through the ESCRS website.

Another development will be an online museum, which will be curated by Dr Packard and Prof Andrzej Grzybowski. Many of the younger generation of surgeons are oblivious to the rich history and the trials and tribulations that have led to modern cataract surgery. I can personally recall the very emotional and heated controversy as implant and phaco surgery developed during the 1980s and 1990s. This is part of our heritage and must not be forgotten.
We would like any material of historical interest such as video clips or still images of people, early IOL designs, operations and techniques – in fact anything of historical interest.

I shall be contributing my video of Sir Harold Ridley’s first operation and a video of the surgical logbook from St Thomas’ Hospital, London, showing that he did the first implant with the cataract surgery as a primary procedure and the implant as a secondary operation four months later – something glossed over in the later furore because he didn’t want to admit that he had put the patient’s eye in double jeopardy with the substantial risk in those days of a second operation.
Contributions will be acknowledged, and in this instance material will be downloadable by members to add interest to presentations and lectures. Please submit material to:

I am very excited about these two new projects, as they will add greatly to the content of our website, and I look forward to receiving historical material and videos from you in the coming months.

David Spalton: