This year the XVII S.I.C.S.S.O. Congress edition will be held in Paestum as in 2014. This location is very much appreciated for the special reception given by local operators, many of whom were my classmates when I was a child. The title of the 2018 edition “Let’s discuss again… clinical cases” summarizes the aim to give space again to the much appreciated clinical sessions that S.I.C.S.S.O. has organized previously. In recent editions, live surgery was emphasized especially to meet the growing interest in DMEK, a surgical technique that overwhelmingly took over our practice. This year, we decided to sacrifice the live surgery and to focus on “who is on the field” every day, in clinics and in the emergency room, in order to allow verification of protocols, guidelines and the resulting legal implications. The need to converge on the diagnosis and on the consequent therapies is always the most vivid problem in terms of “cornea and ocular surface diseases”. Firstly, having appropriate and common behaviors in the management of corneal infections, which can have dramatic consequences, is still a goal to be achieved. Therefore, the heart of the congress in the Main Room will be the discussion of clinical cases, either involving the audience through televoting, either through the “live patient evaluations” in challenging cases. This is a key aspect of the S.I.C.S.S.O. congress, which is made possible thanks to the presence of Opinion Leaders from all over the world sharing their knowledge. Surgery will still have space thanks to the increase in the number of wet-labs on bulbs and tissues provided by the Eye Banks. Who wants to start approaching the DMEK and other surgical techniques will have the opportunity to learn from teachers of exceptional skills, such as those of this year. Courses in Italian language will be also available, with a limited number of participants (30 people), to further deepen and clarify doubts on various topics that would not have adequate space in the Main Room. This year two Medal Lectures have been awarded to Kathryn Colby and Sadeer Hannush, extraordinary colleagues, who have always been “S.I.C.S.S.O. friends”.
Three “under 40” ophthalmologists will be awarded for the best innovation, the best poster and the most original poster.
A great news will be the presentation of the modification of the S.I.C.S.S.O. bylaw, which will give the way for the involvement of our society in the international field. International Speakers have been hosted since the first edition of the S.I.C.S.S.O. annual conference and, in more recent editions, after “gemmated” Eucornea, the presence of foreign participants from growing nations is now the rule. In the last fifteen years, the management of corneal diseases has recorded an amazing evolution in terms of minimally invasive surgery tanks to lamellar keratoplasties, and in terms of disease prevention and containment with the use of sophisticated diagnostic equipment and conservative treatments such as crosslinking. S.I.C.S.S.O. has always promoted the diffusion of all these innovations, making happen the first limbal stem cells and amniotic membrane transplants in Italy, and contributing to the spread of lamellar corneal transplants (DALK, DSAEK, DMEK). Despite the incredible evolution of diagnosis and treatment of corneal diseases, corneal blindness in the world remains a vast issue. All these new surgical techniques have not yet landed in most of the nations, even in the economically advanced ones. The number of needed surgeries and tissues is estimated to be about 70 times greater than the current one. S.I.C.S.S.O. has a very ambitious project and its new Mission “Cornea Transplant Foundation for Developing Countries” will be presented in detail during the Medal Lectures session on Friday at 12.15 p.m., in the Main Room.
In conclusion, a lot of news!
Looking forward to see you all in Capaccio-Paestum,