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The future of Opthalmology

Discussion in 'Ophthalmology: Eye Physicians & Surgeons' started by rotty1021, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. rotty1021

    rotty1021 Member
    7+ Year Member

    Oct 19, 2002
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    What do you guys think? Will there always be opthalmic surgery or will everything turn to genetics? Or will there be a little bit of both? I'm sorry if this question comes off as a bit ignorant, but I'm a bit curious.
  2. idoc

    idoc Member
    15+ Year Member

    Nov 14, 2002
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    If ophthalmology is taken over by genomics, then every field of medicine will be. I think the future of ophtho is bright, especially considering that half of the american population needs glasses (which a large proportion would be candidates for refractive surgery).
  3. Andrew_Doan

    Andrew_Doan Doc, Author, Entrepreneur
    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Account 15+ Year Member

    Oct 1, 2002
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    Attending Physician
    There will ALWAYS be ophthalmic surgery. Genetics can only fix a few things that are inheritable.

    There's so many surgeries in ophthalmology that genetic therapy cannot fix. Here are a few:

    1) Oculoplastics: tumor resection from lids, globe, and orbit. Ptosis repair, trauma to the eye and surrounding structures, ruptured globe, orbital fracture repair, ect...

    2) Pediatrics: strabismus repair and surgeries to fix double vision.

    3) Neuro-ophthalmology: orbital decompression for thyroid eye disease, optic sheath fenestrations (plastics will do this)

    4) Retina: repair of retinal detachments, macular hole repair, vitrectomies, membrane peels, 1001 laser treatments for diseases due to diabetes and AMD.

    5) Cornea: corneal transplants due to burns, trauma, and diseases we have no idea what gene is involved (but even if we knew, it was too late when we found out because the patient is in their 40s and the cornea is shot)

    6) Cataracts can't be fixed by gene therapy

    7) Glaucoma: there's too many causes of glaucoma to list here and not all are genetic. Will always need glaucoma surgery to drop the IOP.

    I think you get the picture. The field of ophthalmology is HUGE, and there are tons of surgeries. Gene therapy will only fix a fraction of the diseases in this field.
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