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Innovations | Aug 2003

Our Own Summer Blockbuster

IFor many industries across the nation, August is a slow month, a time when people take a vacation from their workloads before activities and obligations resume in September. Well, we bucked the trend. This issue of Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today delivers a triple dose of topics: a minifocus on flap creation, the ins and outs of ASCs, and the debate over reusing single-use surgical devices. The first topic will pique your interest, the second offers practical advice, and the third stirs up some controversy.

First, we asked several respected colleagues to share their experiences with their favorite microkeratomes. Their selections and reasoning vary, but each author highlights an interesting point for readers to consider. Also, new innovations are influencing flap creation. The work of Ioannis Pallikaris, MD, of Crete, Greece, on Epi-LASIK (a bladeless separation of the epithelium) may propel surgeons beyond debates over blade- versus laser-created flaps to a discussion of a new refractive surgical procedure.

Second, the growing prominence of the acronym ASC demonstrates the increasing number of physicians seeking autonomy within their practices. Contributors from the Nueterra Healthcare Company in Kansas and AmSurg Corp. in Tennessee examine several topics related to opening and successfully running an ASC: the migration of surgical procedures from the hospital setting to freestanding facilities, a checklist to help ASC owners evaluate their operations, and profiles of three groups that have successfully transitioned their practices to an ASC setting.

Finally, we explore the controversy over reusing single-use surgical devices. The subject involves issues of quality of care as well as cost, and how surgeons approach it in practice will carry medical and legal ramifications for themselves and device manufacturers worldwide.

In addition to these three intriguing foci, this issue has another contribution that I want to highlight here. Steve Arshinoff, MD, FRCSC, delves into the sensitive subject of simultaneous bilateral cataract surgery. The use of simultaneous bilateral procedures for refractive surgical and pediatric cataract cases begs the question, why not for adult cataracts?

Whether you are on vacation yourself, or are simply enjoying a little downtime while your patients are away, we invite you to sit back and enjoy one of the more indulgent treats of summer—a good read.

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