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Cover Focus | Sept 2019

Debates in Refractive Surgery

Just before writing this, I laced up my sneakers and went out for a short run. It’s race week for me, and I’m about to compete in my 12th Ironman. This evening’s run was strategic in that it helped to keep my legs fresh before the race, but it was also therapeutic as it gave me a break from the editing and writing I had been doing all day at work, and it gave me momentary headspace before driving home to my family to debate race strategies and appropriate goals.

I’m a serial self-debater. That is to say, I frequently debate things with myself—in an internal dialogue. I don’t normally enjoy debating with others per se, but I do like debating with myself. It helps me to collect and organize my thoughts, to feel more prepared, and ultimately to make the best possible, most calculated decision.

As a working mother on the go, I engage in internal debates almost daily. It’s a tactic that I use most often to help our family life run as smoothly as possible. I debate how a certain decision will affect each individual, I debate how it will affect us as a family unit, and I debate the potential outcomes of that decision.

I imagine that you, as practitioners, use similar tactics when examining, treating, and managing patients. You debate each and every decision with patients’ best interests in mind.

The fast-paced, ever-changing field of ophthalmology is replete with topics that are heavily debated by surgeons and industry alike. Which IOL technologies are the best for patients? Are you in a good position to perform microinvasive glaucoma surgery at the time of cataract surgery? How can avoidable blindness be eradicated worldwide? What’s the best way to get patients to choose your practice over the one down the street? The list goes on.

In this cover focus, surgeons debate some of today’s most significant questions relevant to refractive surgery. And just as the answers to my internal debates have the best interests of my family in mind, the surgeons’ answers to the questions on the following pages have the best interests of their patients in mind. There are no right or wrong answers here, just well-calculated, thorough practices that can be helpful to strengthen patient care.

Laura Straub
Editor-in-Chief

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