Singapore was proud to play host to the ITEDS meeting from 21st to 23rd February 2019. A pre-meeting cadaveric dissection course was initially conducted on 20th February 2019 allowing participants the opportunity for hands-on practice on external as well as endoscopic approaches to orbital decompressions and eyelid lengthening procedures. The dissection course was held at the Academia next to the meeting venue. Experienced demonstrators such as Peter Dolman, Geoffrey Rose, Tim Sullivan, Wencan Wu, and David Verity formed the line-up of instructors supported by a local and regional faculty. This course of 28 places was fully subscribed and due to its popularity, a viewing room was made available for other delegates, not otherwise in the dissection room, to watch the procedures.
The pre-congress teaching course focussed on the fundamental medical and surgical aspects of the disease. Medical topics included current concepts in laboratory investigations, radiotherapy, and drugs. The surgical symposiums highlighted important aspects of orbital decompression, squint, and eyelid surgeries. Despite the emphasis placed on basic concepts, about 500 delegates, many of whom were medical students, residents, and allied health professionals, turned up to hear the experts speak.
Day 1 of the main meeting program consisted of symposiums relating to QoL issues, diagnostic tools, differential diagnoses, pathogenesis, genetics and epidemiology, risk factors and medical treatment. The highlights of the day were keynote lectures delivered by Peter Dolman and Terry Smith on dysthyroid optic neuropathy and the molecular biology of thyroid eye disease respectively. An interactive session on orbital inflammation, conducted by Geoffrey Rose, was done for the first time whereby the audience was required to vote for the choice he or she will make in each of the clinical scenarios. The results were then tabulated and shown on the spot.
Day 2 of the main meeting kickstarted with a well-received symposium showcasing surgical videos on various aspects of orbital decompressions. It was apparent that fat decompressions were gaining in popularity, and junior surgeons may benefit from the use of navigational systems to accurately identify anatomical landmarks. This was followed by two symposia on squint surgery focussing on complex yet commonly encountered problems in patients with thyroid eye disease. The symposium on eyelid surgery concentrated on newer concepts in eyelid rehabilitation including the use of filler and botox injections. The role of biomarkers and tear proteomics in the management of thyroid eye disease was well covered during the discussion on current research, before a keynote lecture by Robert Goldberg on the significant effect of fibrosis for disease morbidity. The program for the day ended with two symposiums; one on medical and the other on surgical conundrums encountered clinically in patients. The case discussions were robust, insightful and brought about good interaction between the panel of experts and the delegates.
In conclusion, the success of this meeting was owed in large part to the help and active participation of ITEDS members and friends from around the world. In accordance with the theme of “East meets West”, ITEDS 2019 served as an amazing platform for a meaningful exchange of ideas, techniques, and knowledge.