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IKA Keratoconus Symposium 2023: Sneak peek with Dr Szczotka-Flynn

Video

Loretta Szczotka-Flynn, OD, PhD, sits down to discuss the International Keratoconus Academy's first annual keratoconus symposium, which will be held April 22-23, 2023, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Loretta Szczotka-Flynn, OD, PhD, caught up with Optometry Times®' editor Kassi Jackson to talk about what to expect from the first annual International Keratoconus Academy: Keratoconus Symposium this April 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Editor's note: This transcript has been edited for clarity

Jackson:

Hi everyone. I'm Kassi Jackson with Optometry Times and I'm sitting down with Dr. Loretta Szczotka, who's presenting at the International Keratoconus Academy—or IKA, which is the inaugural meeting this year in Scottsdale, Arizona in April of 2023. Welcome, Dr. Szczotka, thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

Szczotka:

Thank you, thanks for having me.

Jackson:

Why should practitioners be excited about this first meeting of the International Keratoconus Academy?

Szczotka:

I think this is the first meeting of its kind. It's kind of been a dream for a bunch of the meeting organizers to kind of put something like this together. I've been involved in the treatment and management of keratoconus patients for over 30 years. I remember one other meeting that I attended—[a] mixture of optometry and ophthalmology and basic scientists and all those people together—probably about 25 years ago. A very small meeting and we kept it just internal.

So this is really the first meeting really since then that we can get those same, you know, quality of presenters together. But it's going to be presented to a large variety of audiences at the same time. So I know it's going to be part virtual and part in-person.

And they've gone out of their way to make sure students, residents, active duty service members, veterans, members of the Arizona Optometric Association and the schools in Arizona, and they really going out of their way to try to make it as inclusive as possible and affordable. So we're really hoping for a really great, you know, in-person turnout.

Jackson:

That's very exciting. And can you give us a sneak peek of your presentation?

Szczotka:

Sure. So I've been involved in keratoconus, kind of from the early to the advanced stages, that's kind of like my bookends of the disease is kind of what I'm most known for. I'll probably be talking early on in the meeting just about key insights and basics of the disease. And then I'm also talking about the surgical management. So a lot of my work in the past few years has dealt in the world of corneal transplantation, and doesn't necessarily have to be related to keratoconus, but just transplantation in general.

I'll be talking a bit about when to refer keratoconus patients for surgical management, and then how to work with them postsurgically, and even how to follow them for many, many years—another 30 years—postsurgically, and kind of the dilemmas that we face. I've written a few book chapters in that area and have been also recently working, you know, in that area as well.

Jackson:

So what can clinicians expect from this inaugural meeting?

Szczotka:

They're just going to get the highest quality information from the top speakers. So it's pretty simple.

Jackson:

And what sets the IKA meeting apart from other conferences?

Szczotka:

I think mostly, you know, the interaction with patients that they're going to have in this particular meeting. I know that meeting organizers are going to have kind of like a virtual patient panel where the patients are going to be posing questions and getting answers, which I think is really unique because as providers, we kind of failed to see the patient perspective sometimes. So bringing in like the National Keratoconus Foundation, and just seeing through the eyes of a patient and what they expect and see when they interact with us providers, I think is going to be the key difference to this meeting.

Jackson:

Wonderful. And is there anything else you'd like to mention that we haven't touched on?

Szczotka:

I just hope to see you all in sunny Arizona.

Jackson:

Great. Well, Dr. Szczotka, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us.

Szczotka:

All right, thanks a lot. Take care.

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