Interview with Dr. Bekir Sitki Aslan
As director of the eye clinic at TOBB Economy Technology Hospital in Ankara, Turkey, ophthalmologist Dr. Bekir Sitki Aslan is a well known specialist in cataract and glaucoma surgery.
With additional experience in corneal transplantations and extensive publication in the aforementioned fields, Dr. Aslan has access to the most advanced technologies for his specialty and has been performing live surgery sessions throughout the world for the last 15 years.
Currently, Dr. Bekir Sitki Aslan serves as president of the Turkish Cataract and Refractive Society and is a board member and editor for Eurotimes and Eurotimes Turkey.
He acts as a consultant for worldwide eye care manufacturer Alcon and is a faculty member of the European School for Advanced Studies in Opthalmology (ESASO) at the University della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland.
Q. What do you enjoy most about being an ophthalmic surgeon?
Ophthalmology is not only a medical discipline but it is an art of helping others to preserve or improve their vision with the various sophisticated tools available to help achieve this mission. The precision, perfection and endless innovation in ophthalmic surgery in this era makes it most enjoyable. I relish in the privilege to see happy eyes after successful treatments.
Q. What do you think is the most exciting surgical development in ophthalmology?
Lately, I have been involved in several developments in anterior segment surgery. We are evaluating the reproducibility, safety, overall fluidics, and endothelial cell loss associated with performing cataract surgery through corneal incisions of less than 2mm with the Infiniti Vision System.
These smaller incision cataract surgeries contribute positively to the final outcome. With evidence-based information on the ability to perform surgeries through sub 2mm incisions along with implantation of intraocular lenses (IOL), there has been a great breakthrough in cataract surgery.
Currently, we are implanting IOLs with different asphericity depending on the existing corneal spherical aberration. The next generation of IOLs will improve depth of focus, providing better quality of vision at all distances for patients of all ages. In addition, we’ll be able to correct astigmatism following cataract surgery with greater precision.
Q. What are some of the diagnostic tools on your premises?
We have access to an assortment of modern equipment used to diagnose and set proper and reliable indications for surgeries such as Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Partial Coherence Tomography, Glaucoma Diagnostic tools and wave front aberrometry.
Q. What will cataract surgery be like in the next five years?
We will see more high volume surgical centers, which will provide endless solutions for many eye problems. Still, genetic diseases will remain a problematic issue.
Additionally, new techniques such as laser refractive cataract surgery, OCT and real time surgical aberrometry for finer visual outcomes will become routine. In our facility, we are soon acquiring these technologies, starting with the surgical aberrometer.
Q. What is most challenging about performing live surgery at ophthalmic meetings?
The most important thing to remember is that the priority is the patient’s eye health. While it remains challenging, it is still necessary to perform surgery of the highest quality with the newest techniques and most up-to-date technology. Some tricks and pearls to the audience at the same time is also a valuable approach. Nevertheless, the highest attention to the ethics of surgery and quality teaching is mandatory.