Interview with Abdhish R. Bhavsar, MD
Why did you feel that it was important to write Operative Techniques in Vitreoretinal Surgery, 1st Edition? What does your publication add to the field?
Ever since I was a retina surgery fellow at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA in Los Angeles, I have dreamed about writing a retina surgery textbook that covered the nuts and bolts of retina surgery. I do not mean a book of haughty or overbearing nature, but rather a down-to-earth book written by everyday retina surgeons, albeit many who are quite prominent, but with a peer-to-peer conversational approach. The predecessor of this current text Operative Techniques in Vitreoretinal Surgery entitled Retina and Vitreous Surgery was the first time this was done in the history of retina surgery. We have improved on that text by producing a full-size page format volume with large illustrations and many newer surgical techniques including surgical techniques involved in retina surgery clinical trials and even gene therapy. Furthermore, we have included surgical videos to demonstrate the surgical topics covered in a step-by-step manner.
What is the most exciting aspect of Operative Techniques in Vitreoretinal Surgery? What chapter or topic covered are you most excited about?
The description of scleral fixation of an intraocular lens by Shin Yamane himself is priceless! He has revolutionized the method for intraocular lens scleral fixation, yet he is the most humble retina surgeon on the face of the earth! The world calls this technique the “YAMANE” technique, but he still calls it the “Flanged” technique! I am also excited by the latest of surgical techniques including subretinal gene therapy surgery described by Christine Nichols Kay.
Who will find the greatest value from this book and why?
All retina surgeons spanning the gamut from the most junior to the most senior and experienced retina surgeons can find tremendous value from this book. Learning how to do a technique for the first time can be daunting, but when you have a step-by-step “manual” describing the equipment needed, the instruments needed, followed by a detailed line-by-line description of what your hands should be doing, your fears should be allayed and your amygdala should be at ease, allowing you to learn at your best! The surgical pearls and pitfalls are particularly helpful since even an experienced retina surgeon may not have considered all the angles one should be aware of. Furthermore, learning newer techniques or learning a different method of approaching a common surgery can be refreshing for even the most senior of retina surgeons!
What new ideas, practices, or procedures do you hope your readers take away from your text?
The most up to date information on Robotics in retina surgery is discussed by Gerber and Hubschman with a detailed look into an area that few of us have been exposed to. Other newer techniques including delivery of gene therapy by Kay, management of dislocated intraocular lenses via a multitude of surgical techniques by Yamane, Kishore, Kadonosono and Bhavsar, management of failed or recurrent macular holes via numerous modern methods including using amniotic membrane by Caporossi, Rizzo, Nawrocki, Bhavsar, Nawrocka and Charles are all nicely presented. A newer area that is not often discussed is the Intersection Between Retina and Glaucoma and this is thoroughly discussed by Vu and Chen.
What problem do you hope the future generation of your specialty will be able to solve?
A major unmet need in the field of retina is treating and curing inherited retinal diseases and subretinal gene delivery is just the first step in the direction of solving this and our hope is that future generations can find a cure!
Is there anything else about the book you’d like to say?
This is truly an invaluable text for all retina and vitreous surgeons who want to improve their existing surgical skills or learn new surgical skills. I am grateful to Elsevier, the publication team and all of the authors for their never-ending hard work which was essential to bringing this volume into existence!
About the Editor
Hello, I am Abdhish R. Bhavsar, MD, Retina and Vitreous surgeon, Retina Consultants of Minnesota, Director of Clinical Research, Retina Center of Minnesota and Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I grew up in Michigan and went to Detroit Country Day School, followed by Dartmouth College in New Hampshire where I graduated with an Honors Thesis in Biochemistry. I came back home to study at the Wayne State University of Medicine where I earned my MD degree. At Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, I completed my internal medicine internship. Then I travelled to the windy city of Chicago where I completed my residency in Ophthalmology at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary. Finally, I became a retina surgeon after finishing my Retina Surgery Fellowship at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. When I am not doing retina surgery, I am typically playing ice hockey, coaching the Wild Blind Hockey Team or out in the field with my Percheron draft horses!