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Welcome to the Ophthalmic Photographers' Society Blog! The posts on this blog are authored by a myriad of individuals in Ophthalmology. Posts are not always authored by those directly affiliated with the Ophthalmic Photographers' Society and opinions may not be those of the OPS; however, all posts are submitted to a review process and have been approved by the OPS before being posted. Comments are open to the public. New posts are added every Friday, so make sure to check back often!


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Keynote Speaker Spotlight: Cagri G. Besirli, M.D., Ph.D.

Posted By Elaine Lok, CRA, Friday, March 13, 2015
Updated: Friday, May 15, 2015


"Ultrasonography for Intraocular Tumors" and "Telemedicine for Pediatric Retinal Diseases"

Speaker: Cagri G. Besirli, M.D., Ph.D, University of Michigan, Kellogg Eye Center


Date: Saturday, June 27, 2015 @ 11:15AM-12:15PM



The Ophthalmic Photographers’ Society is pleased to announce Dr. Cagri Besirli the second of two keynote speakers for the 2015 Mid-Year Program.

Please join us for Dr. Besirli’s 60 minute presentation on two topics in the morning on Saturday, June 27th: The utilization of ultrasound in documenting intraocular tumors, and Kellogg Eye Center’s telemedicine advances in documenting and treating pediatric retinal diseases will be discussed.

A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, MO, Dr. Besirli is a vitreoretinal specialist with a focus on ocular trauma surgeries and pediatric retinal disorders.


Talk 1

Ultrasonography for Intraocular Tumors

Course Description: The principles of ophthalmic ultrasound and its role in the diagnosis of intraocular tumors will be reviewed using a case study approach.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the attendee should be able to describe different ultrasound techniques used in the evaluation of intraocular tumors, list the steps involved in patient evaluation, and discuss the ultrasonographic findings seen in common tumors.


Talk 2

Telemedicine for Pediatric Retinal Diseases

Course Description: The emerging field of ophthalmic telemedicine for the evaluation and diagnosis of children with retinal disorders will be discussed, with special attention given to the role of photographic screening in Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP).

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the attendee should be able to describe the advantages and disadvantages of telemedicine for ROP screening, discuss the findings of major clinical trials evaluating the photographic screening of ROP, list the challenges faced by ophthalmic telemedicine programs.


Elaine Lok, CRA

Education Chair 2015 Mid Year Program

Program Information

Mid-Year Program Information

Mid-Year Program Registration

Tags:  2015  American Society of Retina Specialists  Ann Arbor  blog  education  Educational Meeting  Ice Breakers  Keynote Speaker  Meaningful Use  Mid-year  PDC  Professionalism  Special Events  Study  Travel 

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Eye Selfies

Posted By Timothy Bennett CRA, OCT-C, Friday, March 6, 2015
Updated: Friday, March 6, 2015


Although it may seem like a recent phenomenon, the photographic self-portrait has been with us since the dawn of photography. Perhaps the earliest known “selfie” was taken by Hippolyte Bayard (Portrait of a Drowned Man), a Frenchman who claimed to have invented a photographic process prior to the Daguerrotype. The same can be said of William Henry Fox-Talbot (The Reading Establishment).

In recent years, the photographic self-portrait has exploded in popularity into a global phenomenon, fueled by social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and others. It is estimated that over one million “selfies” are taken every day. A recent search of Instagram returned over 211 million photos with the hashtag “#selfie”. The term “selfie” is believed to have originated in Australia and has been elevated from internet slang to our common vernacular and even inclusion in several formal English dictionaries. In fact, selfie was Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year for 2013!

Everybody seems to be getting into the act including celebrities, politicians and even the Pope! Selfies are even popular in space.  Astronauts have shared several  spacewalk selfies online, and last year, NASA promoted a global selfie project to celebrate Earth Day. They solicited over 36,000 selfies from around the world and created an interactive composite image that can be viewed on their website.

The selfie is so ubiquitous in today’s pop culture that cell phones and digital cameras often include built-in selfie-friendly apps and features such as extra wide angle lenses, articulating screens or front facing screens that facilitate the selfie pose.  You can also purchase selfie sticks to extend the camera to a better vantage point.  These popular items go well beyond the simple self-timer found on many cameras of yesteryear. Selfies are often purposely self-deprecating, campy, cheesy, or irreverent. They are meant to be spontaneous and fun and are not usually taken very seriously. The selfie craze has even spawned the infamous “duck face” pose.

Despite the fun and seemingly harmless spirit behind them, there is a belief that taking selfies can be a sign of narcissism rather than simple self-expression. There is also some concern it can be addicting and unhealthy. But there is a growing trend in telemedicine where patients can take and forward selfies to their doctors to help diagnose or triage the urgency of their condition.  So maybe there are some legitimate uses for selfies.


As a life-long photographer, I’ve taken my share of selfies over the years. I’ve even attempted a few with the equipment I use for diagnostic ophthalmic photography. Some are goofy, and in the spirit of social media selfies. Some are more practical.

Most ophthalmic imaging devices are not what you’d normally consider selfie friendly, at least not in terms of taking a photo of one’s own eyes. Because the optics of these devices are designed for photographing curved surfaces found in the interior of the eye, they usually create distortion when backed up an appropriate distance to take a facial portrait. The effect of this distortion eliminates the need for a goofy facial expression if your goal is just to post a unique selfie on the internet!

But what about useful diagnostic or artistic photos of your own eyes, photos that go beyond distorted face selfies? It’s not only possible, but surprisingly good images can be obtained with some devices.  Non-mydriatic instruments with a monitor that can be pivoted toward the patient/photographer lend themselves to self-imaging, while those with an optical viewfinder (fundus camera) or fixed monitor position (Cirrus) do not. I’ve been able to obtain eye selfies with the Zeiss Stratus, Heidelberg HRT, Heidelberg HRA/OCT, Clarity RetCam, Tomey specular microscope and various handheld external cameras. But, you might ask, “So what?” or “Why?”


Well, there have been times when I needed to check a device during maintenance or a software upgrade and it was convenient to use myself as the patient. Sometimes while training staff to use a device, I’ll demonstrate the procedure on myself. Other times, I’ve needed a quick example of a “normal” eye for a lecture like those above.


I took this OCT selfie when we had a visiting scientist from NASA exploring the possibility of putting an OCT on the International Space Station. She wanted to see the Heidelberg Spectralis in clinical use. After demonstrating on several patients, the scientist asked me if I thought it were possible for someone to take an OCT image of themselves. I pivoted the monitor, control panel, and footswitch around and took this selfie of my own retina. I was showing off a little and smugly cautioned the NASA doctor that this was a difficult feat that only an experienced ophthalmic imager could perform. She paused for a moment and then said, “With all due respect, astronauts are some of the smartest and talented people on earth. They shouldn’t have any difficulty doing performing OCTs on themselves after a couple of days training.” Suddenly I didn’t feel so smug. A year or so later, the Spectralis arrived at the International Space Station and it looks like she was right!

Have you ever taken an eye selfie - silly, serious, or otherwise? If so, please share them with your colleagues. You can submit your photos to the OPS Facebook challenge:

Tags:  blog  education  Interactive  Meaningful Use  PDC  Selfies 

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Keynote Speaker Spotlight: K. Thiran Jayasundera, MD

Posted By Elaine Lok, Friday, February 27, 2015

"The Bionic Eye: Outcomes of the first Argus II implantations in the United States"  and "Quantification of Disease Manifestation in Autofluorescence Images and Fluorescein Angiography"

Speaker: K. Thiran Jayasundera, MD, University of Michigan, Kellogg Eye Center

Date: Friday, June 26, 2015 @ 11:15AM-12:15PM




The Ophthalmic Photographers’ Society is pleased to announce the first of two Keynote

Speakers for the 2015 Mid-Year Program. Dr. K. Thiran Jayasundera will present a 60 minute

lecture on two topics in the morning on Friday June 26th. He will discuss the latest

advances with the bionic eye, and then address the use of FAF and FA to detect pathological



A graduate of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, Dr.

Jayasundera is a vitreoretinal specialist with a focus on uveitis, inherited retinal diseases, and

clinical trials. His areas of research focus include genotype-phenotype correlations of inherited

retinal diseases, predictors of disease progression, and outcome measures for therapeutic

clinical trials.


Talk 1

"The Bionic Eye: Outcomes of the first Argus II implantations in the United States"

Course Description: The outcomes of the first commercial Argus II implants in Michigan will be

discussed.  Indications, preoperative and postoperative imaging, surgical details and visual

rehabilitation will be presented.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the attendee should be able to identify the

specific indications for considering Argus II implantations in patients, list the imaging performed

at the time of preoperative assessment and be able to counsel patients on expectations and

visual rehabilitation.


Talk 2

"Quantification of Disease Manifestation in Autofluorescence Images and Fluorescein



Course Description: Novel automated image analysis techniques for autofluorescence imaging

and fluorescein angiography will be discussed. The use of machine learning algorithms for

feature extraction and quantification developed at the University of Michigan will be presented.

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the attendee should be able to list the imaging

steps necessary to detect and quantify pathological changes seen in autofluorescence

imaging and fluorescein angiography.


Elaine Lok, CRA

Education Chair, 2015 Mid-Year Program

Mid-Year Program Information

Mid-Year Program Registration


Tags:  Ann Arbor  blog  education  Educational Meeting  Kellogg Eye Center  Keynote Speaker  Meaningful Use  Mid-year  Travel 

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OPS Webinars - Spring 2015 Edition

Posted By Gnome behind the curtain, Friday, February 6, 2015
Updated: Friday, February 6, 2015

Welcome to the beginning of February! Spring is on the way

While you all huddle under blankets in couch-nests with our fine furry friends - I can't be the only one doing this?! Anyway, while you do whatever it is you do to stay warm, make sure to check out the fresh series of webinars offered by the OPS Board of Education.

Each course costs only $25/hr for OPS members and $30/hr for non-OPS members. The opportunity to collect OPS or JCAHPO credit is given at the end of the hour after a short quiz. Registration for classes is a breeze and all information can be found HERE.

A quick rundown of the courses available come March can be found just below. Follow the link for more information on each:





Tags:  2015  blog  education  Interactive  March  Webinar 

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Kellogg Eye Center, Some History

Posted By Rebecca Tudor, CRA, Friday, January 16, 2015
Updated: Friday, February 20, 2015



I attended my first OPS Board of Education Business Meeting at the University of Michigan’s Kellogg Eye Center.  Let me tell you, I was blown away with the clinic and facilities there.  Working in a good size clinic myself, it was amazing to see such a grand eye center.   I was interested in how the Kellogg Eye Center came to be, and so I did some research, and I thought I would share it with you. 

The Regents of the University of Michigan established it in 1872 and it has the 4th oldest Ophthalmology department in the country.   Throughout the 1930 and 1950’s the University began establishing itself in ophthalmic genetics research with Dr. Harold Falls and Mathew Alpern becoming two of the world’s foremost experts in color vision.   The Department collaborated with the local Lions Clubs to establish the Michigan Eye Bank which provides donor tissue to patients who are in need of corneal transplant. 

The Kellogg Eye Center opened its doors in 1985 consolidating all departments under one roof for the first time.  During the 1990’s, Kellogg Resident Dr. Ron Kurtz discovered that the ultrafast laser had potential for eye surgery.  Collaboration between Kellogg and the University’s Center for Ultrafast Optical Science created Prototype Lasers, and by the end of the decade IntraLase, Corp was formed to market the ultrafast laser for LASIK surgery.  Another major ophthalmic research discovery at Michigan was the RPE65 gene that is responsible for an early and severe retinal degeneration that causes childhood blindness.  Dr. Debra A. Thompson, Ph.D. cloned the first retinal pigment epithelium-specific disease.  

The 21st century brought Kellogg Eye Center to the fore front of Ophthalmology.    During this time, the Eye Center launched the of first federally certified eye gene testing service in the country, and Kellogg faculty implanted miniature telescopes in the eyes of patients with age related macular degeneration to improve sight.

The faculty at the Kellogg Eye Center were also involved in studies that brought us Lucentis.  The Cornea Service acquired an IntraLase FS laser for LASIK surgery, began a study of the femtosecond laser for corneal transplants and glaucoma surgery, and further piloted a program to study the use of the femtosecond laser in preforming full thickness corneal transplants.

In 2006, Kellogg Eye Center broke ground for the combined Brehm Center for Diabetes Research and the Kellogg Eye Center expansion.  More studies began at Kellogg including a camera –like instrument that captures images of the eye to detect metabolic stress and tissue damage that can occur before the first symptoms of the disease are evident.  A pilot program to study the use of ultrafast or femtosecond laser in performing full thickness corneal transplants gives patients the advantage of faster recovery of vision and stronger wound construction.  This study is called the femtosecond Laser Assisted Keratoplasty study or FLAK.  Kellogg also participated in a study involving the drug rituximab which is effective in treating patients with severe Graves’ eye disease who did not respond to the standard steroids treatment.

The U-M Kellogg Eye Center expansion was dedicated on April 23, 2010. The department hosted a major conference featuring 20 leading ophthalmologists from around the world. 

Under a grant from the W.K. Kellogg foundation, the faculty will begin evaluating why some children do not receive follow-up care after failed vision screenings. Researchers will also analyze data on the incidence and prevalence of strabismus and amblyopia and will seek to improve vision care for premature babies.  

In 2014, the retina surgeons from Kellogg performed the first four surgeries in the United States to implant an artificial retina, or “bionic eye,” since the FDA approved the device in 2013.  This device provides rudimentary vision for patients with retinitis pigmentosa. 

The Center of International Ophthalmology was established in 2013 to coordinate the international clinical and research activities, encouraging the exchange of knowledge and best practices globally. Kellogg is ranked as one of the best ophthalmology programs in the U.S News & World reports. 

Amazing accomplishments are abound at the Kellogg Eye Center and will continue to be a leader in the field of Ophthalmology.   I hope you were just as amazed as I was to learn how much the Kellogg Eye Center has done for Ophthalmology. 


Tags:  blog  Ice Breakers  Kellogg Eye Center  PDC 

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