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Subspecialties Professional Development, Refractive

The Arnold Mühren of Refractive Surgery?*

How did you get started in ophthalmic laser research?

I started in refractive surgery with John Marshall, who got me interested in excimer laser surgery and connected me with an experimental excimer laser group run by Ian Constable. While other clinics were buying early excimer lasers, Ian said, “For that money, I can create a research lab and build my own, and it will be better than anything on the market.” I joined that lab, working with Paul van Saarloos, in 1990.

We were trying to develop a way of using the excimer laser to drill a small, accurate hole through the sclera for glaucoma filtration surgery. We created a system and took it to Phase I trials, but ultimately it wasn’t a good solution for glaucoma drainage – the diameter required for ideal flow resistance was only 50 µm, and a single cell could block the pathway.

I also had the opportunity to work closely with Graham Barrett, a pioneer in cornea, cataract and refractive surgery. In combination with the excimer laser experience, it was an ideal platform from which to pursue further subspecialist training at Moorfields Eye Hospital, where I was appointed as a consultant in 1998.

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About the Author

Bruce Allan

Bruce Allan

Bruce Allan’s principal research interests are enhancing treatment accuracy in laser refractive surgery, new techniques in corneal endothelial transplantation, and early intervention and visual rehabilitation in keratoconus. An extremely prominent corneal surgeon, Allan has been a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Moorfields in London since 1998. Outside of work, he’s both a keen sailor and an ardent football fan.

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