Dr. Jong Park was awarded the Raymond Margherio Fellowship Award for his work entitled Surgical Management of Full Thickness Macular Holes in Macular Telangiectasia Type 2, A Global Multicenter Study. Jong completed this work under the mentorship of Dr. Tamer Mahmoud while he was a fellow at Associated Retina Consultants/ Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Dr. Jong, Congratulations on receiving this prestigious award, could you summarize the work you presented at Retina Society?
Macular telangiectasia type 2 (MacTel) is a neurodegenerative condition thought to involve the loss of Müller cells in the macula. The development of a MacTel-associated full thickness macular hole (MTMH) is rare but visually debilitating. There is no consensus on the best surgical approach for closing MTMHs and whether surgical intervention is even beneficial. Our study looked at a large number of MTMH surgeries (63 cases) and compared the outcomes between internal limiting membrane (ILM) peeling, ILM flaps, autologous retinal transplants, retinotomy, and subretinal bleb. We found that ILM flaps had much better MTMH closure rates than ILM peeling (90% vs 47%, P<0.01). We also found that successful closure of MTMHs resulted in improved vision of at least 2 lines in a majority (57%) of patients. Our work suggests that closing MTMH can be more successful with ILM flaps and ultimately can improve vision.
Personally it has been such a tremendous honor to present my work at Retina Society among the leaders in our field. I want to thank my mentor and sponsor Dr. Tamer Mahmoud for being a brilliant surgeon and generous mentor, as well as the entire ARC fellowship family, which of course started with Dr. Ray Margherio himself. After fellowship I moved back to my hometown of Toronto, Canada, to join another ARC alum Dr. David Chow at the Toronto Retina Institute.