Quick Hits

Imprimis partners with SightLife Surgical

Sightlife Surgical will expand the sales presence of Imprimis’ autologous serum eye drops.

By Zack Tertel, senior editor

Under an exclusive strategic sales and marketing agreement, SightLife Surgical will deploy its sales team to offer Imprimis’ Serum Tears compounded formulations. Under the terms of the agreement, physicians, large practice groups, surgery centers, hospitals and health-care organizations will have greater access to Serum Tears autologous serum eye drops in varying ranges of saline dilution combinations. These drops are prescribed to treat chronic dry eye patients who do not respond to traditional treatments. Studies show that a patient’s serum, which is found in the patient’s blood and contains antibodies and growth factors, can be used effectively as therapy for chronic dry eye.1-3

“This is a huge advance for the millions who suffer from severe dry eye as it will streamline the process for ophthalmologists in providing an important treatment option to their patients,” says Mark L. Baum, CEO of Imprimis.

SightLife Surgical provides corneal tissue and medical devices to surgeons around the world who perform corneal transplant procedures, making Serum Tears a good match. In particular, surgeons can use the product as a preventive treatment in a transplant for patients who have corneal epithelial defects/abrasions caused by dry eye. “SightLife Surgical is excited to work with Imprimis Pharmaceuticals to provide a turn-key solution to ophthalmologists across all 50 states who have patients who will benefit from autologous Serum Tears, especially those undergoing corneal treatments,” says Monty Montoya, CEO and president of SightLife Surgical. OM


  1. Noda-Tsuruya T, Asano-Kato N, Toda I, Tsubota, K. Autologous serum eye drops for dry eye after LASIK. J Refract Surg. 2006;22:61-66. Accessed April 29, 2017. .
  2. Kojima T, Ishida R, Dogru M, et al. The effect of autologous serum eyedrops in the treatment of severe dry eye disease: a prospective randomized case-control study. Am J Ophthalmol. 2005;139:242-246. Accessed April 29, 2017. .
  3. Mondy P, Brama T, Fisher J, et al. Sustained benefits of autologous serum eye drops on self-reported ocular symptoms and vision-related quality of life in Australian patients with dry eye and corneal epithelial defects. Transfus Apher Sci. 2015;53:404-411. Accessed April 29, 2017. .

Bio-Tissue makes “The 5 Ds” available for all

Reference guide is used to help physicians decide when to use Prokera.

By Robert Stoneback, associate editor

Bio-Tissue has posted online its “Why Intervene/5Ds” reference guide for Prokera, to make it more readily available for doctors who use its line of therapeutic corneal bandage devices.

The guide can be accessed at It reviews the various categories of eye disease and their indications for the use of Prokera.

The name “The 5 Ds” refers to these disease categories, which are: defect (such as corneal ulcers); delayed healing (including keratoconjunctivitis and keratitis); dystrophy (epithelial corneal dystrophy and recurrent erosion of corneal); degeneration (band keratopathy and nodular corneal degeneration), and damage (including different burns and Stevens-Johnson syndrome).

Along with the indications for each category, the chart also lists clinical guidance, ICD-10 codes and supporting literature.

“As part of our continued medical education efforts, we wanted to provide physicians with a quick reference guide for the many indications where Prokera can have therapeutic value,” says Juli Bark, vice president of marketing for Bio-Tissue. “We just recently decided to put the information online to provide easier access to the tool. We received such positive reception to the reference guide when it was first released in print that we thought an e-version would be the next step in furthering the tools benefit to physicians.”

The guide was first introduced in February 2016, and there are more than 1,000 of the guides in circulation, according to Ms. Bark.

“Physicians often keep the guides in their patient exam rooms for quick reference,” she says.Bio-Tissue says the guide is important for physicians, as it feels Prokera is unlike other amniotic membranes on the market: it is FDA-cleared for use on the ocular surface.

The Prokera line launched in 2005 and now consists of four inserts — the standard Prokera, Prokera Slim, Prokera Clear and Prokera Plus — each of which is used to treat different ocular conditions.The 5Ds can be found at OM

New book helps physicians address “near-death experiences”

“NDEs” also pose questions about the nature of sight.

By Robert Stoneback, associate editor

John C. Hagan III, MD, FAAO, FACS, wants his new book to shed light on the medical condition known as “near-death experiences” (NDEs) and how physicians of all kinds can assist patients who have had them.

NDEs are incidents in which patients almost die but are resuscitated. Upon return, they recall vivid experiences, such as the consciousness leaving the body or communicating with otherworldly presence or beings. Dr. Hagan’s goal as editor of “The Science of Near-Death Experiences” is to help doctors understand the clinical syndrome of NDEs, without delving into the philosophical and spiritual questions that often accompany them. “We’re dealing with the science, not the paranormal or religious,” he says.

For people who have experienced an NDE, “it’s the most real thing in their life,” says Dr. Hagan, who is the editor of Missouri Medicine, the Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association, an ophthalmologist and founder of the Midwest Eye Institute of Kansas City, Mo.


“Within a week of a patient being revived, a doctor should ask if the patient saw anything strange while unconscious that they would like to talk about. If the patient says yes, the proper response is sympathetic listening and validation. The physician should say this happens to a lot of people, and it’s okay to talk about and there are books and support groups for NDEs. This can be especially important for children; if they are told their brain made up an NDE, they tend to fall behind in school,” says Dr. Hagan.

Dr. Hagan became intrigued with the topic a few years ago after reading the book “Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences,” by Jeffrey Long, MD, and Paul Perry.

He learned NDEs are common — estimates put the number of Americans that have had a NDE between 9 million and 20 million. Further, when specifically asked if they saw anything, 20% of patients revived from cardiac arrest will describe an NDE and without asking, less than 1% of patients will share an NDE experience, according to Dr. Hagan.


Contributors to the book were physicians and academics, three of whom had NDEs themselves. They were all “valid observers” and not people “looking to supplement their income,” says Dr. Hagan. Some of the essays contributed to the book also appear in Missouri Medicine, the first such studies in peer-reviewed literature.

One contributor was Jean Hausheer, MD, FACS, clinical professor of ophthalmology at Dean McGee Eye Institute, at the University of Oklahoma. She had an NDE when she was treated in a hospital setting during medical school; she barely shared the story outside of her family until Dr. Hagan randomly mentioned his intention to publish NDE scientific information and was looking for physicians who had experienced this journey.

With the rising number of NDEs reported across the world, the odds are also rising that a physician will encounter someone who has had an NDE, making their study more important, she says. “As ophthalmologists, our patient conversations vary widely and certainly beyond the eyes … If a patient feels comfortable enough, they will discuss such things.”


As an ophthalmologist, Dr. Hagan is also interested in the questions NDEs raise about the perception of sight. “Thousands of verified NDEs challenge the assumption that the brain solely creates consciousness and interprets sight,” he says. The book contains several examples and discussions of NDEs of “clinically dead” people recalling vivid enhancement of their senses. In some cases, the patient can recall things happening in the operating room, which other observers have verified, according to Dr. Hagan’s research.

“Study of NDEs can help us learn more about the brain and its role in creating consciousness and as the end organ of sight.”

“The Science of Near-Death Experiences” is available in print or as a Kindle eBook. It can also be ordered through its publisher, the Missouri State Medical Association, or at the website . Profits go to the MSMA Medical Student Loan Fund. OM

“The Science of Near-Death Experiences” is available in print or as a Kindle eBook.

Updated textbook offers in-depth look at phaco, lens implantation

Dr. William Fishkind’s new edition also offers online visual aids.

By Robert Stoneback, associate editor

William Fishkind, MD, FACS, released his second ophthalmology textbook at the start of this year, with a 500-page tome that is more comprehensive than his first.

Dr. Fishkind, a clinical professor at the University of Utah and University of Arizona, practices in Tucson at Fishkind, Bakewell, Maltzman, Hunter and Associates Eye Care and Surgery Center, says the book is written for residents, practicing ophthalmologists, department libraries or anyone who is involved in teaching or performing cataract surgery.


Titled “Phacoemulsification and Intraocular Lens Implantation: Mastering Techniques and Complications in Cataract Surgery” and published by Thieme, it serves as an updated edition to Dr. Fishkind’s 2002 book, “Complications in Phacoemulsification: Avoidance, Recognition, and Management.”

That first version was 300 pages long and primarily covered phacoemulsification. The new, 55-chapter book gives step-by-step instructions for performing phacoemulsification and lens implantation, as well as covering complications such as vitrectomy, IOL placement in complicated cases, and suturing implants. Dr. Fishkind wanted to offer all the “pertinent techniques and pearls” necessary to deal “with pretty much any situation that might arise,” he says.

There are two chapters devoted to MIGS and three devoted to posterior segment complications in anterior segment surgery, as well as chapters on TASS, endophthalmitis and IOL pathology.


The book also contains interactive online material to give readers visual aids for the procedures discussed in the book. A website is listed in the book, along with codes for different chapters; by typing a code into the website, the reader can download a video covering techniques reviewed in that part of the book. Hundreds of illustrations and figures, custom-designed for the book, are also included, Dr. Fishkind says.

It took Dr. Fishkind two and a half years to put this new edition together, with help from 87 contributors from across the globe. Dr. Fishkind called authors who were leaders in their respective fields to help write or organize the different sections. Contributors were all individuals with whom Dr. Fishkind has worked or whose work he respects.

“I’ve been doing this long enough,” he says. “I know most of the people in the field.”


The purpose of the book is to educate practitioners on the safest and best way to treat patients, Dr. Fishkind says.

“Phacoemulsification and Intraocular Lens Implantation” is available from , Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the iTunes store.

More details on the book, including its bibliographic information, can be found at Thieme’s website ( OM

Dr. Fishkind’s book contains interactive online material to give readers visual aids.