Amar Agarwal, MS, FRCS, FRCOphth, is the Chairman and Managing Director of Dr. Agarwal’s Group of Eye Hospitals and Eye Research Centre in India, which includes 60 hospitals worldwide; past President of the International Society of Refractive Surgery (ISRS); Secretary General of the Indian Intraocular Implant and Refractive Society (IIRSI); and Professor of Ophthalmology at Ramachandra Medical College in Chennai, India.
Dr. Agarwal is the pioneer of phakonit, which is phacoemulsification with needle incision technology. This technique became popularly known as bimanual phaco, microincision cataract surgery (MICS), or microphaco. Dr. Agarwal was the first to remove cataracts through a 0.7-mm tip with the microphakonit technique. He also discovered no-anesthesia cataract surgery and FAVIT, a new technique to remove dropped nuclei. Using an aquarium fish pump to increase the fluid into the eye in bimanual phaco and coaxial phaco has helped prevent surge. This formed the basis of various techniques of forced infusion for small-incision cataract surgery. Dr. Agarwal also discovered a new refractive error called aberropia. He was the first to perform a combined surgery of microphakonit (700-µm cataract surgery) with a 25-gauge vitrectomy in the same patient, thus creating the smallest incisions possible for cataract and vitrectomy. He was the first surgeon to implant a new mirror telescopic intraoperative lens (IOL) for patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration. He was the first in the world to implant a glued IOL, in which a posterior-chamber IOL is fixed in an eye without capsules using fibrin glue. He modified the Malyugin ring (MicroSurgical Technology) for small-pupil cataract surgery into the Agarwal modification of the Malyugin ring for miotic pupil cataract surgeries with posterior capsular defects.
Dr. Agarwal pioneered the technique of IOL scaffold, in which a 3-piece IOL is injected into an eye between the iris and the nucleus to prevent the nucleus from falling in posterior chamber ruptures. He combined glued IOL and IOL scaffold in cases of posterior chamber rupture where there is no iris or capsular support and termed the technique glued IOL scaffold. Pre-Descemet’s endothelial keratoplasty (PDEK) was also pioneered by Dr. Agarwal. In this procedure, the pre-Descemet’s layer and Descemet’s membrane with endothelium are transplanted en bloc in patients with a diseased endothelium.
The first contact lens–assisted collagen cross-linking procedure, a new technique for cross-linking thin corneas, was performed in Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital, as were the first anterior-segment transplantation in a 4-month-old child with anterior staphyloma and the first glued endocapsular ring in cases of subluxated cataracts. Endoilluminator–assisted Descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty (E-DMEK) is also performed in Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital.
Dr. Agarwal has received many awards for his work in ophthalmology, most significantly the Casebeer Award, Barraquer Award, and Kelman Award. He has performed more than 150 live surgeries at various conferences. His videos have won awards at the film festivals of American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), and European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS). He has written more than 60 books, which have been published in various languages, including English, Spanish, and Polish. He trains doctors from all over the world in his center on phaco, bimanual phaco, laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), and retina.
The website of Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospitals is http://www.dragarwal.com.
Thomas John, MD, was born in India, and lived the majority of his life in the United States. His eye training consisted of an ophthalmology residency at the University of Pennsylvania and a 2-year clinical cornea fellowship at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
Dr. John’s academic pinnacle was in Boston, training under Drs. Kenyon, Foster, Steinert, Dohlman, Abelson, Langston, Wagoner, Gilbard, Boruchoff, and Bajart. His corneal research experience stems from Schepens Eye Research Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard Medical School. He completed ophthalmic pathology training under Drs. Eagle, Rockey, and Yanoff during his National Institutes of Health (NIH) ophthalmic pathology fellowship.
Dr. John was Director of Cornea, External Disease, and Contact Lens Service, Assistant Professor, Seeberger Scholar, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago. Currently, he is the Clinical Associate Professor at Loyola University at Chicago, and Visiting Professor, Medical Faculty of Military University, Military Medical Academy, Belgrade, Serbia. Dr. John’s private offices are in Oak Brook, Oak Lawn, and Tinley Park, Illinois. He was named Chicago’s Top Doctor by Chicago Magazine; America’s Top Doctor, Castle Connelly Medical, Ltd; and America’s Top Ophthalmologist, Consumer Research Council of America for several consecutive years. A partial list of awards includes the H. J. Memorial Research Prize, St. John’s Medical College, India; Best Resident Paper Award, University of Pennsylvania; Honor Award and Senior Honor Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), Best of Show Award for surgical technique videos (first place) twice from AAO; First Place Award, Surgical Video Competition, International Society of Refractive Surgeons (ISRS); First Place Award, Surgical Video Competition, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS); First Place Awards for Poster and Best Paper Presentations, ASCRS; Distinguished Physician Award from Indian American Medical Association; Physician Medal of Distinction from Military Medical Academy, Belgrade, Serbia; and a gold medal from the Indian Intraocular Implant and Refractive Society, Chennai, India.
Dr. John is currently on the editorial boards of Ocular Surgery News (OSN), Review of Ophthalmology, and Ophthalmology Management, and was previously on the editorial boards of Annals of Ophthalmology (AO), Expert Review of Ophthalmology, and Optometry Management. He was Chief Editor of the Consultation Section of AO; Associate Editor of AO, Chief Editor, Corneal Dissection Column, OSN; and Editor, Journal Techniques in Ophthalmology. He is widely published in peer-reviewed journals and has edited many books, written many chapters, and made numerous presentations. He served as ASCRS panelist and poster judge and was Chief Film Festival Judge for ASCRS in 2013. He performed live surgery, descemetorhexis with endokeratoplasty, at the International Meeting of the Italian Ophthalmological Society in 2007 in Venice, Italy. He developed numerous surgical instruments and holds a patent on an ophthalmic device. He has delivered numerous surgical video presentations. His present book with Dr. Agarwal is an extension of his surgical interests in ophthalmology.
Ophthalmology remains a singular subject in Dr. John’s “report card of life.” Other subjects include family, namely, his wife Annita and children Michelle, Andrea and Olivia, music, drumming (rock and roll), and dancing (ballroom, line, disco). He started ARVO Rock Concert, has been a band leader and drummer for 12 years, and played drums at the Universal Studios, Orlando, in 2014. In his report card of life, he gives all credit to Jesus Christ without whom he is nobody.