Hadassah Ein Kerem: New Thyroid Eye Disease Clinic Thyroid eye disease (TED) or Graves’ ophthalmopathy is a condition that requires a multidisciplinary approach with the involvement of both endocrinologists and ophthalmologists for optimal management. Until now, patients were seen separately by both specialists with little direct communication between them.
The new clinic now offers joint collaboration of both specialties for patients suffering from TED during a single visit. “Graves’ disease, an autoimmune condition, is associated with symptoms affecting multiple organ systems” said Hadassah senior endocrinologist Rena Pollack. About 60%-80% of patients with hyperthyroidism have Graves' disease, which can cause sweating, rapid heartbeat, fatigue and anxiety. Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) can develop in over 50% of Graves’ disease patients. Patients can present with bulging of the eyes, dryness, eyelid retraction or in severe cases with eye movement disruption and deterioration in sharpness of vision.
“Patients may seek treatment because of visual complaints or because they recently learned they have a thyroid condition. Until now, patients have been treated separately by an ophthalmologist and an endocrinologist without adequate communication. We created this clinic where patients will benefit from a ‘team approach’. Patients will be seen on the same day by both specialists, and an individualized treatment plan will be provided to address both the systemic disease and eye disease.”
Pollack collaborates in the clinic with Dr. Shai Kehat Ofir, a senior ophthalmologist and oculoplastic specialist. "There are many patients suffering from TED and that situation had to be resolved," says Dr. KehatOfir, who initiated the idea of the combined clinic. “The management involves treating the underlying thyroid dysfunction, stabilizing hormone levels and relieving the eye symptoms, which can be vision-threatening. Treatment is tailored to the individual patient according to the nature and severity of the eye condition.” The new clinic at Hadassah Ein Kerem provides an integrated solution, where patients are seen by both specialists on the same day. This enables a streamlined approach where both an endocrinologist and an oculoplastic specialist jointly evaluate patients and work together to determine the best treatment approach.
Decisions regarding complex cases are made in realtime and a personalized treatment plan is designed. Director of the Endocrinology Department, Prof. Rivka Dresner-Pollak explains: "Modern medicine splits into different fields and requires specialization in sub-fields, which makes it difficult for patients in need of solutions from various medical specialties. At Hadassah we see first and foremost the patient’s needs. Therefore, the trend is to create integrated multidisciplinary clinics.” Prof. Itay Chowers adds, “An integrated clinic enables physicians from different subspecialties to communicate and provide the most appropriate comprehensive treatment in a single visit."