New Technology Impacts Cataract Surgery – Dr. Oli
+ -
Eye Image

It’s easy for us to take the technology we use for granted.  However, as I look back at the advances that have been made in cataract surgery since the days of Sir Ridley I am awe-struck.

The first intraocular implant to “cure aphakia” was performed in 1949 using 4x loupes. Just imagine doing cataract surgery using only four times magnification with poor lighting!  This is nothing short of awesome in my book.

I performed my first cataract surgery in 1979 using a 20x microscope, performing ICCE (Intra-Capsular Cataract Extraction) using a cryoprobe. I was so nervous that it was hard for me to control my legs, but I got through it in one piece. One must marvel at Sir Ridley using 4x loupes to remove the cataract via ECCE (Extra-Capsular Cataract Extraction) using can-opener capsulotomy and expression.

The operating microscope was invented by Zeiss in the 1960’s. Not much changed in microscope technology over the next twenty or thirty years. We bought a Leica microscope in 1996 to use in our ASC. I really liked the Leica scope, especially when compared to the older Zeiss model, due to its wider field and improved illumination.

Earlier this year Dr. Kristine and I saw a demonstration of the Lumera 700 Zeiss microscope at the Hawaiian Eye meeting.  We researched the scope via videos put on the Web and were very impressed by the improved visibility.  We liked what we saw and decided to pursue test driving this scope.

A couple of months ago we had the scope brought to our ASC. We were completely blown away!   The improved visibility was so incredible that we both agreed we had to buy the scope right then and there. We realized we could not continue using our Leica scope since patient safety is paramount in our practice.

Visibility is improved tremendously in both retina surgery and cataract surgery (see photos). With the Leica scope we could not videotape retina surgery.  With the Zeiss Lumera 700 scope we have videotaped several surgeries and have now produced two videotapes for educational purposes.  We have also produced two videos on cataract surgery. We are looking forward to putting out more videos as time goes on.

We are the third practice in Oregon to acquire the Lumera 700 and are the first private practice in Oregon to get this scope.  Both of the other practices are institutional in nature.

We encourage any of our local Optometrists who are interested to call and schedule time to observe surgery with me or Dr. Kristine.  We’re sure you’ll find it a very interesting experience.