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Archive November 2017 XVIII, No. 11

4 Ways to Accessorize Your Ophthalmic Microscope

A look at the value in investing in the latest add-ons for your scopes.

Daniel Cook

Daniel Cook, Editor-in-Chief


assessing scope add-ons ADDED BENEFIT Consider surgeon satisfaction and the potential for improved outcomes when assessing scope add-ons.

Eye surgeons need the best visualization from their microscopes to be able to operate with the highest precision. You can improve the functionality of your ophthalmic scope by equipping it with accessories that go beyond conventional visualization. But which of the latest upgrades are worth the investment? We asked several surgeons about which add-ons help them operate efficiently and comfortably, and which enhance outcomes.

1 Wide-angle viewing systems. During retinal detachment cases, wide-angle, non-contact viewing systems let surgeons easily refocus from the posterior segment to look more anteriorly with the simple press of a foot pedal. This gives them clear views of the peripheral retina, where tears tend to occur.

"Conventional contact lens systems provide a limited view of the retina," says Jason Hsu, MD, a retina specialist at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa. "The systems we use provide a larger field of view. Being able to more easily identify tears in the periphery of the retina certainly helps."

There's another benefit, says Dr. Hsu. Surgeons no longer have to rely on assistants to hold conventional contact lens systems steady for extended periods during critical parts of procedures.

2 Heads-up 3D displays. Surgeons who work with heads-up displays wear passive 3D glasses, which provide eye-popping views on a big-screen monitor. The technology separates surgeons from the microscope, meaning they don't have to remain hunched behind the oculars for hours on end. Besides the view, you'll benefit from improved ergonomics. "You can shift your body around to get comfortable instead of having to remain in a static position," says Dr. Hsu.

Eye surgeons are still warming up to heads-up 3D displays, says Dr. Hsu, one of the few Wills Eye docs to regularly use the "cool technology." While visualization is good, Dr. Hsu says it's not yet on par with a microscopic view.

But even the early generations of heads-up imaging let surgeons complete surgical tasks they might not be comfortable performing with a microscope. For example, when performing macular work, surgeons typically put a contact lens viewing system on the eye, but the field of view becomes limited to the central 30 degrees of the retina.

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