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Groundbreaking Zeiss kit used in first eye surgeries

18 Mar 2014

Combination of optical coherence tomography with surgical microscope gives surgeons 'unprecedented' views.

A new kind of surgical microscope from Zeiss that features integrated intra-operative optical coherence tomography (OCT) is now being used by ophthalmic surgeons.

Said to provide those surgeons with unprecedented views of transparent ocular structures during operations, the visualization tool combines two “gold standard” techniques into a single system for the first time.

According to the Germany-based optics and optical technology giant's Meditec subsidiary, as well as being able to see transparent structures of the eye during surgery, surgeons can also monitor progress during a procedure and verify clinical results in the operating room.

Live surgery
Adding high-definition OCT imaging capability to surgical microscopes gives surgeons a real-time view in a third dimension, enabling them to see transparent structures in the anterior and posterior segments of the eye.

“With the new device we have for the first time a complete integration of the OCT into the microscope,” said Susanne Binder MD, a professor at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, in a Zeiss announcement.

And at the Frankfurt Retina Meeting, which took place this week in Mainz, Professor Ramin Tadayoni from Hôpital Lariboisière in Paris even demonstrated the technology in a live broadcast from the operating room (see photo).

According to Zeiss, despite previous advances in surgical microscopy surgeons still have problems seeing certain anatomical details during ophthalmic procedures. The new OCT combination kit is designed to overcome these problems.

“It is amazing - you suddenly see things that you have never seen before,” Zeiss quotes Professor Oliver Findl from the Hanusch Hospital in Vienna, Austria, as saying. “For me, the new device from Zeiss is something I really wouldn’t want to miss anymore."

It is claimed that the continuous OCT scanning supports achieving better patient outcomes, since surgeons are able to monitor progress and verify results while still operating.

The OCT scans can also be stored and later used to provide a “fly through” view, and according to Findl they are also having an impact on surgeons’ own decision-making: “We learn a lot of things to enhance our own performance,” he said in a Zeiss statement.

Carl Zeiss Meditec CEO Ludwin Monz added: “The possibilities of how this new visualization technology will change ophthalmic surgery and expand the capabilities especially for retina and cornea surgeons are now just beginning to be realized.”

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