New microscope, new look for eye surgery

A new era in the treatment of patients at Sydney Eye Hospital has been ushered in with the latest operating microscope technology, a Zeiss Artevo 800 digital ophthalmic microscope.

Matthew Simunovic theatre

Sydney Eye Hospital’s new Zeiss Artevo 800 digital ophthalmic microscope in action.

Since the installation of the microscope in one surgical theatre, the teaching hospital has instantly made use of the new equipment, enabling innovative and pioneering surgical procedures across a variety of glaucoma, cataract, corneal and retinal pathologies.

And it is all due to the substantial fundraising contribution of $470,000 in the last year from donors to Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation including a generous gift of $100,000 from Lions NSW/ACT Save Sight Foundation, which has allowed the Foundation to donate the funds for the microscope.

Lions Cheque Presentation for Microscope

Presentation of the $100,000 cheque from Lions NSW/ACT Save Sight Foundation.

The combination of the digital optics and digital cockpit offered by the Artevo 800 allows surgeons and theatre staff to view a three-dimensional image of the ophthalmic procedures on a 55” 4K monitor while simultaneously accessing real-time data, including optical coherence tomography (OCT) images, on the screen.

While it is the high resolution 4K screen and digital display that immediately attracts attention, leading surgeon and researcher Associate Professor Matthew Simunovic says it’s the intraoperative OCT that has been a real game changer for many ophthalmic procedures.

A/Prof Simunovic is also chairman of the Foundations’ Research Committee and is currently undertaking multiple clinical studies at Sydney Eye Hospital. These studies include evaluating novel techniques to quantify and compare different surgical approaches to sub-retinal drug delivery and comparing one step and two step sub-retinal injections.

Noting that in many of the cases linked to these studies the intraoperative OCT provides an added degree of accuracy, he said, “In these procedures it is necessary to define the correct plane for the sub-retinal injection, it is relatively easy to go too deep or too shallow – with intraoperative OCT technology it is possible to confirm definitively that you have found the correct surgical plane.”

Recently, several members from the Lions and Sydney Eye Hospital Foundations were able to visit Sydney Eye Hospital and see firsthand the system being used by Assoc/Prof Simunovic to facilitate pioneering gene therapy injections.

As well as having clinical advantages, the technology has been identified as an exceptional teaching tool, as everybody in the theatre gains access to the ‘surgeon’s eye view’ of the procedure, an invaluable advantage for younger surgeons seeking to develop their understanding of these complex procedures.

Recently, several members from the Lions and Sydney Eye Hospital Foundations were able to visit Sydney Eye Hospital and see firsthand the system being used by Assoc/Prof Simunovic to facilitate pioneering gene therapy injections.

Members from the Lions and Sydney Eye Hospital Foundations

Linda Fagan Chief Executive of Sydney Eye Hospital Foundation said: “This technology recognises the holistic and team approach needed for every patient. The whole surgical team have a surgeon’s eye view which can also be used later for education and training purposes.”

“Our sincere thanks are extended to all who donated in the last year in support of this very special microscope, already having a big impact on capabilities now, let alone in the future,” said Linda.