British Columbia’s first digitally assisted 3D visualization eye surgery technology at Surrey Memorial Hospital

THE The Surrey Hospitals Foundation has invested $290,000 in two digitally assisted 3D visualization systems for vitreoretinal surgery for Surrey Memorial Hospital, state-of-the-art surgical technology that will enable eye surgeons to better perform highly specialized retinal surgeries, a first of its technology in British Columbia.

Retinal diseases are the leading cause of blindness in the developed world, with 5.59 million Canadians (or 1 in 7) having eye conditions that put them at risk of losing their sight. As the Canadian population ages, the number of people living with vision loss is expected to double. By 2032, vision loss is expected to cost Canadian taxpayers $30.3 billion.

Surrey is home to the most active vitreoretinal surgery team, providing services to patients across British Columbia at Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) and Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Center (JPOCSC).

The Foundation’s investment will support the growing demand for vitrectomy surgeries, a sub-specialty of ophthalmology focusing on diseases and surgery of the eye, including the retina and vitreous/fluid body of the eye.

The Surgical Vitrectomy System offers significant improvements for the surgical team, patients, and fellows. The system has several technical advantages:
• Large digitally assisted 3D viewing system provides 50% greater magnification and five times the depth of field and 42% more stereopsis (3D vision) than ordinary analog microscopes.
• It offers digital light modulation, allowing the surgeon to work at much lower light intensity while maintaining excellent image quality, which prevents toxic light exposure of retinal tissue, making surgery safer for patients.
• The new technology has the ability to maintain precise infusion pressure with minimal fluctuation and greater stability during surgical maneuvers, which is paramount for patient safety.
• Retinal surgeries are usually performed using traditional microscopes, requiring surgeons to maintain a strenuous position during the procedure. The new system allows for better positioning and posture, allowing surgeons to perform surgeries in a more ergonomic position.

“Thanks to the Foundation, we are able to leverage this surgical vitrectomy system, considered the gold standard for vitreoretinal surgery platforms, to create a completely immersive visualized surgical experience and maximize the best of our capabilities to optimal patient outcomes,” says Dr. Steve Levasseur, Retinal Surgeon and Head of Vitreoretinal Surgery, Surrey Memorial Hospital. “This 3D technology also enhances our ability to teach our international fellows, licensed ophthalmologists trained as part of our team, to become world leaders in the field of the retina.”

“We are very fortunate to have some of Canada’s top eye surgeons located here in Surrey to not only serve the ophthalmological needs of our patients, but also to teach and develop the skills of promising retinal surgeons since Surrey Memorial Hospital serves also a teaching hospital,” says Jane Adams, President and CEO of the Surrey Hospitals Foundation. “We are proud to support the advancement of patient care with the purchase of this innovative retinal surgical technology.”

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