I perform cataract surgery, lid procedures, pterygium excision and a range of other procedures at Tennyson Day Surgery across the road from my clinic at Ashford Advanced Eye Care in Adelaide. Usually this kind of microsurgery is performed with the aid of an operating microscope. This means that I look through the eye pieces of a microscope and this gives me a very clear and magnified image of the inside and outside of the eye. This has worked well for many decades but it does have its drawbacks such as being quite a solo situation where only the surgeon gets a good view of the work being done, as well as often getting a sore neck by the end of the day due to sitting in a slightly awkward position while concentrating.
Tennyson Day Surgery has been the first operating theatre in Australia to acquire the new 3D digital microscope from Zeiss. This is a system that revolutionizes the way we view surgery. Instead of looking down the eyepieces of the microscope, I can now sit comfortably and look straight ahead at a large screen. This is great for everyone in theatre as they can now enjoy the same view I get and are much more engaged in the process. But it gets even better as with wearing special glasses, the image becomes 3D. It actually gives a great depth of focus without moving the microscope. I am able to look at this screen and gauge how deep something is and handle tissues just as easily as with direct visualisation down the microscope. If I want to, I can even flick back and forth between the original and 3D viewing systems.
I understand it took a lot of development time, effort and funding to create such a device as there is no noticeable delay or lag between my actions and what is happening in real time in 3D right in front of me. I can see that this has great potential, is a lot of fun for everyone in the operating theatre to see what is going on to a much better degree than previously and best of all – no neck pain at the end of the day. Operating at Tennyson Day Surgery has always been a very enjoyable experience for me and now I also am fortunate enough to get to use the very latest technology in their ARTEVO 3D digital microscope.