BC’s first digitally-assisted 3D visualization eye surgery technology at Surrey Memorial Hospital

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

Retinal diseases are the number one cause of blindness in the developed world, with 5.59 million Canadians (or 1 in 7) having eye diseases that put them at risk of losing their vision. As Canada’s 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 the home of the busiest vitreoretinal surgery team, providing services to patients across BC at Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) and Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC).

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

The Surgical Vitrectomy System provides significant improvements for the surgical team, patients, and fellows. The System comes with several technical advantages:
• The large digitally assisted 3D visualization system provides 50 per cent more magnification and five times the depth of field and 42 per cent more stereopsis (3D vision) compared to the regular analogue microscopes.
• It offers digital illumination modulation, allowing the surgeon to work at a much lower light intensity while maintaining excellent image quality, which prevents toxic light exposure to the retinal tissue, making surgery safer for patients.
• The new technology has the ability to maintain a precise infusion pressure with minimal fluctuation and greater stability during surgical manoeuvres which is paramount to patient safety.
• Retinal surgeries are usually performed using traditional microscopes, forcing surgeons to hold a tiring position during the procedure. The new system allows for better positioning and posture, which enables surgeons to perform surgeries in a more ergonomically correct position.

“Thanks to the Foundation, we are able to leverage this Surgical Vitrectomy System, considered the gold-standard in vitreoretinal surgery platforms, to create a completely immersive visualized surgical experience and maximize the best of our capabilities for the most optimal patient outcomes,” says Dr. Steve Levasseur, Retinal Surgeon and Department Head of Vitreoretinal Surgery, Surrey Memorial Hospital. “This 3D technology also improves our ability to teach our international fellows, licensed ophthalmologist training under our team, to become world leaders in the field of retina.”

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