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Published Thursday 22 Nov 2018

A new state-of-the-art theatre microscope is making eye surgery less invasive, more comfortable, and much safer for patients at Wellington Regional Hospital.

The latest technological addition to the Ophthalmology Department, the microscope is creating better results for patients and surgeons.

“It allows us to see much more clearly the depth we’re working at when doing fine procedures such as retinal surgery,” said ophthalmologist Dr Keith Small (pictured).

“This means we’re better able to see any scar tissue that’s been left behind and which otherwise may have been missed.

“We can also sometimes use a very minimal anaesthetic, and much lower light on the eye – meaning it is safer and less uncomfortable for the patient and contributes to a very quick recovery.

The $536,000 microscope was purchased by the DHB, with $36,000 coming from a bequest from former long-term ophthalmology patient the late Lola Churchill specifically for eye equipment.

“We’re incredibly grateful to have received such a bequest. Its uses so far have included electrophysiology, implementing our electro-diagnostic service to investigate hereditary eye conditions and – most recently – purchasing the new theatre microscope,” said ophthalmologist Dr Helen Long.

“When someone is generous enough to donate funding like this, we treat it with respect and only use it for things that will improve quality of care and deliver additional benefit for our patients beyond what we deliver day-to-day.”

Media contact: Chas Te Runa – 027 230 9571