3D microscopy: the future of eye-surgery!

Have you ever heard of 3D microscopy? Behind this expression stands the technological future of ocular-surgery! In this article, COP9 will analyze this device and how it introduces ultra high definition (UHD) 3D screens in the operating room. Resume your reading to discover this major technological advance which will represent tomorrow’s surgery!

3D microscopy

How does

3D microscopy work ?

3D microscopy relies on the following equipment:

  • a 4K UHD screen;
  • a pair of polarized glasses;
  • a digital camera.


But let go into details regarding how it works!

The screen directly transmits the imagery caught by the camera. It allows the surgeon to visualize the area he or she needs to operate in 3D. This method offers a wider depth of field than a traditional operating microscope. The magnification and focus are more important as well.

The polarized glasses allow the surgeon to directly get UHD-3D imagery from the screen. This system gives a better view -either general or in detail- of a patient’s eye anatomy. They can either come as spectacles, masks or clip-on glasses.

The digital camera replaces the microscope eyepieces (whose function is to magnify the image produced by the microscope’s objective lens). In 3D microscopy, the camera catches the images and sends them directly to the screen in 3D. The camera’s aperture allows the surgeon to get a depth of field adapted to the operated area (central or peripheral).

Furthermore, the surgeon can take shots while operating, or record it even, in order to have the best post-operative follow-up of his or her patient.

What are the advantages

of 3D microscopy ?

We previously mentioned the advantage of high definition imagery and possibility of recording thanks to 3D microscopy. But what are the other positive aspects of this new technology, compared to the use of the traditional microscope? 


A more comfortable stance for the surgeon

with a standard microscope, your specialist always bends over in order to see the oculars. With 3D microscopy, the surgeon is now seated with his or her head held high which makes it more comfortable for work and reduces the fatigue while operating.

More information during surgery

While projecting the operated area on a 16:9 screen, the surgeon can add complementary information on the image to operate best. For example, he or she can see the preoperative images (OCT, angiography,…), the vitrectomy parameters and the patient’s medical data

A better depth of field and increased brightness

Especially useful during an intervention on the retina, the surgeon will get a better sight of the wound area than he or she would with standard oculars. In addition to the precision of depth in the image, this innovation gives access to dime lit areas. Adjusting the brightness lightens dark spots. 

A personalization of the image

It is possible to change numerous elements in 3D microscopy, such as contrasts, brightness, the digital grain, meanwhile digital color filters allow your surgeon to adapt the image to the situation.  

Reducing phototrauma and phototoxicity

Since it is possible to change the brightness on the screen directly, it is not necessary to overexpose the patient with a light that could harm him or her. This low level of illumination reduces the risks of phototrauma and phototoxicity.

Making surgery more accessible

3D microscopy offers a necessary inclusiveness to the eye-surgery environment! Patients with severe musculoskeletal limitations or ergonomy-related diseases will now remain comfortably and safely seated during the whole intervention, thanks to this technological advance: placing the microscope at the center of the patient’s eye is the only requirement.

For what ocular pathologies do we use 3D microscopy?

Dr. Stéphanie Zwillinger performs cataract and glaucoma surgeries under 3D microscopy. This technology increases her precision and vision of your ocular pathology.

These surgeries are performed under local anesthesia, with special eye-drops and a mild sedation if necessary.

Both interventions are outpatients: you go in and out of the hospital the very same day. We remind you that, on average, cataract and glaucoma surgeries last around fifteen minutes per eye. You can then directly go home, after an observatory time of approximately an hour.

Do not hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Stéphanie Zwillinger to try this new operating method.

As a conclusion

Thanks to its ultra high definition, 3D microscopy offers a better depth of field, an excellent image resolution and an adjustable brightness, which reduces the risks of phototrauma. This surgical device makes the whole surgery easier: more information on screen and a comfortable stance for the specialist. The future of eye-surgery is already here!

To be discovered

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