An ophthalmic microscope is a type of microscope specifically designed to provide magnified view parts of the eye’s anatomy in microsurgery or ophthalmic diagnosis process. In this microscope a beam of light is split by a prism and thus the entire procedure can be video recorded by the surgeon. When selecting the most useful ophthalmic microscope it is important to look for aspects like source of illumination used, high definition documentation, optimum contrast, ergonomic ease and other valuable high tech additions. Below are the 4 important aspects one needs to look for in ophthalmic microscope.
1. Source of illumination
Light sources either will be halogen or xenon in character. While the Halogen illumination is yellowish in character, high-contrast white light is produced by xenon light. Naturally one would prefer the latter for better visibility. There are certain microscopes that offer interchangeable light system ensuring availability of both Halogen and Xenon. Having lower light capability is also important because for retinal procedures lower light prevents risk of macular photo toxicity. Another useful feature is the presence of an additional oblique beam with a separate adjustment control. After reviewing the light source and optics one needs to know about the cost of bulbs and average lifespan of each microscope bulb.
2. Precision driven optics for high definition documentation
While some microscopes have collimated non-focused light generating optical systems there are others offering coaxial, focused, double-beam or stereo illumination improving the contrast and resolution of the images significantly. Obviously, for ensuring high definition documentation this is a crucial aspect. Another crucial thing to ask in relation to optical procedure is whether a viewing system is available that by integrating with the microscope will replace the aid of so called contact lenses to see all areas of the retina.
3. Ergonomics ease
Ergonomics is a crucial aspect for ensuring ease of use with an ophthalmic microscope. Having a small base footprint, long arm reach and flexibility and smoothness of movement, are three important considerations related to ergonomics of ophthalmic microscope. Small footprint and ease of reaching the handles and gears will prevent intrusion into the surgical field or limit it to a minimum level. Other important things related to ease of maneuverability and use that one needs to look for include wireless, rechargeable, waterproof foot control pad for accessing the on-off switch with ease, electromagnetic brakes, internalized cables, easily accessible and easy to replace bulbs, etc.
4. Availability of additional high tech maneuvers
Now an ophthalmic microscope can further be enhanced with state of the art high-tech additions for better and higher precision output. These additional high tech solutions being added with the standard ophthalmic microscope can increase the efficiency of the surgeon and operating team in the surgery. Some of the crucial additions that can instantly raise the quality bar in either documentation or in surgical monitoring or to the whole process include intra-operative displays of individualized patient templates, keratoscope to visualize the corneal curvature clearly, etc. The microscope should be equipped for adding these enhancing displays.
The additional high tech display outfits attached with such microscopes will help monitoring the procedure by medical team and in critical surgeries this can prove to be tremendously important. With such additional display capability the surgery can be viewed by patients in real time. Furthermore, with a DICOM module in place the images and surgical video can be saved in a compatible EMR systems that would further can add value in the medical process.