Endoillumination for vitreoretinal surgery continues to improve with the introduction of brighter, safer light sources with color filters that may allow opportunities for better tissue visualization.
David R. Chow, MD, provided an overview of advances in endoillumination beginning with the introduction of xenon light sources in 2004 to the present day.
Dr. Chow explained that compared with existing halogen and metal halide light sources that were the industry gold standards, the xenon light sources, made available in 2004, delivered an exponential increase in brightness. They provided adequate illumination for performing 25-gauge vitrectomy and had sufficient power to provide adequate viewing for lighted instrumentation and chandelier systems.
Dr. Chow is assistant professor of ophthalmology and vision sciences, University of Toronto, Canada.
He noted that the chandelier systems introduced with the new xenon light sources represented a real clinical advancement, offering benefits that are two-fold. They maximized the working distance and the theoretic safety time for surgery. In addition, chandeliers allowed true bimanual surgery that affords surgeon independence and completion of complex maneuvers.
“I love not having to depend on anybody for assistance when trimming the vitreous base or performing complex diabetic dissections,” Dr. Chow said.