‘Gold standard’ vision arrives in Noosa

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Noosa Hospital has invested in a $200,000 microscope to provide “gold standard” outcomes for eye patients.

The device will give locals access to safer surgery and more accurate results, being used for most ophthalmology procedures, particularly removal of cataracts and pterygium growths. 

“It brings Noosa Hospital up to a gold standard in terms of ophthalmology surgery,” said Associate Professor Kris Rallah-Baker, an ophthalmologist at the private Sunshine Coast facility.

“We’re now able to deliver cataract surgery equal to much larger facilities, for example those in Brisbane – and the people of Noosa deserve that.

"We’ve got a large elderly population in Noosa too, and I see a lot of patients with cataracts so safer, quicker surgery can lead to better outcomes for them,” he added. 

The Zeiss Lumera microscope allows specialists to create a more precise picture of patients’ lens requirements, which was previously done manually.

“With this microscope, I pre-operatively measure the eye in my room and that information is plugged into the machine on the day of surgery via USB to give me the exact reading of where that lens angle needs to be,” A/Prof Rallah-Baker said.  

“In ophthalmology 95 percent of operations are done under the microscope, so this will make a big difference."

The technology also features a surgical assistant attachment arm used by a medical assistant or nurse during eye surgery, and a large screen showing the operation, which both enable up-close teaching for staff and medical students.  

CEO Justin Greenwell said the new microscope was a great ‘next step’ for Noosa Hospital, which launched its ophthalmology services just over 18 months ago. 

“I’m so pleased we are already progressing with new technology for our local patients. We’re always looking at ways to invest in the latest technology with the aim of giving the best patient outcomes,” Mr Greenwell said.  

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