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A Guide to Surgical Loupes for Ophthalmology

Surgical loupes are essential for some cases because they enhance and magnify the field for accuracy and precision during the surgery. These telescopes are uniformly used in oculoplastic procedures, most strabismus cases and some retinal cases, among other specialty cases. They can be helpful for everything from very large tumor resections down to a simple suture removal in the clinic.

When choosing loupes, it is important to consider the work you are doing. For most ophthalmologic cases, a 2.5x magnification is sufficient. Higher magnification is useful for surgeries involving vascular ligature, but in ophthalmology, most work requiring higher magnifications can be done with an operating microscope.

Whether you choose ‘through the lens’ or ‘flip up’ loupes is up to personal preference. The advantage of through the lens is that you never have to adjust the loupes. They are fit specifically for you and your pupillary distance. Flip up lenses can be adjusted for different users if you decide to share. Working distance and angle of the loupes can matter for your posture. Many companies have focused on creating a loupe that will decrease the stress on the surgeon’s neck, an important aspect when considering our field.

Finally, frame styles differ. There are traditional thick black frames and newer sporty styles. Wrap-arounds will provide more protection from bodily fluids and flying objects, yet sport frames can be more stylish. The black aluminum frames distribute weight. These are some of the considerations when choosing loupes but all should be taken into consideration.

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