Dr. Andreas Mohr
The newly-designed, asymmetrical end-gripping forceps by Vitreq are ideal for working on the epiretinal membrane, where they give the best vision of the target tissue.
Dr. Andreas Mohr heads the Ophthalmology Department at the St. Joseph – Stift Hospital in Bremen, Germany. He regularly presents at specialist meetings and conferences across the world.
Which instrument do you most value at the moment and what makes this instrument so effective?
The newly-designed, asymmetrical end-gripping forceps by Vitreq. These are ideal for working on the epiretinal membrane, where they give the best vision of the target tissue. Others block the view of the retina surface. With these forceps, I can see the target area clearly. They make it easier to grasp tiny tissues and structures and prevent any harm to underlying tissue.
Which instrument or procedure currently proves the most challenging to you in your daily practice? And what could be improved?
Most frequent challenges include VR procedures that involve fine work on the VR interface, such as macular holes, retinal tears, proliferative diabetic cases and complicated retinal detachment surgeries. In these cases, I am exploring the possibilities of working with existing and new dyes to enhance differentiation between membranes according to the needs of the specific case.
What experience have you had of working directly with companies to develop new instruments and/or surgical techniques? What are the benefits and/or limitations of working directly with companies?
I have quite some experience of this. I think it is most important to have a short line of communication to the company – directly to the company’s design engineers – and that they provide rapid feedback to ideas. In working with companies, there must be a short transfer between idea and first sample.
What do you expect to see developing in the future (e.g. the next 3-5 years) in VR surgery?
I anticipate instrumentation will get smaller and smaller. I think also that there will be advances in lighting. With no shadows in the vitreous cavity, it will become more and more usual to perform bi-manual surgery. In addition, vitrectomy probes will be constructed to be more efficient and the cutting rate and dual cycle cutters will become faster, as we strive for perfection. I look forward to these developments.
What are your own priority focus areas for the next few years, either in research or clinical practice?
I am engaged in research into developing a new anti-reflective light for surgery, including new light sources such as LED and dyes with reduced toxicity that do no harm to underlying cell structures. The most important thing is that new VR surgery strategies support full rehabilitation of the patient, since during surgery they may suffer loss in refraction. In the future patients must benefit optimally from new therapies. The main progress we have seen is in scopic regions – we are also working on a retractable surgery unit.
What do you envisage Vitreq’s role in the market to be?
Vitreq has very good ideas. Their employees are skilled and very experienced in the market and they have very good contacts with relevant surgeons. They are capable of succeeding in rapid implementation and can see very clearly if an idea has a chance to succeed or is irrelevant. Vitreq is currently a niche company, but has great potential out of niche through combining good contact with surgeons, rapid implementation, no mass produced products and a focus on products that give results.