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Ophthalmology: Innovative technology

At SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, we have the unique human and technical resources to examine and treat children's eyes in the least invasive and most appropriate way possible, even if a child has trouble sitting still, and in most cases without the need for anaesthesia.

We have devices specially designed to examine children. In addition, we ourselves have developed devices that did not exist on the market, for example, the GazeLab, which helps to digitally record all types of eye movement. This is very useful in strabismus and in the study of certain neurological diseases.

In the Paediatric Ophthalmology Department, we use the following technology for investigations:

Standard equipment adapted for children

  • Paediatric autorefractor.
  • Various types of portable tonometer (to measure eye pressure in children).
  • Photographic biomicroscope: provides serial images to track conditions affecting the anterior pole of the eye.
  • Portable biomicroscope: Helps to examine young children or disabled persons.
  • Portable corneal topographer. Adapted for children or those confined to bed.
  • Portable corneal pachymeter.
  • Non-mydriatic retinal camera: obtains images of the fundus of the eye in children over 4 years of age, with no need for drops to dilate the pupil.
  • Standardised automated perimetry.
  • Synoptophore: Platform of eye exercises.

Complex exploratory equipment

  • Contact retinal camera (RetCam2): takes serial photographs of the fundus of the eye in small children and even premature babies. This is a video camera with a wide-angle lens that is placed on the eye and takes images of the retina and optic nerve. It used to diagnose and monitor retinopathy of prematurity and retinoblastoma. We have a second hand-held RetCam to use in examinations outside our hospital setting.
  • High-resolution ocular ultrasound and biometry. These take ultrasound images of all areas of the eye when they are not visible.
  • Hand-held OCT (optical coherence tomography): device able to take sectional images of most anatomical structures of the eye through a photon beam.
  • Electrophysiology: next-generation device that allows for visual evoked potentials, electroretinography and electrooculography, with no need for anaesthesia in many children.

Complex surgical equipment

  • Cross-linking for the treatment of keratoconus.
  • High-end ophthalmologic surgical microscope.
  • Integrated phaco-vitrectomy for cataract and vitreoretinal surgery.
  • Endolaser: used to treat the retina from inside the eye.
  • Diode-laser indirect ophthalmoscope to treat retinopathy of prematurity.
  • Laser for transpupillary thermotherapy to treat retinoblastoma.
  • Laser for dacryocystorhinostomy.
  • Nasal endoscope with televised control for tear-duct surgery.
  • Centrifugation of fats and platelets for orbital micro-filling.
  • Cryotherapy for tumours and other retinal lesions and to destroy ectopic cilia.

Ophthalmological equipment developed in-house

  • Video-oculography (GazeLab): digital recording of any type of eye movement. Very useful in strabismus and certain neurological diseases.
  • Dynamic pupillography. This helps to measure the pupil when it is closed and to calculate how long it takes to recover. It is used to diagnose optic nerve tumours, intracranial hypertension, neuritis, etc.
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