Renowned ophthalmologist Howard Gimbel, MD, receives honors
Howard V. Gimbel, MD, MPH, received the 2006 Hawaiian Eye Foundation’s International Award. The award is sponsored by EagleVision and is presented each year to someone who has provided an example of excellence in his or her field.
World renowned ophthalmologist Howard Gimbel, MD, MPH, chair of the ophthalmology department at Loma Linda University Medical Center, received two distinct honors in 2006. As a pioneer in outpatient cataract and refractive surgery and the first surgeon in Canada to perform phacoemulsification, Dr. Gimbel was awarded the Hawaiian Eye Foundation’s International Award in December 2006.
Dr. Gimbel is credited as the innovator of several phaco techniques such as “divide and conquer.” Murray Beard, president and chief executive officer of EagleVision, the sponsor of the award, called Dr. Gimbel an “inventor, innovator, teacher, professor and international volunteer.”
Dr. Gimbel was also honored with the distinction of providing the 2006 American Academy of Ophthalmology Charles Kelmen Lecture at the 2006 American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting. His presentation was titled Capsule Openings and Evolving Strategies for IOL Fixation.
“As we’ve begun to incorporate intraocular lenses into cataract surgery, I’ve seen how important it is to fixate the lens with the capsule,” said Dr. Gimbel, director of the Gimbel Eye Centre in Alberta, Canada, and professor and chair of ophthalmology at Loma Linda University.
Due to an increasing frequency in reports of dislocation of an intraocular lens, a late complication of cataract surgery, Dr. Gimbel discussed a number of methods to prevent this complication as well as a variety of effective optic capture techniques to achieve IOL fixation by the capsule.
Dr. Gimbel was the first Canadian surgeon to use an ultrasonic probe to remove cataracts. When he combined this technique with new intraocular lens implants, the popularity of cataract surgery grew by leaps and bounds in Canada. With these new techniques, Dr. Gimbel also was able to become the first eye surgeon to introduce outpatient cataract surgery to Canada.
The opportunity to give the Charles Kelman Lecture was a special privilege for Dr. Gimbel, who was a student of Dr. Kelman’s.
“Dr Kelman was my teacher of phacoemulsification—and he was truly my mentor as an inventor and innovator,”Dr. Gimbel says.
In his lecture Dr. Gimbel noted that the biggest challenges facing ophthalmologists today are preventing diseases with lifestyle changes and early detection. These include glaucoma, retinopathy and macular degeneration, all of which can be treated more successfully with early detection, and often can be prevented by lifestyle choices.
“That’s our challenge—to encourage people to make healthy lifestyle choices,” says Dr. Gimbel.
By Preston Clarke Smith