Belgian 'father' of retinal surgery dies

12th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

12 April 2006BRUSSELS - Belgian Dr Charles Schepens has died of a cerebral haemorrhage in Boston, Massachusetts, aged 94.Schepens was considered by many to be the 'father of the modern retinal surgery'. He died last week, just four days after receiving the Belgian Legion of Honour. Born in Nahant in 1912, he graduated in medicine from the University of Ghent in 1935. Schepens worked at Moorfield's Eye Hospital in London from 1935-1937, before returning to practice medicine in Belgium - he joined the medica

12 April 2006

BRUSSELS - Belgian Dr Charles Schepens has died of a cerebral haemorrhage in Boston, Massachusetts, aged 94.

Schepens was considered by many to be the 'father of the modern retinal surgery'. He died last week, just four days after receiving the Belgian Legion of Honour.


Born in Nahant in 1912, he graduated in medicine from the University of Ghent in 1935. Schepens worked at Moorfield's Eye Hospital in London from 1935-1937, before returning to practice medicine in Belgium - he joined the medical corps of the Belgian Air Force in 1939.

The following year, he will join the resistance, and - for his many acts of bravery - received decorations from the French and Belgian governments.

After the war, Schepens took the post of researcher at Harvard Medical School and helped form the first ocular medical unit in the US.

In 1950, he launched the Retina Foundation, a research laboratory for the study of retinal disease and development of surgical techniques. In Boston, he also trained his own surgical team, Retina Associates, which went on to save the sight of tens of thousands of patients.

One estimate suggests that - thanks to his continuous innovations in eye-surgery tools and techniques - the success rate of retinal repair operations increased from 40 to 90 percent, while at the same time lessening the postoperative side effects.

In 1999, Schepens received the annual congress prize of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Since 2002, he was an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Medicine.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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