Loupes and corrective lenses

Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by pnle119, Nov 29, 2010.

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  1. pnle119

    pnle119 Member 10+ Year Member

    May 28, 2001
    I'll be getting loupes soon, but since I also wear corrective lenses, I have a little dilemma. Should I switch to contacts so that if my vision worsens down the road, I can simply update the prescription and keep using the same loupes? Or should I get loupes combined with corrective lenses and hope that my current vision doesn't get any worse? Or does it even matter?

    Anyone with experience regarding this issue? All my uppers have no advice since they actually have 20/20 uncorrected vision...bastards.
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  3. Smurfette

    Smurfette The blonde among the blue. SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    I wear contacts, but understand your dilemma.

    Both of the major companies had a policy at the time I ordered mine (mine were from DFV) that you could get one free prescription update during the lifetime of the loupes. I would assume that they still have this policy, but make sure to ask and clarify the 'details'. The main thing is to be comfortable when using the loupes, so if you aren't comfortable with contacts, it will be even more uncomfortable if you add loupes to them (most everyone I know gets neck and/or headaches after wearing loupes all day from switching back and forth between magnification and normal views).

    Also, if you are not doing vascular or peds, you may not find yourself using loupes often once you finish residency....something else to keep in mind when it comes to the need to update the prescription.
  4. JackADeli

    JackADeli 2+ Year Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    I wear glasses and had my loupes with prescription correction. That is the route I recommend. A few things.

    First, just like in chem lab class, you shouldn't be wearing contacts. Plenty do and plenty will. However, the risk exists of things spraying and getting behind your contacts. I have seen and known plenty going the contact route and having this issue.

    Second, I have seen too many contact lense wearers end up not wearing protective lenses when not using loupes. Again, it's not worth it.

    Third, I have seen too many people with contact lense "malfunction". Lenses pop out, eyes get irritated, etc.... They then need to use their non-script loupes without their contacts... i.e. micro-operate blind! I always hated listening to the individuals whine how they can't do an assigned case cause their contacts had irritated their eyes or they left the wrong lenses in overnight or etc....

    Just keep it simple. Get your loupes with scripts. You may or may not need to change the script in 3-5 years. Chances are, if you are employed, you can get that cost thrown in with the deal.

    PS: why incur additional costs of contacts to what... avoid a possible three hundred or so dollar cost for script change on loupes in a few years? Another thing to keep in mind, there are some circumstances where the cost of your loupes, if prescription, can be off set with insurances and tax deferred, etc....
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  5. surg

    surg 10+ Year Member

    Dec 16, 2001
    Basically what JAD said. You won't always be having a good contacts day and still need to operate. If at all possible, get your loupes with your correction in it.

    Likewise if you are planning on contacts, give strong consideration to using disposables. Less stressful to throw them away if you contaminate them or don't like the way they feel.
  6. pnle119

    pnle119 Member 10+ Year Member

    May 28, 2001
    OK, I'm sold. Gonna go with the loupes and scripts. I plan to stay General so hopefully my vision will last long enough for me to finish residency without needing updates. Thanks for everone's input!!
  7. ESU_MD

    ESU_MD Old School 10+ Year Member

    Nov 17, 2001
    Big Leagues
    it probably doesnt matter in residency what you get. If you are gonna wear loupes on every case, alot of attendings have about 3-4 pairs anyway that they accumulate through the years.
    its always good to have a spare. so chances are you will wind up with a pair of prescriptions and a regular pair you can switch between as you see fit.
  8. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    Does this happen to you guys? I've had contacts for over 10 years and never had a "bad contacts day."
  9. former military

    former military Member 2+ Year Member

    Jun 12, 2006
    never had a contact problem. I was afraid of getting prescription loupes if my prescription would change. it is a lot less expensive to change contact prescriptions than have the loupes changed out and it takes some time too.
    I also realized that most cases I wore the loupes I really didn't need them. Much more important than loupes is good lighting in the surgical field.
    The gynecologists are famous for operating deep in the vagina with no light.
    apparently they are either racoons or can bend light around corners with some strange physics properties.
  10. JackADeli

    JackADeli 2+ Year Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Never happened to me.... because never had the circumstances, i.e. don't wear contacts.

    However, I had more then a few fellow residents that did have bad contact days/nights/etc.... I also had two seperate residents that wore contacts, got eyeball sprayed in the ER, was an issue.

    Each resident should do what they want. My advice is get prescription loupes. Generally most 20/30 somethings are not having dramatic script changes.
  11. dpmd

    dpmd Relaxing 10+ Year Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    One time I got a corneal abrasion and wasn't allowed to wear contacts. I didn't have a backup pair of glasses because my anisometropia made it difficult (and puke inducing) to wear glasses. I had to keep a contact in one eye and go pirate style for a few days (couldn't go without-before my laser eye surgery I couldn't even see the E on the eye chart). Luckily this was before med school and I don't have to deal with it anymore.

    Anybody make it through residency without getting loupes. If most people never end up using them again, seems a waste to get them. I already did my peds rotation and never felt I couldn't see well enough. I haven't done vascular yet, but have done some vascular trauma.
  12. Winged Scapula

    Winged Scapula Cougariffic! Staff Member Lifetime Donor SDN Chief Administrator 10+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2000
    hSDN Member
    Our attendings on peds and vascular *required* the use of loupes even for those with 20/20. You could not scrub unless you had them. They were purchased for all categoricals so the only ones who got stuck were either those who never made it to any of the vendor meetings or who forgot them at home.
  13. Smurfette

    Smurfette The blonde among the blue. SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    My program did NOT pay for loupes as we had a pretty big program.

    Most of us bought them, and those who didn't would borrow a pair from someone else of similar height (due to focal point distance) when on peds/vascular when they needed them. However, the pair is built custom for the owner, so some people found borrowed loupes quite uncomfortable; others were fine.

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