Initially, the Department of Ophthalmology and the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery were only one single department; then, some 44 years ago in 1960, the two parted. The Department of Ophthalmology capitalized fully on its independence and quickly became the innovator of many advances in the field not only in Lebanon but also in the region.
Since then, many major landmarks have occurred: below is a description of a few:
- In the early 60s, and for the first time in the Middle East, retinal detachment surgery (sclera buckling) took place at AUBMC.
- In the early 70s, the use of laser to treat the retina of diabetic patients (1st krypton then argon and diode) was introduced.
- In the mid-70s, glaucoma filtering surgery (trabeculectomy) was introduced and was the first in Lebanon and the region.
- In the early 80s, the use of laser to treat glaucoma was initiated.
- In 1986, AUBMC applied a modern way to perform cataract surgery and implant intraocular lenses.
- In 1991, the move towards implanting glaucoma drainage tubes inside the eye started.
- In 1992, the first professional “Eye Bank ” was set up in the country: the only local member of the International Federation of Eye Banks.
- In 1994, all types of lasers were acquired for the treatment of age related retinal degeneration.
- In 1995, of the ocular electrophysiology laboratory for performing ERG, EOG, and VEP tests for children and adults who are poorly sighted were established.
- In 2002, the first professional and scientific “Laser Vision Correction Center” in the country was inaugurated.
- In 2002, the first “Low Vision Clinic” was established.
The mission of the Department of Ophthalmology is to provide outstanding service to patients and their families, excellent training and education to medical students and residents as well as cutting-edge eye and related research through leadership and excellence in patient care, education, and research. The department’s aim is to continuously offer personalized high tech care for eye pathologies and employ the latest medical, surgical and laser treatments for many diseases of the eye.