Soon, Het Oogziekenhuis Rotterdam will start #gentherapie in patients with the rare condition ‘Leber congenital amaurosis’. Because this is a new type of treatment, surgeons are currently being extra trained using virtual reality (VR). With a specially developed computer program and manual controls, the operation can be realistically simulated.

Retinal surgeon Koen van Overdam was the first ophthalmologist to go through the training. “During this training I felt like I was really in an operating room. In addition, I was able to look through a microscope and perform the operation with instruments that I normally also use during surgery. This training ensures that my colleagues and I are as prepared as possible for the first retinal surgery with gene therapy that we will be performing soon,” the ophthalmologist said.