| S.S. Badrinath: Clear vision. A Telegraph picture
From glaucoma management to diabetic retinopathy, vitreo-retinal surgery to state-of-the-art cataract surgery, Humphrey visual field test to post-segment laser treatment, cutting-edge eyecare is at our doorstep. The Rotary Narayana Sankara Nethralaya (RNSN) opens its doors to Calcuttans on Tuesday to plug the long-felt need for a “sophisticated and hi-tech” eye research centre and also promises to arrest the exodus of patients to Chennai in search of “reliable treatment”. A tripartite venture of Sankara Nethralaya, Asia Heart Foundation (AHF) and Rotary Medical Research Institute, RNSN is located at CN-5, Sector V, Salt Lake, opposite the Webel STP-II.
“The guiding force behind our institute is not just to provide patient care of the highest order, but also to ensure that this eyecare reaches even the poorest man in the street,” explained Padma Bhushan eye surgeon S.S. Badrinath, chairman of Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai.
Badrinath, the pioneer of modern eye treatment in India and chairman, Medical Research Foundation, thanked the Rotary Welfare Trust for donating the 25,000 sq ft of land for the facility. He also acknowledged the “tremendous initiative” taken by AHF chairman Devi Shetty and vice-chairman Alok Roy in making the “dream” of setting up the Calcutta unit a reality.
RNSN is Sankara Nethralaya’s first full-fledged centre outside Chennai in the country. While it has a telemedicine unit in Bangalore, there are two “sister concerns” in Guwahati and Jalna, besides joint-venture projects in Colombo and Dubai.
“We are kicking off with the outpatients department, with the wherewithal to see around 50-60 patients a day,” said cataract and glaucoma surgeon Vineet Ratra. He and his wife Dhanashree Ratra, a vitreo-retinal surgeon, are here from Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, to start up the city centre, which hopes to take up surgery cases by the month-end.
The OPD will be equipped to treat glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and other conditions, besides having a Yag laser for post-cataract surgery management, among other modern equipment. “By end-March, we should be ready to carry out all kinds of cataract surgeries, including phaco-emulsification with implantation of foldable intra-ocular lens, a latest procedure where the incision is just 3 to 3.55 mm and no sutures are needed,” said Ratra.
The Salt Lake centre will also conduct glaucoma surgery and all kinds of retina surgery, including scleral buckling to attach the retina. “Any patient requiring immediate surgery till our surgical set-up is in place, will be referred to Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, and necessary appointments will be made from here itself,” according to Ratra.
Like in Chennai, the hospital aims to provide free healthcare to those who are unable to bear the expenses. “Our objectives are to maintain the quality of ophthalmic services in accordance with international standards, effective utilisation of infrastructure facilities including manpower, and to meet the patient’s requirement by offering expert ophthalmic care through a committed, professionally-oriented team,” said a spokesperson for RNSN.
:Treatment for cataract
:Treatment for medical retina
:Treatment for glaucoma
:Low vision aids test
:Humphrey visual field test
:Yag laser treatment
:Post-segment laser treatment
:Diode and green laser treatment
:Fundus fluorescein angiography