UNC Launches High-Tech Eye Lab

Jan 15, 2013

The UNC School of Medicine has a new laboratory designed to prepare students and faculty to perform eye surgery. The university received a donation of one-million dollars from a company based in Winston-Salem called the North Carolina Eye Bank. The organization harvests and distributes eye tissue for surgery. The new lab has 19 stations that simulate cornea transplants and other procedures. Doctor Don Budenz is the chair of UNC's ophthalmology department.

Don Budenz: "Each station has a surgical microscope and equipment to do surgery before our trainees start operating on patients, of course, similar to how pilots learn to fly. It is sort of a training laboratory and we think this is the best way for young doctors to learn to be surgeons."

Budenz says cornea transplants have about a 90 percent success rate. The medical school holds a grand opening ceremony on campus Wednesday.