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Special Communication |

Paul A. Cibis, MD A Pioneer of Modern Vitreoretinal Surgery

Robert M. Feibel, MD1; Christopher F. Blodi, MD2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri
2Iowa Retina Consultants, Inc, West Des Moines
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2013;131(8):1077-1082. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2013.597.
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Paul Anton Cibis (1911-1965) was one of the pioneers of modern vitreoretinal surgery. He reasoned that the pathology of complex retinal detachments was intravitreal fibrosis and concluded that the optimum surgery was the injection of liquid silicone oil into the vitreous cavity to dissect fibrous membranes from the retinal surface and use the silicone for retinal tamponade. Prior to the invention of pars plana vitrectomy, such surgery was innovative, even daring. These surgical techniques were an important advance in directly operating on the vitreous in retinal detachment surgery. However, Cibis’ contributions to vitreoretinal surgery only occupied the last 10 years of his tragically short life. Prior to his practice in retinal surgery, he made contributions to basic research in physiologic optics, local retinal adaptation, and the effect of ionizing radiation and atomic energy on the globe.

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Figure 1.
Paul Anton Cibis (1911-1965)

Reproduced with permission from Gerhard Cibis, MD.

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Figure 2.
Cibis Injecting Silicone Oil While Monitoring With the Indirect Ophthalmoscope

Reproduced with permission from Gerhard Cibis, MD.

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Figure 3.
Cibis’ Schematic Drawing of Silicone Oil Injection to Remove Epiretinal Membranes

Cibis’ schematic drawing (from his book Vitreoretinal Pathology and Surgery in Retinal Detachment13) of silicone oil injection to remove epiretinal membranes. Reproduced with permission from Elsevier, Ltd.

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Figure 4.
Cibis’s Schematic Drawing of Silicone Oil as Permanent Retinal Tamponade

Cibis’s schematic drawing (from his book Vitreoretinal Pathology and Surgery in Retinal Detachment13) of silicone oil as permanent retinal tamponade. Reproduced with permission from Elsevier Ltd.

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Figure 5.
Vitreous Membrane Cutter Developed by Cibis

Reproduced with permission from Elsevier Ltd.

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Figure 6.
Blueprint of Silicone Oil Pump to Inject the Oil Into the Vitreous Cavity

Reproduced with permission from John Scott, MA, FRCS, FRCOphth.

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