December 31, 2015
2 min read

Ophthalmic community grieves Albert Galand, pioneer in intracapsular IOL implantation

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Albert Galand MD, PhD, pioneer in IOL design and intracapsular implantation, passed away on December 22 in his hometown, Liége, Belgium.

Born in 1938, Galand was graduated from the University of Liége in 1964 with a diploma in medicine and pursued a career in ophthalmology under the tutelage of Roger Weekers. Cataract surgery with IOL implantation was an early and lifelong passion for Galand: On this topic he wrote the dissertation that gained him the position of chair of the department of ophthalmology at the same university, succeeding Emile Prijot.

Albert Galand

Along with Cornelius Binkhorst, MD, he realized the importance of implanting the IOL in the capsular bag. Not only did Galand design a number of IOLs specifically for this purpose, but also he developed a revolutionary approach to the capsulotomy to accomplish this, called the envelope technique, which initially met with some skepticism.

Intercapsula Liège, another of his creations, became a worldwide-recognized meeting where intracapsular fixation was developed and became standard in cataract surgery.

Colleagues remember him for his dedication to the profession, his constant strive for improvement and his cooperative spirit.

“Many of us will remember Albert's generous smile when meeting a colleague and sharing his passion for original and creative thoughts. Until the very end of his life, throughout pain and difficulties, he remained innovative, open minded, and dedicated to friends and colleagues,” Philippe Sourdille, MD, said. “His work is a milestone of lens surgery and a definite contribution to European ophthalmological radiance.”

"I will remember Albert Galand as a devoted man to ophthalmology, until his last breath, passionate as well as inventive and audacious. His envelope technique was a paradigm change, a true revolution that he pursued not without difficulties and criticism,” Camille Budo, MD, said.

Richard Packard, MD, succeeded Galand as chairman of the ESCRS Video Competition jury and remembers having him every year at his house with the other jury members for the final round of judging.

“I last saw him at the ESCRS meeting in Barcelona and we had, as usual, a good discussion about the state of cataract surgery. I will miss his strongly held views on most things,” he said.

Galand was a frequent guest of Lucio Buratto, MD, at his Videocataract meeting in Milan and had accepted the invitation already for 2016.

“It was a shock for me to hear about his departure. We will miss him greatly. He was a marvelous surgeon, but what I liked most in him was the enthusiastic attitude and the genial creative mind,” Buratto said. – by Michela Cimberle