Museum of Vision

Dedicated to preserving ophthalmic history

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Sectional Navigation

  1. Selections from the Sherman Collection
  2. History of Ophthalmology in the Asia Pacific
  3. Their Eyes to the Sky
  4. Great Insights and Great Thinkers in Ophthalmology
  5. Beyond Ophthalmology, Beyond the Clinic
  6. Extreme Vision: Science Fiction or Truth
  7. Contagion! Epidemics in Ophthalmic History
  8. The Eyes of War
  9. Spectacular Spectacles
  10. To Fool the Eye
  11. Windows to the Soul
  12. Picturing The Eye: Ophthalmic Film and Photography
  13. Collecting Ophthalmology: 30 Years at the Museum

Machemer and the vitreous

Robert Machemer, MD (1933-2009) and vitreous surgery

German educated ophthalmologist Robert Machemer had a distinguished career in the field of retinal surgery. He established an experimental model of retinal detachment and then used it to analyze a major complication of the disease called proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). His work in this area is the basis of understanding of the disease today.

Machemer is perhaps best known for the development of the seminal pars plana vitrectomy and the vitreous infusion suction cutter (VISC) in 1970. His VISC instrument removes diseased vitreous and intraocular scar tissue from the eye aiding numerous patients who were previously considered untreatable.

His techniques are now the most commonly performed procedure in vitreoretinal surgery. Machemer's creative work and leadership in vitreoretinal surgery was recognized throughout the world with a long list of professional awards and special recognitions, including the 2003 American Academy of Ophthalmology Laureate Award, The Gregg Award in Medical Science, the G.B. Bietti Award Medal and more.



  1. Helmholtz and the ophthalmoscope
  2. Koller and cocaine
  3. Graefe and glaucoma
  4. Gullstrand and the Nobel Prize
  5. Jackson and medical education
  6. Ridley and cataract
  7. Machemer and the vitreous

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