Calgary, Alberta – July 12, 2018 – Dr. Howard Gimbel, one of the world’s leading ophthalmic surgeons, and the Gordie Howe of the ophthalmic community, will soon transition away from surgical practice. Due to a cancerous tumour that cannot be treated with radiation or chemotherapy, treatment will include the removal of Dr. Gimbel’s left eye along with the tumour, which will make him physically unable to perform further surgeries.
Dr. Gimbel will remain active at Gimbel Eye Centre – and the wider ophthalmic community – as an owner, operator, teacher, mentor, and coach to patients.
After a 54 year surgical career, Dr. Gimbel is facing this recent and unexpected news with optimism, believing that good can come out of every situation. After the surgery, Dr. Gimbel will likely focus on his other passions: teaching and mentoring – including leading an expanding role for Gimbel Eye Centre in Calgary and beyond.
“I’ve always looked at every challenge as an opportunity,” says Dr. Gimbel. “And this time of transition is also a time of opportunity.” Dr. Gimbel added that the culture of the Centre, focused on technical innovation and patient care, will continue. “Building on our existing staff and surgical team, we see an expanding life for the Centre – which has so much to offer not only to patients but to other physicians, all of whom can continue to benefit from the specialized training and technology we’ve developed over decades.”
Gimbel Eye Centre has led Calgary’s international reputation for ophthalmic excellence, pioneering vision correction procedures and technique variations. Since 1964, over 200,000 patients have come to Gimbel Eye Centre for life-changing surgery. Gimbel Eye Centre is home to the very first Canadian outpatient small incision cataract surgery, laser vision correction surgery, the first refractive lens exchange, and the first implantable corrective lens procedures. This pioneering spirit will continue as Dr. Gimbel transitions to his new role.
“Although the Centre is owned by Dr. Gimbel and Judy Gimbel, we see it as more broadly owned by the community at large,” says Glenn Gimbel, President of Gimbel Eye Centre. “There’s a legacy here that we intend to preserve – and build on – for the good of the whole community.”
Earlier this year Dr. Gimbel was named a Member of the Order of Canada for his surgical innovations and pioneering work in cataract and refractive surgery. Over the last decade, he has become a YouTube sensation, attracting over 1 million views to the Gimbel Library, which features instructional videos that teach his innovative techniques to surgeons around the world – an economical and effective form of accessing continuing education. Dr. Gimbel will also be involved in patient education, helping to guide patients through the complex decisions around treatment options.