Cataract surgery and Istrian born inventor Anton Banko

Cataract Surgery Inventor

I’ve recently discovered that a person who invented and constructed the ultrasound device for cataract surgery was born in Istria, Croatia in 1927. 

His name was Anton Banko, he was an engineer by profession and, together with the American ophthalmologist and a pioneer in cataract surgery, Charles Kelman, he patented the instrument designed for “breaking apart and removal of unwanted material”, especially cataracts (US patent No. 3589363, filed on 25th July 1967). According to the records, this instrument was very advanced for its time but this was not all. Mr. Banko later established own company in New York dedicated to innovation in the design and development of ophthalmic instruments. The company soon started to produce and market a series of very reliable and successful phaco machines that are still used worldwide.

So, our Istrian bright engineer took part in helping many people regain their clear sight by the cataract surgery that is today performed simply and swiftly over the world. The typical pre operation phase takes two hours, while the surgical procedure itself lasts only 15 or 20 minutes and it is rather comfortable for the patients. Depending of the person’s state, one can be dismissed from hospital the same or the following day after the procedure.
In some places there are still long waiting lists for the cataract surgery and therefore, people do not hesitate much to have the cataract surgery done away from home, bearing in mind that one week recovery would be necessary before taking the trip back home.

Once the cataract is removed, the patient feels relieved and starts noticing brightness of the colors and craters on the moon, Not to mention full-hearted enjoyment in safety and beauty of the walks in nature or precision of movements while avoiding kitchen elements and edges that had made a home narrow before. That is why we often hear people saying “why haven’t I done it earlier?”

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