Albert Galand, born 29 October 1938 in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert (Brussels) and died 22 December 2015 in Liege, Belgium.
We will remember Albert Galand as a pioneer in capsular IOL design and intra-capsular techniques. He graduated in medicine from the University of Liège in 1964. It was in that city that he pursued his career in ophthalmology, becoming the Head of the Department of Ophthalmology and subsequently Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Liège.
From his early years, Galand was convinced of the importance of implanting the IOL in the capsular bag. He designed lenses for capsular implantation at a time when most of his peers either still used anterior chamber lenses or if they used posterior chamber lenses at all they might fix them in the ciliary sulcus or half-in half-out, partly in the sulcus and partly in the capsule. For Galand, the lens had to be in the bag and remain stably there. He recognised that the technique used to open the anterior capsule was key to permitting the lens to enter and then be retained in the bag. To achieve this he developed novel capsulotomy techniques, including the envelope technique. He organized regular meetings in Liege typically with an international faculty, Intercapsula Liège, to promote in-the-bag fixation of the IOL.
The same passion that he showed for intra-capsular fixation, he applied to his many lens designs for capsular lenses. The main feature of each was that it should have long-term stability. Ultimately, he wanted a lenticulus that would fill the bag – to achieve the Holy Grail of making an Accommodating IOL. His inventions in lens design in the 1990s were quickly picked up by European companies: Corneal in France and Rayner in the UK especially refined the Galand model. However, his ideas on lenses that fill the bag and thus a lens that accommodates remain unrealized – leaving a teasing challenge for future IOL manufacturers.
Prof. Auffarth, Head of the David J Apple Laboratory, said: ”Albert Galand was a great innovator in ophthalmology. His passing away in the same year as Jan Worst underlines for me the impressive contribution of the Benelux eye surgeons to IOL development, a tradition that began with Cornelius Binkhorst.”
We extend our deepest sympathy to his widow Hafida, his children and grandchildren.
Donald J Munro