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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 112-113

Jules Gonin (1870–1935): The man behind retinal detachment

Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Date of Submission23-Jul-2020
Date of Decision18-Aug-2020
Date of Acceptance18-Sep-2020
Date of Web Publication27-Mar-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Gunjan Saluja
Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tjosr.tjosr_97_20

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How to cite this article:
Saluja G, Samdani A. Jules Gonin (1870–1935): The man behind retinal detachment. TNOA J Ophthalmic Sci Res 2021;59:112-3

How to cite this URL:
Saluja G, Samdani A. Jules Gonin (1870–1935): The man behind retinal detachment. TNOA J Ophthalmic Sci Res [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Oct 20];59:112-3. Available from: https://www.tnoajosr.com/text.asp?2021/59/1/112/312287

Jules Gonin (Source: Marmor MF, Gloor BP. (2017) Jules Gonin: Proving the Cause and Cure of Retinal Detachment. In: Marmor M, Albert D. (eds)

Foundations of Ophthalmology. Springer, Cham)

Jules Gonin is popularly known as the father of retinal detachment surgery, his contributions in the present-day understanding and management of retinal detachment is immense [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Ignipuncture technique (Source: Kreissig I. Primary retinal detachment: A review of the development of techniques for repair in the past 80 years. Taiwan J Ophthalmol. 2016;6 (4):161-169)

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Jules Gonin was born in Lausanne, the French part of Switzerland in 1870, and studied medicine form the University of Lausanne. He later joined the Institute of Pathology in Lausanne and while working there, he developed a special interest in ophthalmology.

To pursue this interest in ophthalmology, he joined the Eye hospital Lausanne.

  Contributions and Research Works Top

After working for several years in the outpatient department, Gonin started several research projects on diverse topics of bacterial conjunctivitis, ocular tumors, and hereditary retinopathies. His initial writings in the French Encyclopaedia dealt with the pathogenesis of retinal detachment, the understanding of pathogenesis was further clarified with his drawings in the fourth edition of the Encyclopaedia, giving him recognition and approval.[1]

In 1918 Jules Gonin was selected as the director of the Eye Hospital in Lausanne and later in 1920, was promoted as Professor in the University of Lausanne.

Meanwhile, Gonin continued his work on the pathogenesis of retinal detachment.[2],[3]

He had rightly recognized that retinal detachment occurred as a consequence of retinal break and that in-order to correct retinal detachment, it was essential to seal the break. This led him to discover ignipuncture.

  Ignipuncture Top

The procedure was first done in 1913 in a case of traumatic retinal detachment.[4]

Gonin first used to locate the retinal breaks with the help of direct ophthalmoscope, both eyes of the patient were patched, and then according to the location of breaks, the patient was advised bed rest to aid in the absorption of subretinal fluid.

After absorption of the subretinal fluid, the distance between the break and limbus was measured, conjunctiva was incised in the approximate area of the break, following which a small sclerotomy was made with the help of Von Graefe's knife to approach the retinal break. A curved thermocauter was then used to seal the break by inducing a chorioretinal scar. The conjunctival incision was sutured, and in the postoperative period, patient's head was positioned in a way to keep the retinal break at the lowest point allowing absorption of subretinal fluid [Figure 1].

The procedure later in 1916 was also used in idiopathic retinal detachment.

Gonin showed an increase in the success rates of retinal detachment surgery, which increased from <1% to 30 -40%. The new technique of Gonin was not readily accepted by all initially.[5]

However, it gained widespread acceptance later. In 1935 Jules Gonin unexpectedly left for his way to heavenly adobe.

Today, we have the finest technologies to diagnose and to treat retinal detachment, and it is impossible to imagine the situation 100 years back. However, the past must never be forgotten as it lays the foundation of future.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Gonin J. Dιcollement rιtinien. Encycl Franη Ophtalmol 1906;6:947-1025.  Back to cited text no. 1
Gonin J. La thermoponction oblitιrante des dιchirures rιtiniennes dans le dιcollement de la rιtine. Ann Oculist 1931;168:1-29.  Back to cited text no. 2
Gonin J. Divergences of principles and differences of technics in the treatment of retinal detachment. Am J Ophthalmol 1934;17:74-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
Thilges V. Jules Gonin: L'homme et son oeuvre. Ann Oculist 1970;203:631-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
Gonin J. Guιrison opιratoires de dιcollements rιtiniens. Rev Gιn Ophtal 1923;37:337-40.  Back to cited text no. 5


  [Figure 1]


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