Retinal Surgeries Performed in Gyumri

On March 21-22, AECP Volunteer Physician Dr. Ruben Grigorian paid a visit to the John Ohannes Khachigian AECP Regional Eye Center in Gyumri, Armenia to conduct consultations and surgeries for patients with complex retinal problems.

Aside from Armenia’s capital of Yerevan, Gyumri is the only other city in Armenia where retinal surgeries are performed. This is made possible thanks to supporters of the AECP as well as the establishment of the cutting-edge regional eye center in Armenia’s second-largest city.

“One of the goals of AECP is to increase the availability of quality ophthalmological services in the regions of Armenia, ” said AECP Deputy Director Varvara Kalashyan. “Within the framework of this initiative, five Regional Eye Centers have been equipped with the most modern equipment necessary for examination and operations; three Regional Diagnostic Clinics have been developed with advanced research and treatment capabilities and we have also contributed to the strengthening of various polyclinics throughout the country. The Gyumri Regional Eye Center is special due to its vitreoretinal service as well, which is developing quite quickly.”

Dr. Gohar Varosyan, who is an ophthalmologist at the John Ohannes Khachigian AECP Regional Eye Center in Gyumri, recently returned from the U.S., where she participated in advanced medical training. She says the capabilities in Gyumri are quite impactful for residents in the region.

“More than 500 patients come to us annually with retinal problems, ” Dr. Varosyan said. “Previously, we had to refer all of them to Yerevan, but now we are able to perform laser treatment and surgeries on the spot. This is both a time and financial saving for the residents of our region.”

Dr. Grigorian, a vitreoretinal surgeon in Louisiana, has been a volunteer physician with AECP for more than 20 years. In this time, he’s visited Armenia countless times through AECP’s Medical Missions, discussed complicated cases with local colleagues and performed surgeries. “This is my third medical mission to Gyumri specifically,” Dr. Grigorian said. We have a very close cooperation with Dr. Varosyan, who also underwent training in my clinic in the U.S. I can say that she has already acquired enough skills.”

The John Ohannes Khachigian AECP Regional Eye Center in Gyumri was established in 2018. To date, about 8,500 people have undergone eye examinations at the center; roughly 3,000 patients have undergone surgery and more than 400 people have received laser treatment. Among all five AECP Regional Eye Centers, located in the provinces of Tavush, Lori, Shirak, Syunik and Vayots Dzor, approximately 43,000 patients have undergone eye examinations; about 10,500 have undergone surgery and more than 2,000 people have received laser treatment.  

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