SUCCESS STORY: OERTLI IN THE COURSE OF TIME

Since its foundation in 1955, Oertli has developed from a factory for manufacturing surgical instruments to a worldwide leading provider of surgical platforms and instruments for eye surgery. The story of Oertli thrives on innovations, highlights and scientific success.

In recent years, Oertli has largely contributed to the technical progress in eye surgery thanks to its numerous innovations, patented procedures and consistently high quality standards. The focus on our core competences and high interdisciplinary know-how are central aspects of our success. Today, we master the development, production and distribution of complex electronic control devices, highly precise micro-instruments and sterile surgical accessories. Over 180 employees work at our production location in Berneck in the St. Gall Rhine Valley – and ensure the continuation of our success story every day.

THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF OERTLI

1955

Foundation of the company by Heinz A. Oertli

1965

Pioneer work in vitrectomy in collaboration with Prof. Klöti

1971

Invention: the first vitrectomy cutter

1972

Invention: the first time bipolar diathermy is used in ophthalmology

1974

Invention: the first surgical platform for vitrectomy surgery

1955 - Foundation of the company by Heinz A. Oertli

In 1955, the company was founded by Heinz A. Oertli in St. Gallen, Switzerland. As result of its collaboration with the St. Gallen ophthalmologist Prof. Alfred Bangerter, the company began to focus on eye-surgical instruments already in the early years after its foundation.

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1965 - Pioneer work in vitrectomy in collaboration with Prof. Klöti

Oertli achieved its international breakthrough in eye surgery with the support of the Zurich retinal pioneer Prof. Rudolf Klöti. In a retrospective, written by Heinz Oertli himself, he describes this thrilling collaboration.

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1971 - Invention: the first vitrectomy cutter

For the first time, it was possible to remove the gel-like vitreous body and in this way enable surgery on the retina. In close collaboration with Prof. Klöti, Oertli succeeded in developing a cutting instrument that was powered by a razor motor that had been alienated from its intended purpose!

Find out more about the vitrectomy cutters by Oertli.

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1972 - Invention: the first time bipolar diathermy is used in ophthalmology

The first diathermy device developed was intended for the coagulation of blood vessels in the vitreous body. The instruments were presented at the University Hospital in Zurich and during a live TV broadcast of a vitrectomy surgery.

Find out more about the diathermy devices by Oertli.

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1974 - Invention: the first surgical platform for vitrectomy surgery

The VitroCat microsurgical device used to control the aspiration of fluids and fragmented tissue and their replacement to ensure constant pressure. The cassette, which could be sterilized in an autoclave, was rapidly and easily operable.

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1980

Invention: the first contamination-free cassette concept

1985

Invention: the first dual linear foot pedal control

1991

Invention: capsulotomy by means of bipolar diathermy

1991

Market launch: the Orbit surgical system

1992

Purchase of the company by Andreas Bosshard

1980 - Invention: the first contamination-free cassette concept

Based on the experience gained with the aspiration - irrigation peristaltic pump, a cassette system was developed which simplified the operation considerably. A standard light brown housing was used.

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1985 - Invention: the first dual linear foot pedal control

Since its invention in 1985, the dual linear pedal control has been steadily perfected. Dual linear control via the pedal provides the surgeon with numerous operational possibilities and a selection of settings to choose from.

Find out more about the dual linear pedal by Oertli.

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1991 - Invention: capsulotomy by means of bipolar diathermy

By using high-frequency energy, the capsule bag can be melted easily – without the usual tearing with forceps or needle. Gliding gently over the tissue, and even under the iris, with the capsulotomy tip while delivering diathermy power is all that is required.

Find out more about capsulotomy.

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1991 - Market launch: the Orbit surgical system

The Orbit was Oertli's first surgical system for phaco, I/A and diathermy.

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1992 - Purchase of the company by Andreas Bosshard

Following long-term collaboration with Heinz Oertli, Andreas Bosshard took over the company in full and developed it to a thriving enterprise up to his merited retirement in 2010.

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1994

Market launch: the Quinto surgical system

1996

Invention: the first Venturi / Peristaltic dual pump system

1997

Market launch: the portable CataRhex phaco system

2001

Invention: HFDS® (High Frequency Deep Sclerotomy) technology

2002

Market launch: the OS 3 surgical system for cataract and vitreoretinal surgery

1994 - Market launch: the Quinto surgical system

The all-inclusive system for cutting-edge anterior segment surgery techniques was applied in the early 90s.

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1996 - Invention: the first Venturi / Peristaltic dual pump system

The two pump systems – Peristaltic and Venturi – have become well established in ophthalmic surgery. Using the peristaltic pump, the vacuum can be generated mechanically. A rotating wheel milks a tube, allowing the surgeon to control the rotational speed. This passive vacuum, which is generated entirely under occlusion, cannot be modulated, but it provides the advantage that the flow can be very finely tuned, which creates a particularly positive effect during fine manoeuvres. Venturi pumps, on the other hand, generate the vacuum by means of an airflow. The vacuum builds up quickly and can be easily modulated, but the flow cannot be directly controlled. Thus, a Venturi pump ensures fast processing, but with restrictions for fine manoeuvres.

The two pump systems – Peristaltic and Venturi – have become well established in ophthalmic surgery. Using the peristaltic pump, the vacuum can be generated mechanically. A rotating wheel milks a tube, allowing the surgeon to control the rotational speed. This passive vacuum, which is generated entirely under occlusion, cannot be modulated, but it provides the advantage that the flow can be very finely tuned, which creates a particularly positive effect during fine manoeuvres. Venturi pumps, on the other hand, generate the vacuum by means of an airflow. The vacuum builds up quickly and can be easily modulated, but the flow cannot be directly controlled. Thus, a Venturi pump ensures fast processing, but with restrictions for fine manoeuvres.

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1997 - Market launch: the portable CataRhex phaco system

The first generation of the CataRhex family has been a success right from the start. The portable phaco device boasts uncompromising achievements despite its compactness.

Find out more about the CataRhex 3.

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2001 - Invention: HFDS® (High Frequency Deep Sclerotomy) technology

The High Frequency Deep Sclerotomy (HFDS) ab interno procedure establishes a direct access from the anterior chamber to the Schlemm’s canal, thus avoiding the outflow resistance of the trabecular meshwork. This ensures low complication rates and good long-term results particularly in view of the short intervention time.

More on HFDS.

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2002 - Market launch: the OS 3 surgical system for cataract and vitreoretinal surgery

Thanks to the construction of the individual modules, the OS 3 has developed from a modern cataract surgery platform to an all-inclusive anterior and posterior segment system. In 2015, the OS 3 was successfully replaced by the amazing all-in-one platform OS 4.

More on OS 4

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2004

Market launch: the CataRhex SwissTech high intelligence phaco system

2005

Invention: the first vitrectomy cutter with pneumatic drive

2006

Market launch: the titanium tips for CO-MICS 1.6 mm cataract surgery

2006

Market launch: the Pars Plana micro-incision system

2007

Market launch: the Goodlight metal halide light source

2004 - Market launch: the CataRhex SwissTech high intelligence phaco system

The second generation of the CataRhex family impresses again – with its great ease of use and outstanding performance. In 2013, the CataRhex SwissTech was replaced by the CataRhex 3.

More on CataRhex 3

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2005 - Invention: the first vitrectomy cutter with pneumatic drive

The push-pull principle of the pneumatic cutter, originally developed by Oertli, enables smooth work in the posterior eye segment using high cutting rates. This reliable technology is also applied in the Continuous Flow Cutter.

Read more about the Continuous Flow Cutter.

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2006 - Market launch: the titanium tips for CO-MICS 1.6 mm cataract surgery

With titanium tips CO-MICS you can operate without any problem with incisions of 1.6 mm. The benefits of real micro-incision surgery are considerable. The dramatic reduction of the wound surface is important and offers great potential advantages such as superb tightness of the wound, fast healing process, increased protection against infection, perfect deformation stability, no in-duced astigmatism. The smart design of the CO-MICS tip makes full use of these advantages.

Find out more about the titanium tips by Oertli.

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2006 - Market launch: the Pars Plana micro-incision system

The lance-shaped needle of the pars plana micro-incision system is characterised by an exceptional driving and cutting force. The slim tunnel incision ensures excellent postoperative wound-tightness and thus fast healing of the wound. The trocar with its integrated lock membrane prevents the outflow of BSS, air and oil, which results in a constant IOP during the whole surgery.

More information

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2007 - Market launch: the Goodlight metal halide light source

Goodlight minimizes the risk of photorhetinitis for the surgeon and patient. Goodlight automatically absorbs all dangerous wavelengths below 435 nm. The pleasant colour of the light ensures best contrast vision. It enhances the effect of blue liquids and makes the membrane very clearly visible.

Read more about the Goodlight technology.

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2008

Invention: the first trocar system with self-sealing membrane

2009

Invention: the easyPhaco® technology for 2.2 mm cataract surgery

2009

Market launch: the Faros compact device for cataract and vitrectomy surgery

2010

Oertli wins the SVC Entrepreneur Award Eastern Switzerland

2010

Invention: the easyPhaco® technology for 2.8 mm cataract surgery

2008 - Invention: the first trocar system with self-sealing membrane

The internal sealing membrane prevents the escape of BSS, air or oil. A constant IOP is maintained during the entire surgery, also in critical procedures such as combined cataract and vitrectomy interventions. The surgeon can easily remove the sealing membrane with certain manoeuvres using the forceps. The steady and stable conditions result in decreased BSS consumption, which is an additional advantage.

More on the Caliburn Trocar System

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2009- Invention: the easyPhaco® technology for 2.2 mm cataract surgery

By making use of flow technology and precise flow control, easyPhaco excels at immediate attraction of the lens material resulting in perfect followability. easyPhaco technology boasts unrivalled chamber stability, highly efficient fragment aspiration and perfect emulsification.

Find out more about easyPhaco technology.

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2009 - Market launch: the Faros compact device for cataract and vitrectomy surgery

The Faros is the compact device for cataract, glaucoma and vitrectomy surgery.

More about Faros.

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2010 - Oertli wins the SVC Entrepreneur Award Eastern Switzerland

Every other year, the Prix SVC (Swiss Venture Club) promotes Swiss entrepreneurship and awards the Prix SVC to exemplary companies. The prize highlights the importance of SMEs for the Swiss economy and encourages companies to reach beyond their company structures.

Andreas Bosshard at the presentation of the much coveted prize.

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2010 - Invention: the easyPhaco® technology for 2.8 mm cataract surgery

By making use of flow technology and thanks to precise flow control, easyPhaco facilitates immediate attraction of the lens material, which results in superb followability. easyPhaco technology impresses not only by unrivalled chamber stability and highly efficient fragment aspiration but also by perfect emulsification.

Find out more about easyPhaco technology.

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2010

The change of management to the 2nd generation of the Bosshard family

2011

Market launch: Autoseal trocar one step system

2012

Market launch: the advanced Goodlight LED light source

2013

Market launch: the Quick Tips with Safety Design for irrigation / aspiration

2013

Market launch: the CataRhex 3, the third generation of the portable phaco system

2010 - The change of management to the 2nd generation of the Bosshard family

Andreas Bosshard handed over the management of the company to his two sons in 2010. From left to right: Thomas Bosshard, Andreas Bosshard, and Christoph Bosshard.

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2011 - Market launch: Autoseal trocar one step system

In vitrectomy, the OS 4 Caliburn trocar system enables highly precise work with very sharp instruments. The lance-shaped needle of the pars plana micro-incision system is characterised by an exceptional driving and cutting force. The razor-sharp Caliburn blade reduces the strength required for penetration to a minimum and results in optimum cutting geometry in the sclera. The slim tunnel incision ensures excellent postoperative wound-tightness and thus fast healing of the wound.

Find out more about the trocar system.

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2012 - Market launch: the advanced Goodlight LED light source

Goodlight minimizes the risk of photorhetinitis for the surgeon and patient. Goodlight automatically absorbs all dangerous wavelengths below 435 nm. The pleasant colour of the light allows for best contrast vision. It enhances the effect of blue liquids and makes the membrane very clearly visible.

More about Goodlight LED.

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2013 -Market launch: the Quick Tips with Safety Design for irrigation / aspiration

The Quick Tips with Safety Design have an extended shaft length to enable better sub-incisional access.

Find out more about the Quick Tips with Safety Design.

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2013 - Market launch: the CataRhex 3, the third generation of the portable phaco system

With unbeatably compact dimensions and a lightweight of only five kilograms, the CataRhex 3 has been consistently geared towards mobility and portability – without making any compromising on performance. easyPhaco technology ensures safe and highly efficient emulsification.

Learn more about CataRhex 3.

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2014

Invention: the unique pump system CortexMode

2015

Market launch: the 25G Caliburn trocar system

2015

Invention: the revolutionary three-pump system SPEEPMode

2015

Invention: the Continuous Flow Cutter

2015

Market launch: the OS 4 all-in-one surgical platform

2014 - Invention: the unique pump system CortexMode

In irrigation and aspiration, the innovative CortexMode in CataRhex 3 provides unrivalled precision and efficiency in cortex removal and capsule cleaning.

Read more about the CortexMode pump system.

2015 - Market launch: the 25G Caliburn trocar system

The lance-shaped blade of the Caliburn trocar system features exceptional piercing and cutting power. The razor-sharp Caliburn blade reduces the penetration force to a minimum and leads to a perfect cutting geometry in the sclera.

More about the Caliburn Trocar System.

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2015 - Invention: the revolutionary three-pump system SPEEPMode

The exceptional SPEEPMode unites the best of two worlds. It combines the advantages of the Peristaltic and Venturi pump and integrates them into one device, thus making a considerable contribution to safety.

Find out more about the SPEEPMode.

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2015 - Invention: the Continuous Flow Cutter

The continuous flow cutting concept ensures continuous flow without any perceivable fluctuations. While with a standard cutter the flow is interrupted at each cycle, continuous flow ensures smooth and precise flow as well as rapid aspiration and ideal portioning of the vitreous body removal.

Read more about the Continuous Flow Cutter.

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2015 - Market launch: the OS 4 all-in-one surgical platform

To render ophthalmic surgery even safer, simpler and more efficient, the OS 4 makes consistent use of the laws of physics and fluidics. The heart of the device is the three-pump system with vacuum and flow control as well as the innovative SPEEPMode for extremely precise manoeuvres. All instruments are perfectly integrated into the system.

Find out more about the OS 4 all-in-one surgical platform.

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2016

Oertli wins the Rheintaler Economy Prize

2018

Market launch: 27G

2018

Market launch: the new Faros for cataract, glaucoma and vitrectomy surgery

2019

Market launch: new silicone application set

2020

World novelty: ViPer illuminated scleral indentor

2016 - Oertli wins the Rheintaler Economy Prize

This regional prize is awarded annually by an expert jury to the most commendable company in the Rhine Valley region. Christoph Bosshard proudly accepted the award on behalf of the entire workforce.

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2018 - Market launch: 27G

Minimally invasive interventions do not only promote postoperative wound healing. The whole product range around 27G offers the best conditions for this and a lot more.

Find out more about the 27G product range.

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2018 - Market launch: the new Faros for cataract, glaucoma and vitrectomy surgery

The Faros surgical platform ensures opthalmic surgery of the highest level while always remaining comfortable and intuitive to use. The precise flow control makes the surgeon's work even easier and safer than before. The unique SPEEPMode controls both flow and vacuum, which results in superb fluidics.

More about Faros.

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2019 - Market launch: new silicone application set

The Oertli silicone application sets ensure exceptionally fast injection and extraction of silicone oil. Thanks to the trocar-based solution surgical time can be saved, as the valve remains in the trocar.

Find out more about the silicone application set by Oertli.

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2020 - World novelty: ViPer illuminated scleral indentor

The ViPer (Visible Periphery) simplifies work in the periphery by ensuring simultaneous indenting and transscleral illumination in the posterior eye segment. The indentor boasts a semi-transparent design, making it free from glare and backscattered light.

Find out more about the new ViPer from Oertli.

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2020

Change in the board of directors presidency

2020 - Change in the board of directors presidency

Andreas Bosshard, co-owner and former managing director, hands over the board of directors into new hands; into the capable hands of Andreas Schmidheini. At the past employee orientation the whole Oertli team and his family members bid farewell to an outstanding personality with a standing ovation.

We look back with a crying and laughing eye on the immense commitment Andreas Bosshard has shown for more than 30 years.

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1955 Foundation by Heinz A. Oertli
1965 Pioneer work in vitrectomy with Professor Klöti
1971 Invention: First vitrectomy cutter "Klöti"
1972 Invention: First ophthalmological bipolar diathermy
1974 Invention: First surgical platform for vitrectomy
1980 Invention: First contamination-free cassette concept
1985 Invention: First dual linear foot pedal control
1991 Invention: First bipolar capsulotomy
1991 Market introduction: Orbit surgical system
1992 Purchase of the company by Andreas Bosshard
1994 Market introduction: Quinto surgical system
1996 Invention: First Venturi/peristaltic dual pump system
1997 Market introduction: CataRhex – the portable phaco system
2001 Invention: HFDS (High Frequency Deep Sclerotomy)
2002 Market introduction: OS3 surgical platform for cataract and vitreoretinal surgery
2004 Market introduction: CataRhex SwissTech High Intelligence phaco system
2005 Invention: First pneumatic vitrectomy cutter for 23G and 25G
2006 Market introduction: Tips for CO-MICS 1.6 mm cataract surgery
2006 Market introduction: Pars plana micro-incision system for 23G and 25G
2007 Market introduction: Goodlight metal halide light source
2008 Invention: First Autoseal trocar system
2008 Invention: easyPhaco technology for CO-MICS 1.8 mm
2009 Invention: easyPhaco technology for 2.2 mm
2009 Market introduction: Faros compact device for cataract and vitrectomy surgery
2010 Oertli wins the SVC regional award for Eastern Switzerland
2010 Invention: easyPhaco technology for 2.8 mm
2010 Change in business management from the first to the second generation of the Bosshard family
2011 Market introduction: Autoseal trocar one step system
2012 Market introduction: Advanced Goodlight LED light source
2013 Market introduction: Quick Tips with Safety Design for Irrigation/Aspiration
2013 Market introduction: CataRhex 3 third generation of the portable phaco system
2013 Invention: CortexMode pump system
2014 Market introduction: 25G Caliburn pars plana trocar system
2015 Market introduction: OS 4 All-in-one-surgical platform
2015 Invention: Continuous Flow Cutter
2015 Invention: SPEEPMode, the unique three-pump system
2016 Oertli wins the Rhine Valley Economy Award
2018 Market introduction: new Faros
2019 Market introduction: Silicone oil application set
2020 World novelty: ViPer illuminated scleral indentor
2020 Change in the board of directors presidency
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