Police launch appeal after heart surgeon’s operating glasses are stolen from his car

Police launch appeal after heart surgeon’s operating glasses are stolen from his car
The surgeon will be unable to perform life-saving surgery for up to six weeks without the glasses

Police have launched an urgent appeal after a heart surgeon’s specialist operating glasses were stolen from his car outside a hospital.

Stephen Rooney’s magnifying glasses or “loupes”, which are needed to perform life-saving cardiac surgery, were taken from his vehicle outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on Saturday.

The glasses are custom-designed for Mr Rooney and cannot be used by anyone else, West Midlands Police said.

There are only a few companies in the world which make the glasses – meaning they could take up to six weeks to replace. During this time, Mr Rooney will not be able to perform any operations.

West Midlands Police said: “Because of how crucial the glasses are to his work, we’re appealing for help to get them back. Our priority is for the glasses to be returned to the hospital, and we are appealing directly to the people who’ve taken them to do the right thing and take them back.”

The glasses are described as having a black frame and have the name “Stephen Rooney” engraved in the arms. They had been in a black and aluminium box, also with his name on it, when they were taken.

A folding golf cart was also stolen from the passenger footwell of the car, police said.

Loupes are small magnification devices that allow surgeons to see small details more closely. The loupes used by surgeons are commonly mounted in the lenses of the glasses and custom made for the individual surgeon, taking into account their corrected vision and focal distance.

West Midlands Police are urging anyone with any information that could help to get in touch via Live Chat at www.west-midlands.police.uk between 8am and midnight, or call 101.

To remain anonymous contact CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111, quoting crime number 20/1734004/21.

The Independent has approached Birmingham University Hospital for comment.

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