A heart surgeon will have to cancel six weeks of life-saving operations after thieves stole his custom-made glasses.
The specialist relies on the ‘absolutely essential’ custom-made lenses to conduct incredibly intricate procedures.
Only a few companies worldwide make the glasses, which are known as loupes, and they must be specifically designed for the surgeon’s own eyesight.
Similar in style to those used by jewellers when inspecting diamonds for imperfections, the tools allow consultant cardiac surgeon Stephen Rooney to operate with extreme precision on patients’ hearts.
But now he’s been sidelined after his pair were stolen from his car outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
The loupes are so important to his work, West Midlands Police have made the unusual move of issuing an urgent appeal for their return.
Despite having a great value to the surgeon’s work, they are virtually worthless to the thieves as he is the only one who can use them.
They are described as having a black frame, are stored in a black and aluminium box and have his name engraved in the arms and on the container.
A folding golf cart was also stolen from the passenger footwell of the car.
In a statement, the force said: ‘They’re custom-designed for Mr Rooney and are of no use to anyone else.
‘Only a few companies in the world make them, meaning it will take around six weeks to get a replacement pair.
‘During this time he will not be able to conduct any life-saving heart operations.’
The statement added: ‘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.’
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