Dr. Thomas Naugle donates patented Exophthalmometer to Tulane Ophthalmology

Thomas C. Naugle, Jr., MD, fondly remembers his time at Tulane University School of Medicine. The pioneering ophthalmologist earned his medical degree and completed his residency here before dedicating his career to advancing ophthalmic plastic surgery.

"As I pursued my efforts in the field, I found that the Hertel instrument, invented in 1905, was inaccurate if we moved the lateral orbital rim,” said Naugle. “So, I developed a method that measures the eye's position using the superior and inferior orbital rims as reference points." His patented invention, the Naugle Exophthalmometer, is now widely used globally and has made its impact in clinical exophthalmometry by providing reliable and reproducible measurements crucial for diagnosing and treating conditions like Graves' disease. 

The Naugle Exophthalmometer, produced by Oculus Surgical, offers a substantial improvement over traditional methods by providing consistent measurements critical for tracking changes in eye protrusion over time. Oculus Surgical recently donated two Naugle Exophthalmometers and three surgical loupes to Tulane Ophthalmology. Residents can use the loupes on their pediatric, plastics, and multispecialty rotations. 

David M. Hinkle, MD, professor and the Oliver and Carroll Dabezies Chair of Tulane Ophthalmology, emphasized the importance of Naugle's donation. "It's always inspiring when alumni like Naugle give back. This donation is a tribute to the high-quality training our residents receive and ensures future generations of ophthalmologists benefit from the same exceptional education."

Though retired from clinical practice, Naugle remains passionate about advancing the field of ophthalmic plastic surgery and continues to teach. "I never stopped teaching. I enjoy it immensely and believe in engaging students through interactive, Socratic methods," he said.