A world renowned ophthalmic surgeon based in Calgary will soon step away from his surgical career ahead of a procedure to remove his left eye to address a cancerous tumour.

Dr. Howard Gimbel, who co-owns the Gimbel Eye Centre alongside his wife Judy, will be physically incapable of performing surgeries following the removal of his eye. The tumour cannot be treated with radiation or chemotherapy.

“I had a mild symptom involving my eye and went to see the doctor and had a CT and MRIs showed something unexpected,” said the 84-year-old l in a video posted to the Gimbel Eye Centre YouTube channel. “There’s a fairly aggressive tumour involving an eye muscle right beside the eye.”

The impending closure of Dr. Gimbel’s 54 years as an ophthalmic surgeon will not result in his departure from the industry or the closure of the Gimbel Eye Centre. Dr. Gimbel plans to continue to teach and mentor.

“I’ve always looked at every challenge as an opportunity and this time of transition is also an opportunity,” said Dr. Gimbel in a statement released Wednesday. “Building on our existing staff and surgical team, we see an expanding life for the centre.”

Since 1964, more than 200,000 patients have undergone a surgical procedure at the Gimbel Eye Centre.

In April, Dr. Gimbel was appointed to the Order of Canada in recognition of his surgical innovations.