Comparison Between TTL Surgical Loupes and Flip-Up Loupes Part 1

When it comes to surgical loupes, there are many different types and designs you can choose from. Among the most popular types and designs are the flip up loupes and the through the lens loupes. Each of these types of surgical loupes shares the same uses in the surgical field. They are both used by surgeons to enhance visual acuity and improve ergonomic posture while working. However, despite their similarities, each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages. This two-part blog post aims to give a detailed comparison between these two basic types of surgical loupes and to help you decide which one is the right pair for you.

Through The Lens or TTL Loupes

The through the lens or TTL loupe, also often called as the front-mounted surgical optical loupe, is the most popular type of loupe available in the market today. It is famous not only among surgeons but also among medical students since it is now considered as the newest standard of surgical practice. TTL loupes are typically custom-made to properly fit the magnification, facial dimensions, and prescription needs of the user and also to provide maximum comfort, ease of working, and performance.

Flip Up Loupes

The flip up loupe is considered as an off-the-shelf product that is famous for providing an adjustable pupillary distance and angle of declination.

TTL Loupes vs. Flip Up Loupes


TTL loupes typically require more customization. This is why they may cost relatively higher than the flip up loupes.

Optical barrels positioning

TTL loupes have optical barrels that are mounted into the loupe's carrier lens at a fixed position based on the specific pupillary distance measurements of the user. The optical barrels of the flip up loupes are mounted on a hinge mechanism positioned right above the bridge of the nose.


Since the optical barrels of the TTL loupes are attached to a fixed position, they can not be adjusted. If you have finished working with them or if you need to deal with paper work or talk to your patient, you will have to take them off completely. On the other end, flip up loupes are more convenient in instances like these. Since their optical barrels are attached to an adjustable hinge mechanism, you can quickly and easily flip them up when not in use and flip them back to the working position or in front of the carrier lens when you need to use them.


TTL loupes are specially designed based on the working distance, magnification, angle of inclination, pupillary distance measurements, prescription needs, and facial dimensions of the user. And since they are custom made, it would be almost impossible for other people to use them with the same exact comfort and fit. This means that only the user can wear them and they can not be shared with anyone else.

The flip up loupe, on the other end, can be used by multiple users since its pupillary distance can be manually adjusted to fit the current user's measurements. However, in order for this type of loupe to fit the other people, they must share the same working distance as the primary user.  


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