Who Uses YAG Vitrolysis for Floaters?

June 9, 2009

I wonder how many of us do this for patients. I tried it twice with minimal success. No matter how much I shoot at it, it just kinda sits there. I am afraid to ramp up the power, lest I cause a shock wave that could create a tear. I also wonder how likely that complication is, anyway. I remember reading an article in the throwaways by a surgeon who does hundreds of these lasers, and he claimed great success with no complications, but he was also selling a special lens for this purpose, so I worry about bias.

 

 



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5 Responses to “Who Uses YAG Vitrolysis for Floaters?”

  • As it turns out, after my comments above, back in June 2009, I finally decided to tell the full story about the use of lasers to treat floaters.

    I carefully researched the field, got in touch with the three U.S. doctors that I found using lasers for floaters, and wrote up their stories on my blog in August 2010. That was followed by a survey of European docs involved in this specialty, and I wrote up their stories in September 2010.

    Here are the list of those writeups, along with links. (By the way, these writeups are among the most popular on my blog.)

    Lasers for Floaters – the Three Writeups

    Using Lasers to Treat Vitreous Floaters: Laser Vitreolysis – August 4, 2010

    This is my original writeup, telling the stories of the three U.S. doctors involved.

    http://irvaronsjournal.blogspot.com/2010/08/using-lasers-to-treat-vitreous-floaters.html
    http://tinyurl.com/vitreolysis

    Using Lasers to Treat Vitreous Floaters: Laser Vitreolysis – Part 2 – August 5, 2010

    This is a follow-up to my U.S. writeup, telling Dr. Geller’s story about the origin of his use of a laser to treat floaters.

    http://irvaronsjournal.blogspot.com/2010/08/using-lasers-to-treat-vitreous-floaters_05.html
    http://tinyurl.com/vitreolysis2

    Using Lasers to Treat Vitreous Floaters: Laser Vitreolysis in the UK and Europe –September 23, 2010

    And, this is my survey of the UK and Europe doctors who use lasers to treat floaters.

    http://irvaronsjournal.blogspot.com/2010/09/using-lasers-to-treat-vitreous-floaters.html
    http://tinyurl.com/vitreolysis-europe-UK

    Irv Arons

  • ari

    any doctor can do them. its very easy. i have done it a few times, but the results have been very underwhelming, which is why this procedure never caught on- no one really thinks it works too well. “people vote with their feet”- if it really was as good as some say, most docs would do it.

  • Christian

    Dr. Ari, are there anymore doctors doing yag laser for floaters other than the three you noted?

  • I just came across an article on this subject in the Washington Post, if anyone is interested.

    The article discusses how eye surgeon John Karickhoff has performed laser surgery more than 1,400 times over the past 15 years on patients complaining of “floaters” and claims a success rate of better than 90 percent, with minimal risk of complications.

    The articles notes that only a few eye surgeons perform laser surgery to treat “floaters”. While acknowledging that the laser treatment is often successful and carries little risk, most ophthalmologists believe any risk is unacceptable for treating a benign condition like floaters.

    The article references another advocate of the laser procedure with thousands of operations under his belt: Fort Myers ophthalmologist Scott Geller.

    The link to the article is:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/30/AR2007013000119.html

  • I recall talking with an ophthalmologist in Florida (Scott Geller) who was doing this several years ago. At the time, I thought that the picosecond laser (which was being studied at the time) would do a better job — but to my knowledge, it was never used. Now that the femtosecond laser is in a lot of offices, someone ought to take a look at that laser for this application. A lot less potential for damage in the vitreous.

    My short Google search revealed that there may be 3 ophthalmologists in the U.S. now doing this; Geller in FL, Karickhoff in VA, and Johnson in CA.

    Irv Arons

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