Technolas Eyetracking Technology Approved For LASIK Surgery by FDA
July 7, 2009
According to a recent announcement from Technolas Perfect Vision, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved a first of its kind technology for LASIK eye surgery, known as Advanced Control Eyetracking (ACE), for the Technolas LASIK platform.
Eyetracking allows lasers used during LASIK surgery to compensate for eye movements during the procedure, thus adding an important level of assurance. However, no eyetracker has been able to adjust for subtle rotations of the eye that can occur during the laser treatment – that is until now. This new eyetracker locks on to the eye’s unique iris pattern just before the laser treatment begins, and then monitors the pattern throughout the procedure. When rotation of the iris pattern is detected during the treatment the direction of laser pulses is nearly instantaneously adjusted accordingly. This ensures that each laser pulse of the LASIK treatment is delivered to its intended location on the cornea.
“Several published medical studies involving almost 2,000 LASIK cases clearly demonstrate the benefit of the comprehensive, active, rotational eye tracking afforded by ACE technology,” according to Dr. Scott MacRae, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Rochester in New York. “This technology is one of a kind. Rotation of the eye during LASIK could result in less than full correction of astigmatism, which is very common among LASIK patients, and an increased chance of the need for a secondary enhancement procedure.”
No other LASIK system available in the US can compensate for eye rotation during the LASIK treatment. Both the Technolas ACE and VISX S4 IR (Abbot Medical Optics, Santa Ana, CA) trackers compensate for the cyclorotation of the eye that can occur between the sitting position during critical diagnostic measurements and lying down on the LASIK bed. However, only the Technolas ACE tracker can adjust the delivery of laser pulses in response to eye rotation during the LASIK treatment. Further, the Technolas ACE system is enabled for both conventional and custom wavefront-guided LASIK treatments, while the VISX S4 IR tracker cannot adjust for cyclotorsion associated with conventional LASIK treatments.
The Wavelight system employs a four-point LED illumination pattern that the patient views, known as NeuroTrack™, which the company claims prevents any rotation during the procedure; however, no clinical data is available to confirm that this is indeed the case. In fact, a recent large study by Emory University using the Wavelight laser demonstrated that astigmatic eyes were nearly twice as likely as non-astigmatic eyes to require a touch up or enhancement procedure following LASIK. Increased enhancement rates among astigmatic eyes could be indicative of eye rotation during the treatment that goes unchecked.
This new eyetracker also doubles the speed of tracking so as to allow the laser to rapidly adjust to the eye’s movements; response time with ACE is now under 7 milliseconds, or 0.007 seconds. ACE also adjusts for the pupil center shifting that can occur between light and dark settings, critical to the proper centering of customized LASIK treatments over the pupil.
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