Can Femtosecond Lasers Be Used for Cataract Surgery?

June 18, 2009

By: Irv Arons, Ophthalmic Industry Consultant

As readers of my online Journal know, I’ve been actively following developments in the use of femtosecond (FS) lasers. Femtosecond (FS) lasers have been widely used in refractive surgery over the past several years. The technology was pioneered by IntraLase (Irvine, California) as a laser-based alternative to manual microkeratomes for the precise creation of a corneal flap prior to LASIK.

However, at the annual gathering of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, in a presentation titled “Initial Clinical Experience with a Femtosecond Laser System in Cataract Surgery,” Zoltan Nagy, MD, an associate professor at Semmelweiss Medical University in Budapest, Hungary, presented initial human results with a cataract removal system using femtosecond lasers that has been developed by LenSx. The company is describing this new technology as the “next-generation femtosecond laser phaco for refractive cataract surgery.”

The basic concept behind the new approach is to convert the several manual and multi-steps in today’s cataract removal procedure into one that utilizes laser created, surgeon-controlled precision. The belief is that laser-accuracy will significantly enhance the results that are achieved by the surgeon’s hands. Nagy’s presentation outlined the several clinical applications of femtosecond laser technology for the cataract removal procedure.

An old friend of mine, Larry Haimovitch, who contributes to Biomedical Business & Technology, wrote up what he learned about the three companies proposing the use of FS lasers to perform cataract surgeries.

I received permission from the author and the publisher to reproduce Larry’s writeup.

Here’s the link.

There is also an update on the latest information about glaucoma treatments from the ASCRS Meeting.




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