Florida Company Hopes to Pioneer All-inclusive Laser Cataract Surgery
A Florida company hopes to win the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to test in the U.S. a surgical system that the company has used in Mexico to perform all the steps needed in cataract surgery with a single laser.
LensAR, Inc., says that the new system will be more expensive than current technology, but will greatly speed up the cataract surgery procedure, as well as making it easier for less experienced surgeons to get excellent results.
CEO Has Previous Laser Development Experience
LensAR's CEO is Randy Frey, Ph.D., who previously headed the company that developed a surgical system to significantly improve the LASIK vision correction procedure.
According to a presentation made in October at an ophthalmology conference, the new system will use the same laser to first measure the eye to ensure a precise surgery, and then make the necessary incisions in the cornea and the capsule, the membrane that holds the lens. Next, the laser will pulverize the existing lens, a step previously done with an ultrasound device.
Once the new lens has been placed in the capsule, the laser will punch a tiny hole in the back of the capsule, which often becomes darkened as a result of the surgery. The hole is big enough to allow full light to pass through the capsule.
Lasers Currently Play Only Minor Role
Presently, piercing the capsule is the only step in the cataract surgery procedure performed with a laser, although many prospective patients assume lasers are used for all steps.
The LensAR system has been used by two eye surgeons in Mexico City; the company says they have performed about 100 cataract surgeries with it.
Other U.S. companies producing laser ophthalmological surgery systems are exploring the cataract surgery application, but Frey says he has patent protection that puts him ahead of the competition. He claims his patents are strong enough that other companies will have to pay him royalties for systems they manufacture.
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