26 Sep 2012
The country's first commercial procedures using the LensAR femtosecond platform have taken place in two locations.LensAR, the Florida-based vendor of laser systems for ophthalmology and one of the developers of femtosecond laser platforms for cataract treatment, has announced that the first commercial cataract surgeries in the US to employ its system have taken place.
Procedures were carried out in Florida and California using the company's LensAR Laser System to remove patients' cataracts and implant vision-correcting intraocular lenses (IOLs). The surgeries come shortly after the granting of Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use of the LensAR platform in the US.
According to LensAR, the procedures went perfectly with no complications, and were completed in less than three minutes. The two patients were quoted as experiencing no undue discomfort or any undesirable effects.
Kerry Assil, the surgeon who carried out the California procedure, said that the operation demonstrated the practical advantages of using femtosecond sources in cataract treatment, including the benefits associated with a rapid recovery time following surgery.
"Whereas with other procedures we would have to wait up to two weeks for healing before attempting surgery on a patient’s other eye, with the LensAR Laser System healing occurs quickly and we can be back in surgery on the second eye much earlier," he said. "This is a tremendous benefit to the patient."
The first clinical LensAR installation is already in use at the Asian Eye Institute in the Philippines. The second is installed at the Instituto de Ojos Sacro Cuore in Lima, Peru.
In March 2012 LensAR closed a funding round worth $24 million, and indicated that the money would support the first commercial shipments of its femtosecond platform for cataract surgery in the United States, Europe and select markets worldwide.
The use of high-speed femtosecond sources during cataract removal has been the subject of intense development from several vendors. Long established for use in refractive eye surgery, such lasers can be employed in cataract procedures to make initial incisions in the lens capsule as well as help to fragment the old cataract-afflicted lens.
Cutting that initial window in the membrane of the lens, prior to the subsequent lens removal, represents the most hazardous part of the procedure. A femtosecond laser can perform that cut with improved accuracy and perfect reproducibility. As well as improving patient safety, this should help to ensure a successful outcome when used with more advanced multi-focal IOLs.
In addition to LensAR, other developers targeting the use of femtosecond sources in cataract surgery are also continuing commercial deployment of the technique.
OptiMedica announced in September 2012 that its Catalys platform had received FDA 510(k) market clearance for the creation of single-plane and multi-plane arc cuts and incisions in the cornea during cataract surgery, having already been approved for capsulotomy and lens fragmentation. Catalys has been CE-mark approved in Europe since March 2012.
The Victus system developed by Technolas PV and Bausch + Lomb received its FDA approval in August 2012. Victus is claimed to be the first femtosecond laser capable of supporting cataract and corneal procedures on a single platform.
Alcon-owned LenSx already has femtosecond systems for cataract treatment installed in the US, the UK, Europe and Australia.