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Laser-Cataract Surgery: Most Significant Advance in 30 Years

Press Release
Monday 27 August

Laser-Cataract Surgery: Most significant advance in cataract surgery technology in 30 years, offered to all New Zealand ophthalmologists

New blade-free laser cataract technology that enables more accurate and less intrusive cataract surgery is now available for all New Zealand ophthalmologists to train on, and then use for their own patients at Eye Institute in Auckland.

Three months after the New Zealand launch of the revolutionary new Laser-Cataract eye surgery procedure, over 160 surgeries have been successfully performed at Eye Institute. Dr Trevor Gray, MBChB (UCT), FRANZCO who was the first to use the new technology says, “The LenSx Laser offers cataract-suffering New Zealanders the first and only opportunity to experience the latest computer guided femtosecond laser, which is the most significant technology advance in New Zealand cataract surgery in the last 30 years.”

The LenSx Laser improves the most crucial steps of cataract and lens replacement surgery - the primary and secondary corneal wounds, precisely sized and circular capsulorhexis, the initial cataract division, and precise astigmatism-reducing arcuate keratotomies.

“I would never hesitate to recommend this procedure to anyone, it was so painless,” says Zena Wrigley, the first Laser-Cataract patient to undergo surgery with the new LenSx Laser at Eye Institute. “It was amazing, an amazing process.”

Using an Open Access model, Eye Institute surgeons have made LenSx Laser-Cataract Surgery available to all New Zealand ophthalmologists, meaning all eye surgeons will have the opportunity to offer their own patients the very latest technology for cataract surgery.

“Cataracts generally develop as part of the natural ageing process and cataract surgery is the most common and safest prosthetic operation in the Western world,” says Dr Gray. “Although the manual method of cataract extraction by human hand is still highly effective, the LenSx Laser is able to produce a more accurate, gentler and less invasive procedure that builds on the benefits of the old manual operation, but offers surgeons a level of precision that is impossible to match with the human hand.”

FDA approved and commercially available in the United States and Europe since 2010, LenSx Laser-Cataract Surgery has been performed by surgeons in Australia since mid 2011, and now more than 30,000 LenSx Laser-Cataract procedures have been performed globally.

For more information please visit www.lasercataractsurgery.co.nz or Eye Institute’s website www.eyeinstitute.co.nz or contact:


Notes to editors:
• To use the LenSx Femtosecond Laser under Eye Institute’s Open Access model, Eye Surgeons simply need to undergo the three phases of the Alcon LenSx training and accreditation programme:
o Phase I – Introductory online training
o Phase II - Hands-on LenSx system training
o Phase III - Live supervision surgery.
• The overall benefits of LenSx Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery include:
o Precise and reproducible corneal incisions
o Precisely sized and circular capsulotomy, assisting predictable IOL positioning
o Reduced phacoemulsifaction time/energy and reducing endothelial cell loss
o Precise astigmatism-reducing arcuate keratotomies.
• Eye Institute charges less per laser procedure than comparable clinics in Australia and USA where the average Laser-Cataract Surgery is equivalent to NZ $1,250-2,000 on top of the cataract surgery fee. Eye Institute charges $988 additional per Laser-Cataract surgery.

• The femtosecond laser used in the Laser-Cataract procedure is so precise that it can deliver laser pulses over an extremely short period of time:
o A femtosecond is equivalent to 1 billionth of 1 millionth of a second
o Light travels across a human hair in 100 femtoseconds.


ENDS

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