Laser Technology Expands Treatment Options For Cataract Surgery

New Approach May Bring Another Level of Precision and Safety

PHILADELPHIA, April 4, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the millions of people needing cataract surgery each year, there is now a new option in the way doctors can perform the procedure. In this new technique, surgeons use an FDA approved device called the "Femtosecond Laser" to aid in performing a number of the steps in cataract surgery. This innovative approach combines a surgeon-programmed, computer-guided laser technology with high resolution imaging to help with cataract removal, and correct vision for astigmatism. The high energy laser pulses have a duration of one millionth of one billionth of a second. After the cataract is removed, the surgeon still positions a replacement lens in the eye with traditional techniques.

"Currently available to cataract surgery patients having astigmatism correction, this new technology may bring another level of precision and safety to cataract surgery. We are exploring the many other ways this laser can benefit a wide range of surgical patients," said Mark H. Blecher, MD, Co-Director of Cataract and Primary Eye Care at Wills Eye. "We are very excited at Wills about the potential for this advancement in cataract surgery options. Wills' surgeons have historically taken a leadership role in steering the progress for ophthalmic technology. We're committed to evaluating which methods fit best for each of our patients" said Wills Eye Ophthalmologist-in-Chief, Julia A. Haller, MD.

Cataract surgery, the most commonly performed and successful surgery in the human body, improves vision by replacing the eye's natural, aging and cloudy lens with a clearer, artificial one. Twenty-two million Americans age 40 and over develop cataracts most often due to age. The number of people with the condition is expected to rise by 50% within the decade. Patients should discuss with their doctor whether they're a candidate for the Femtosecond Laser method. The laser technology has been used in LASIK surgery, but is now being applied to cataract surgery. The method is not presently covered by insurance.

About Wills Eye Institute:

Wills Eye Institute is a global leader in ophthalmology, established in 1832 as the nation's first hospital specializing in eye care. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Wills Eye as one of America's top ophthalmology centers since the survey began in 1990. In the Castle Connolly publication, "America's Top Doctors," Wills Eye has the highest number of ophthamologists nationwide. Wills Eye is a premier training site for all levels of medical education. Its resident and post-graduate training programs are among the most competitive in the country. One of the core strengths of Wills is the close connection between innovative research and advanced patient care. Wills provides the full range of primary and subspecialty eye care for improving and preserving sight, including cataract, cornea, retina, emergency care, glaucoma, neuro-ophthalmology, ocular oncology, oculoplastics, pathology, pediatric ophthalmology and ocular genetics, and refractive surgery. Ocular Services include the Wills Laser Correction Center, Low Vision Service, and Diagnostic Center. Its 24/7 Emergency Service is the only one of its kind in the region. Wills Eye also has a network of nine multi-specialty, ambulatory surgery centers throughout the tri-state area. Wills Eye, America's first. World's Best. To learn more, please visit">


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