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The Catalyst

New cataract machine offers precision

By Sarah Pack
Public Relations

A new precision laser system to treat cataracts enhances precision and makes recovery time faster, according to George O. Waring IV, M.D., who was the first doctor in the state to use it.

Karnesia Hicks, certified surgical technician, right, assists Dr. George Waring IV during Anne Love’s cataract removal surgery. Photo by Sarah Pack, Public Relations
Karnesia Hicks, certified surgical technician, right, assists Dr. George Waring IV during Anne Love’s cataract removal surgery. Photo by Sarah Pack, Public Relations

Waring, medical director of Magill Vision Center and director of Refractive Surgery at MUSC’s Storm Eye Institute, performed the first cataract surgery with the Catalys Precision Laser System from OptiMedica Aug. 20.

The patient, Anne Love of Orangeburg, had a cataract removed from her left eye. Compared to her other cataract removal surgery, which used an older system, this one was better.

“I didn't realize what I was missing out on, but Magill Vision Center and Dr. Waring and his staff really saved my life. I am so happy,” Love said.

The Catalys was developed from the ground up specifically for cataract surgery. Because of this, the system uniquely caters to the needs of cataract patients.

A cataract is a common condition in which the normally clear lens of the eye becomes progressively cloudy. When light passes through a clear lens, the light can focus to a point, creating a clear view. When light passes through a cataract, the light gets distorted, creating a blurred view.

Dr. Waring removes the cataract that was softened by the Catalys Precision Laser System prior to putting the new lens in Anne Love’s eye at Magill Vision Center. Photo by Sarah Pack, Public Relations
Dr. Waring removes the cataract that was softened by the Catalys Precision Laser System prior to putting the new lens in Anne Love’s eye at Magill Vision Center. Photo by Sarah Pack, Public Relations

There were approximately 2 million cataract surgeries in the U.S. last year.

Traditionally, cataract surgery is performed using handheld tools by the surgeon. With the Catalys Precision Laser System, doctors use a circular opening for accessing and removing the cataract. Clinical studies have shown that this opening is much more accurate when performed with the Catalys laser system than what is achievable by hand.

The laser then is used to break up and soften the hard cataract. Softening the lens with the Catalys laser enables the surgeon to then remove the cataract more gently and with significantly less ultrasound energy than is used in traditional manual cataract surgery. This gentle, low-energy approach reduces inflammation and helps speed recovery.

“You can expect little or no discomfort during your treatment,” Waring said.

During the laser portion of the procedure, Love described seeing a kaleidoscope of light and only experiencing slight pressure.

“I was amazed at how fast the procedure was,” she said. She had LASIK-like results with one line better than perfect vision or 20/15, termed “super vision,” within 24 hours of her procedure, Waring said.

To see more photos, visit http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/pr/newscenter/2013/cataract.html.

September 13, 2013
 
 
 

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