A new laser system that makes it possible to perform cataract surgery with a bladeless incision that is precise to the micron is available to patients in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System and for teaching residents cataract surgery.
According to Dr. Joel Sugar, interim head of the ophthalmology department and a cornea surgeon for over 35 years, the acquisition of the LenSx Femtosecond laser is an opportunity to teach residents with tomorrow’s tools.
“Advances in robotic surgery and the use of lasers in surgery to make bladeless, precise incisions will make many of our surgical techniques obsolete in a few generations,” said Dr. Sugar. “As the first academic medical center in the Midwest area to offer laser assisted cataract surgery, we have a unique opportunity to introduce our residents to the wave of the future.”
The LenSx Femtosecond laser technology refers to the extremely short burst of energy needed to make the bladeless incision. In refractive surgery femtosecond lasers have been used to create a flap in the cornea. These lasers have recently been FDA approved for cataract surgery where they are used to make incisions and help prepare the cataract for efficient removal.
Dr. Jose de la Cruz, assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology and director of the Millennium Park Eye Center, UI ophthalmology’s downtown satellite clinic, is enthusiastic about the LenSx system. “The system measures the diameter and depth of the cataract prior to cataract fragmentation with a level of precision that is truly remarkable,” said de la Cruz. The precision of the laser aids in the centering of the intraocular lens, said de la Cruz. “This helps optimize outcomes for the new multi-focal lenses which are very sensitive to positioning.”
The LenSx machine has been in use at UI Hospital since February. “Most of our cataract surgeons have already trained on the machine and are offering it to their patients. As an academic medical center, we will contribute to clinical studies on the benefits of this new technology,” said de la Cruz.
The LenSx option is offered by the department’s cornea surgeons, Drs. Cortina, de la Cruz, Djalilian, Jain, Sugar, Tu and Traish, and also by glaucoma surgeon Dr. Ahmad Aref.
To learn more about the LenSx Program at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, visit our LenSx Program webpage or call 312-996-6591.