Cyprus Mail

New treatment to tackle cataracts, ophthalmology head says

In Cyprus, around 5,000 eye cataract surgeries are performed annually, while with modern technology today cataracts can be removed at any stage, and once removed, the condition does not reoccur, the head of the Ophthalmological Society Dr Theodoros Potamitis said.

Potamitis addressed an event organised by Alcon and Potamitis Medicare to introduce the latest developments in the treatment of eye problems such as cataract, high myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia, using modern technology.

The presentation was made by the General Manager of Alcon Laboratories Hellas S.A. and Regional Director of Alcon in other five countries, Dimitris Brillis.

Among the company’s latest technological innovations is the refractive surgery ‘Wavelight Refractive Suite’, which provides a wide range of treatment options based on accuracy and reliability. “It can do the procedure without the use of a blade,” Brillis said.

Curing cataracts has come a long way the last 30 years, he said, as it had begun with the removal of the eye lens which it usually lasted between 25 and 30 minutes and the patients had to be hospitalised for ten to 12 days. The newer operating method included surgical incisions with stiches, which lasted 30 to 45 minutes and hospitalisation period was between one to three days.

In the latest method, Brillis said, two small incisions are made, no stitches, while the operation lasts 15 minutes and the patient goes straight home. The smaller the incisions, he said, the faster the healing time while it also reduces danger of infections.

The most challenging part of the procedure, Brillis said, is capsulotomy but also breaking the lens into small pieces, to be removed.

Alcon’s LensX Laser, he said, is used in more cataract surgeries worldwide than any other femtosecond laser, as it can be offer precision, and the surgeon can adjust the size of an incision, thus predicting the final place of the IOL for maximum results.

After the cataract is removed, the surgeon usually replaces it with a new, man-made lens called an intraocular lens (IOL).

In the past, Brillis said, if someone with cataract needed an artificial lens, they were confined to one that was only fixing their distance vision, and using glasses for other conditions, but today,  Alcon’s AcrySof PanOptix trifocal IOL, addresses patients’ near, intermediate, and distance vision needs with a single lens.

More than 75,000,000 of them have been used worldwide.  “Surgeons can within 15minutes give back people their sights. To me, that, is an everyday miracle,” Brillis said.

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