In spite of the progress made in many countries during the last ten years, cataracts remain the leading cause of visual impairment in the world. According to statistics compiled by the United States Center for Disease Control, there are currently more than 20 million Americans over the age of 40 who are affected by cataracts. Moreover, it is estimated that more than half of all Americans will either have a cataract or have undergone cataract surgery by the time they reach their eighties. While there is currently no simple and universally effective way to keep cataracts from forming, this clouding of the eye’s lens can be treated with intraocular lens implant surgery.
Although this surgical procedure can be relatively quick and painless for the patient, it does involve several highly specialized steps that need to be performed before the surgery itself. At each of these stages, from the initial biometric imaging thru planning and into the final surgery, there is a possibility that tiny errors could be introduced. These errors, taken individually, might be too small to make any perceivable difference. However, when compounded they can have a significant negative impact on the final outcome of the procedure. This is why Dr. William Segal at Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons uses the Verion™ image guided system. This new cataract laser technology helps minimize potential sources of error during each step of the surgical process.
The Verion™ image guided system consists of the Verion™ reference unit and the Verion™ digital marker, which work in concert to improve accuracy and reduce the potential for error throughout the entire cataract procedure. The reference unit performs key diagnostic measurements and captures a high resolution image of the eye in a single step, identifying key features of the eye’s unique structural anatomy. This virtual “fingerprint” of the eye is used to register and track the eye as a visual reference of all surgical incisions and positioning of the intraocular lens (IOL). This measurement data is then automatically imported into the computerized planning software, allowing Dr. Segal to develop a customized surgical plan without fear that transcription errors have occurred during the process of transferring from one system to another. During this planning process, Dr. Segal can determine the optimum incision locations needed to provide comprehensive astigmatism management while simultaneously selecting the most efficient IOL and toric lens strength to fit the patient’s individual specifications for their eyes.
The reference image and surgical plan are then electronically transferred from the reference unit to the Verion™ digital marker for use during the procedure. The digital marker superimposes the compiled data as a microscope integrated display (or MID) over the image of the patient’s eye as seen through the microscope of the LenSx® cataract laser. The digital display follows the patient’s eye movement in real time, providing pinpoint precision without having to manually mark the eye with ink. This allows Dr. Segal to correctly rotate the IOL to the exact degree required by the specific surgical plan. Ultimately, these computer generated overlays offer a new measure of consistency and control for every surgical step of the procedure, improving even further the chance of an optimal outcome.
If you have any questions about the various conditions of the eye, or would like to schedule an eye exam, please contact Georgia Eye Physicians and Surgeons today to make an appointment. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips for healthy eyes.