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    Cataract & Refractive 2007

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    We are hearing so many people these days saying that cataract and refractive surgery are merging into one discipline. Perhaps this is the reason why it has been difficult to separate the two into individual feature sections in their own right.

    Indeed, there will always be a crossover, particularly in the field of intraocular lens (IOL) research and development. In fact, it is IOL innovations that form the basis of a large proportion of this article, which has tapped into the minds of some great European surgeons, to see what they felt were the events that shaped their practice and industry in 2007.

    Read their opinions on some of the latest advances in surgical techniques, technologies and devices and also hear their predictions on what they think will be hitting the headlines in 2008 and in years to come.

    Click on any of the links below to skip forward to a particular section or keep reading below

    The rise of the multifocals
    Accomodating lenses could render all others obsolete
    Aspheric lenses failed to win the hearts of surgeons
    Microincision cataract surgery: has bimanual had its day?
    Accommodating IOLs could spur a bimanual MICS revival
    All quiet on the phaco front
    Imaging & diagnostics going from strength to strength
    Are surgeons following the recommendations of the endophthalmitis study?
    Is LASIK losing its popularity?
    New technology gets the thumbs up
    The rebirth of surface ablations
    Femtosecond vs microkeratome: the battle continues
    Femtosecond laser a feasible treatment option for presbyopia
    …and still the patients want more
    The pressure is on for the lenses tomorrow

    Click here to download the full article as a PDF

    IOL innovations: are we there yet?
    Without a doubt, one of the hottest topics in cataract surgery has been the new premium IOLs, specifically the multifocal, toric and accommodating lenses. New designs have yielded improved visual outcomes, less complications, happier patients and, of course, more contented surgeons. But when we consider how much progress has been made in lens research and development, one question remains: are we completely happy with what we have now?

    Although the new generation of multifocal IOLs have changed the face of cataract surgery dramatically — surgeons can now treat presbyopia and decrease spectacle dependence — they do not present the perfect solution for all patients. For example, glare and halos are likely with some models and the inability of the lenses to correct vision at all distances has forced some surgeons to mix and match different types of lenses in certain patients.

    Some also feel that the accommodating IOLs that are currently available have simply provided a small glimpse of the potential that this exciting lens class can offer.

    Nonetheless, everybody is talking about IOLs. Despite the fact that R&D has yet to yield the perfect solution for all patients, one cannot deny that we've come a long way.

    "Toric IOLs marked one of the most significant developments this year," said Jorge L. Alió, MD, PhD. Although lenses, such as Acri.Tec's bitoric lenses, STAAR's toric ICL and Ophtec's Artisan toric lens have been available for some time, their use has certainly become more widespread in the past 12 months. Pavel Kuchynka, MD, was in agreement; specifically he felt that Alcon's AcrySof toric IOL signified one of the biggest market developments in cataract and refractive surgery in 2007.

    These astigmatism-correcting IOLs have been praised for their ability to provide cataract patients with good refractive correction for the astigmatic cornea in a single procedure.

    Furthermore, H. Burkhard Dick, MD, has been impressed by the toric foldable iris fixated phakic IOL, i.e. the Artiflex/Veriflex (Ophtec/AMO), particularly because this lens is implantable through a small incision, thus inducing less astigmatism. "Not only can we treat ametropia with this lens, but we can also treat astigmatism and we can do this in one step without the need for an additional procedure, such as a limbal relaxing incision. This is great," enthused Professor Dick.

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    Jorge L. Alio, MD, PhD

    Jorge L. Alió, MD, PhD is Professor & Chairman of Ophthalmology and the Medical Director of VISSUM, Instituto Oftalmologico de ...

    Carlos Verges, MD, PhD
    Carlos Vergés, MD, PhD is Professor and Head of the Department of Ophthalmology at C.I.M.A. Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, ...
    Professor Alessandro Franchini
    Alessandro Franchini, MD works in the Optical Physiopathological Department at the University of Florence, Eye Institute - Azienda ...
    Pavel Kuchynka, MD

    Pavel Kuchynka, MD is Professor of Ophthalmology at the Vinohardy Teaching Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic. He may be reached by ...

    Professor H. Burkhard Dick, MD, PhD

    Professor H. Burkhard Dick, MD is Chairman of the University Eye Hospital Bochum, Bochum, Germany. He may be reached by E-mail: ...

    Christoph Faschinger, MD

    Christoph Faschinger, MD is a Clinical Professor at the Medical University of Graz, Clinic of Ophthalmology, Graz, Austria. He may be ...

    Fedra Pavlou
    Fedra Pavlou is the Editor-in-Chief of Ophthalmology Times Europe. She may be reached by Tel: +44 (0)1244 393 420 or E-mail:

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