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    Instrumentation, imaging advances make retina surgery safer

    Smaller gauge allows for smaller sphere of influence, makes tissue removal more accurate


    Take home

    For retinal surgery, the latest generation of instrumentation is anticipated to be accompanied by markedly improved fluidics, precision, and faster patient recovery.



    The biggest advance over the past year, according to Pravin Dugel, MD, is that surgeons now have the ability to operate at a faster cutting rate with smaller-gauge instrumentation.

    “The faster cutting rate of about 5,000 cuts per minute reduces the amount of traction on the retina and presumably makes removal of the vitreous safer. Cut rates as high as 7,500 cuts per minute, and even faster, are now possible. The smaller gauge allows for a smaller sphere of influence, making tissue removal more accurate and precise,” Dr. Dugel, Managing Partner, Retinal Consultants of Arizona, Phoenix and Clinical Professor of ophthalmology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, stated.

    In case you missed it: Laser advances take retina specialty to new levels of treatment, care

    Over the past years, retinal instrumentation has evolved gradually from 20 gauge to the current 27 gauge. The latest generation of instrument should be accompanied by markedly improved fluidics, precision, and faster patient recovery, all of which is very exciting, he explained.

    Michael Ip, MD, who is associate professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, also applauds the smaller-gauge instrumentation for vitreoretinal surgery, but pointed out that the smallest gauge instrumentation, i.e., 27 gauge, is not yet widely used.

    “I anticipate that with time we will gain experience with 27-gauge instrument and it may then take on a wider utilization,” he said.

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