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    Making phaco platform transition increases surgical safety, efficiency

    Cataract surgeon finds advantages with shift to Venturi-based system

    When his surgery center was in the market for a new phacoemulsification platform, medical director Jonathan Solomon, MD, decided to switch from a unit equipped with a flow-based peristaltic pump to technology that features a vacuum-based Venturi system (Stellaris PC, Bausch + Lomb).

    Although he was trained on and had always used phacoemulsification machines with a peristaltic pump, Dr. Solomon said he was interested in changing in order to gain increased efficiency. 

    His experience shows that his goal has been met. Cases are now being completed faster with less ultrasound energy, and patients are benefiting postoperatively with quieter eyes and rapid visual recovery.

    “There is some apprehension among cataract surgeons about using a Venturi system,” said Dr. Solomon, medical director, Dimensions Surgery Center, Bowie, MD, and surgical/refractive director of Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons, which has offices in Maryland and Virginia.

    The fact that things move faster in the eye generates concern about safety, and the different dynamics may be especially intimidating for more novice surgeons, he noted.

    “My message to my colleagues is do not be reluctant to make the transition,” he said. “Rather, relax and be confident while you embrace the enhanced settings that become available and the advanced power you can expect to engage when you use a Venturi system.”

     

    Why make the switch?

    Dr. Solomon said he found himself intrigued by the performance of the Venturi-based system that he witnessed while watching other surgeons performing bimanual microincision cataract surgery.

    “They were able to maintain a stable anterior chamber with adequate infusion and appropriate fluidics,” Dr. Solomon said. “That to me was an obvious indication of the efficiency of the system.”

    Dr. Solomon likens the switch from operating with a peristaltic system to a Venturi platform to moving from driving a practical family sedan to a German-engineered sports car.

    “There is a huge difference in responsiveness,” he said. “With the Venturi pump, things evolve much more efficiently in the eye and that creates a sense of confidence for me as a surgeon.”

    Seeing the differences

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