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    New drape speeds ophthalmic surgery

     

    There are two conventional drapes in common use, Dr. Akahoshi explained, and both pose significant barriers to efficient, painless surgery.

    One drape has a single window cut into the blue cover material but has no adhesive materials. The surgeon must cut adhesive sheets such as Tegaderm to fix the upper and lower lid.

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    The other drape has an adhesive sheet affixed to the blue cover material. Once the adhesive layer is placed over the eye, the surgeon must cut the sheet along the lid in order to place the speculum. The scissors or other cutting instrument could damage the cornea.

    The new drape has an adhesive patch fixed to the blue cover material with a pre-cut slit. The drape and adhesive is folded in a manner that allows it to be opened quickly and easily over the patient’s face with both the upper and lower lids and lashes completely covered. Dr. Takahoshi has applied for a patent on the new drape design.

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    “It only takes ten seconds to drape the patient, something the scrub nurse can do as part of the general preparation,” Dr. Akahoshi explained. “And we minimized the stickiness of the adhesive to ensure that the patient does not feel any pain or pulling of the eyelashes when we remove the drape at the end of the surgery.”

    Speed and ease of draping and undraping are only two advantages of the new system, he continued. The drape is manufactured with a second window that covers the non-operative eye. The second window remains closed for most patients. But it can quickly be opened for patients who feel anxious or claustrophobic when fully draped.

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