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    New drape speeds ophthalmic surgery

     

    “I have seen many patients who were afraid to cover their entire face during surgery, so I had to use scissors to open a second window so they could see during surgery,” Dr. Akahoshi said. “That simple modification made almost everyone more comfortable during surgery, so I added a second window that can be opened very easily if needed.”

    The second window is also useful in fixing the operative eye. It can be difficult to fix the eye for some patients because the operative illumination is so bright, Dr. Akahoshi said. Because there is no illumination in the second window, it is easier to direct the patient to direct the gaze to the proper position.

    More: Sublingual sedation may help anxious cataract patients

    The second window also helps when operating on children or other patients who might have problems affixing their gaze. Opening the second window allows the surgeon to position a blinking light or some other visual beacon for the patient to focus on, which helps stabilize the operative eye without having to adjust the drape during surgery.The new drape is also more effective in maintaining a clean surgical field. Eyelashes often escape traditional drapes, Dr. Akahoshi explained, which can obscure the surgical field.

    In cases where the drape does not completely cover the eyelid margin, the oily layer of meibomian secretion on the cornea hinders visibility inside the eye. The surgical assistant can attempt to wash away the oily layer and floaters, but washing often causes the patient to blink, which interferes with the procedure.

    Covering eyelashes

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