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    Phaco sleeve boosts flow, followability

    Novel design features provide protection for posterior capsule and corneal incision

    A new silicone phacoemulsification sleeve (Ridged Sleeve, ASICO) designed with a variety of novel features is enabling safe and efficient microcoaxial cataract surgery, said Takayuki Akahoshi, MD.

    “The ideal phaco sleeve should provide sufficient irrigation, stable fluidics in the anterior chamber, good followability of nuclear fragments, and protect the incision from thermal damage,” said Dr. Akahoshi, director of ophthalmology, Mitsui Memorial Hospital, Tokyo.

    “Experience with this new phaco sleeve shows it is fulfilling those criteria,” he added.

    Sleeve construction

    The sleeve is constructed of a thin, stiff silicone material so that it remains rigid and does not twist and collapse in the incision.

    In addition, its outer surface is tumble-polished to facilitate smooth movement and prevent mechanical damage to the incision.

    To improve followability, the end port of the sleeve is tapered to seal forward flow that would otherwise push nuclear fragments away from the phaco tip. It has three irrigation holes--two placed laterally and the third located on the inferior aspect of the sleeve.

    “I measured the amount of irrigation and found that compared with two conventional phaco sleeves, the new sleeve provided more irrigation,” Dr. Akahoshi said.

    “Flow from the third hole on the inferior aspect of the sleeve is directed toward the posterior capsule and provides added safety by pushing the capsule away from the phaco tip,” he said.

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