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Archive July 2016 XVII, No. 7

What's New in Ophthalmology

9 new products your cataract surgeons would love to get their hands on.

T. Hunter Newsom

T. Hunter Newsom, MD


T. Hunter Newsom, MD FIRE WHEN READY Ophthalmologist T. Hunter Newsom, MD, checks out the Ultra Q Reflex YAG laser from Ellex Medical, which came up with a new way to destroy floaters in the posterior vitreous.

Several new technologies that promise to make eye surgery safer and better were on display at the annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons in New Orleans. If you didn't make it down to the Big Easy in May, here are a few of the highlights you missed.

Corneal cross-linking

Avedro | Corneal cross-linking
The FDA recently approved this game-changing treatment for progressive keratoconus, a disease in which the normally round cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape. Here's how it works: You debride the corneal epithelium before applying a 30-minute soak with a riboflavin formulation. After the soak, you use the company's KXL System to apply ultraviolet light to the eye for 30 minutes. Riboflavin, plus UV light, plus oxygen creates a chemical reaction that helps generate collagen fibers in the cornea. Those fibers create crosslinks that stiffen the corneal tissue to prevent keratoconus from getting worse.

Avedro has started shipping the KXL System to facilities and has begun manufacturing the riboflavin formulations, which will be available in the fall. A starter package costs about $86,000, which includes the KXL System and riboflavin treatments for 20 eyes (10 patients). Ongoing purchases of the riboflavin formulations will cost an average of $500 per eye.

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