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Archive July 2017 XVIII, No. 7

Best New Products in Ophthalmology

Our cataract surgeon's nominations for the hottest products on display in the ASCRS exhibit hall.

T. Hunter Newsom

T. Hunter Newsom, MD


T. Hunter Newsom, MD LA LA LAND T. Hunter Newsom, MD, headed to Hollywood to see which products and technologies generated a buzz on the show floor of the 50th American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting.

LOS ANGELES — This year's American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting commemorated the 50th anniversary of the invention of phacoemulsification. It was somehow fitting that a simple device designed to eliminate phaco ended up stealing the show. Here's a look at that game-changing innovation, the miLoop from IanTech, and several other hot new products that went to Hollywood in search of their big break. OSM

miLoop BACK TO THE FUTURE This pen-like tool was developed with the intention of reinventing cataract surgery.

IanTech | miLoop
Surgeons of all skill levels can use this slick micro interventional device to fragment cataracts into multiple pieces in the capsular bag without use of phaco energy. A super thin, lens-shaped nitinol loop at the end of the device can cut cataracts of any density. Surgeons insert the tool into the eye through a 1.5 mm incision, unfold the loop, encircle the lens and pull back on the device's button to "cinch" the lens in half. Surgeons then rotate the tool to initiate several other cuts, and the resulting lens fragments can be removed with aspiration alone.

MiLoop is a fundamental shift away from classic cataract surgery. Instead of chopping from the inside out like phaco, miLoop cuts from the outside in, so no pressure is applied to the capsular bag. The loop sweeps in from the periphery to polish the capsule and separate the lens from the capsular bag. IanTech has initiated a limited launch of the single-use device, which costs about $150. I've used this tool in practice and believe it has the potential to transform cataract surgery into a more efficient and cost-effective procedure.

Allegro I/A System INSIDE OUT The Allegro is available with 2.4 mm and 2.8 mm tips, so surgeons can match the instrument to the size of the incision they prefer to work through.

MST | Allegro I/A System
Unlike conventional I/A handpieces, the Allegro System is a single-piece device, meaning surgical techs don't have to assemble it before use. That's a nice time-saving perk. The aspiration port is at the far distal end, so surgeons can use the same flat-wristed hand position they use while manipulating phaco handpieces. The port also features a dual 45-degree bend, which lets surgeons use the handpiece as a 90-degree instrument for easier subincisional cortex removals. A silicon sleeve that covers the entire instrument is designed to release quickly if it comes in contact with the posterior capsule. That safety design could prevent inadvertent tears of the capsular bag. I like the ergonomics of the instrument. It's light and feels like it'd be easy to manipulate. The single-use device costs about $17 per case. That's not a bad price — depending on how many you'd need to keep up with your case volume — to eliminate having to sterilize standard I/A handpieces, which can cost upwards of $400.

Coaxial illumination GONE IN 60 SECONDS Coaxial illumination on Ellex's latest laser platform helps surgeons pulverize eye floaters in minutes.

Ellex | Tango-Reflex YAG laser
You can use this multipurpose laser to perform laser vitreolysis — the elimination of floaters from the mid- and post-vitreous. Ellex has added a few upgrades to the Tango-Reflex platform. It now features an LED light source, which provides surgeons with crisper views of the vitreous. More importantly, the laser's innovative coaxial illumination technology makes floaters easier to spot and provides added depth perception, which lets surgeons determine a floater's distance from the retina and the crystalline lens — areas that must be avoided with the laser.

Floaters are one of the most common complaints that send patients to eyecare specialists, and for many years there wasn't much we could do to address the condition. This laser finally enhances our abilities to improve a patient's quality of life, and my practice purchased this platform to meet growing demand. The technology is gaining momentum, so now's the time to become the go-to facility in your area for laser vitreolysis. If you're not an early adaptor, you'll lose the first-in-market advantage and will be forced to play catch-up to competitors who recognize the growth potential of this laser treatment.

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