New Technology Could Help Make Vitrectomy Surgery Even Easier

NOVEMBER 23, 2016
Adam Hochron

Medical technology is constantly evolving across fields, and ophthalmology is no exception. A new hypersonic vitrectomy device is currently in development and could be on the market in 2017.

Paulo E. Stanga, MD, from the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital discussed this new technology during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Chicago. While the current surgical procedure uses a guillotine form, Stanga said he is working on a new procedure which, "induces liquefaction of the collagen fibers in the vitreous," before aspiration: 

What was the goal of your first presentation?
The goal of the presentation on hypersonic vitrectomy was to introduce a new technology, a new prototype of vitrector that moves away from the technology we are currently using which is based on a guillotine which aspirates and cuts the vitreous prior to removing it from inside the eye.
The technology I presented is based on the forwards and backwards movement of the teeth at 1.5 million times per minute and this induces liquefaction of the collagen fibers in the vitreous prior to them being aspirated.
How could this technology be used?
This technology will hopefully assist us vitreatic surgeons during vitrectomy surgery. This is a very common type of surgery. We do vitrectomies on a daily basis for the treatment for example of retinal detachments, macular holes, or complications from diabetes mellitus.
When will this be available on the market?
We hope that hypersonic vitrectomy technology which I’m developing with Bausch and Lomb is going to be commercially available sometime next year. We’ve done animal studies so far, cadaveric and live animal studies, and we are now waiting approvals for the first human trials and then we’ll move on to larger multicenter trials.
What will that mean for patient care?
We hope that it will be widely adopted at some point. But, like all technologies I’m sure we are going to have the early adopters, and the late adopters, and those early adopters will start looking at the technology, seeing how the technology helps them, and perhaps developing new surgical techniques.

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