Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Measure Once, Cut Once

I love technology, and as an ophthalmologist, I get to play with some fancy machines.  Our latest gadget is the Lenstar machine.  Whenever patients have cataract surgery, the surgeon has to select the power of a lens to put into the eye.  This can be very tricky because the eye is only about one inch long (about 24 mm) and we have to measure very precisely or else the power of the implant will be totally wrong.  The Lenstar revolutionizes our ability to measure so many things.  In a few minutes, we are able to have accurate information about the length of the eye, the width of the cornea, the amount of astigmatism and curvature of the cornea, and several other parameters.  These measurements can be to the hundredths of a millimeter in accuracy!  Combined with advanced computer programs and modern surgical techniques, I am amazed at our cataract results.  Over 95% of our patients are right on the mark and the rest are very, very close.  This makes cataract surgery rival LASIK surgery in how close we can predict our post-operative outcomes.  So every day that my patients see 20/20 without glasses, I am thrilled at how far we have come.  It’s truly a modern medical miracle.