2006 saw the fine-tuning of existing technologies

New options for patients, such as multifocal IOLs; refinements in surgery, such as Descemet's stripping automated endothelial keratopathy (DSAEK); and encouraging results from technology in the pipeline, such as intracorneal inlays, which would provide another new avenue for patients with presbyopia; as well as high marks received by the femtosecond laser (IntraLase FS, IntraLase Corp.) for cutting flaps-these are but a few of the refractive surgery high points of 2006 cited by ophthalmic surgeons.

Generally speaking, ophthalmologists are perceiving the past year as one of continuation and refinements of trends, new procedures, and devices that previously were available, said Jonathan H. Talamo, MD, an associate clinical professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, Boston, and the founder of Talamo Laser Eye Consultants.

Laser procedures

Although Dr. Talamo said he does not use either excimer laser system, he described surgeons' reactions to both as positive. The former laser is one of the better, faster excimer lasers to arrive on the scene this year, facilitating treatment times that are a fraction of the time required by other available lasers, he said. It has "improved the excimer arsenal available to surgeons," Dr. Talamo said. "Most of the surgeons who use this system use wavefront-optimized rather than wavefront-guided ablations. This system allows surgeons to use either approach."