Advanced excimer laser platform offers many improvements

July 15, 2005

Alcon Laboratories is currently awaiting FDA approval for marketing of its LADAR 6000, a completely new laser built with customized ablation procedures in mind.

Alcon Laboratories is currently awaiting FDA approval for marketing of its LADAR 6000, a completely new laser built with customized ablation procedures in mind.

"Surgeons who may have used the LADARVision 4000 will find that the LADAR 6000 has an improved microscope, software, and working space that together make the procedure much easier and faster," explained Francesco Carones, MD, medical director, Carones Ophthalmology Center, Milan, Italy.

In April the company introduced the LADAR 6000 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Washington, DC. The platform received the CE Mark in Europe earlier this year, and Dr. Carones had the opportunity to begin testing it in January.

The LADAR 6000 is an innovative new platform incorporating many new software and hardware features that translate into increased speed, automation, and control, according to Holly C. Cross, senior product manager, LADARVision System, Alcon Laboratories Inc., Fort Worth, TX.

"The LADAR 6000 resembles the LADARVision 4000 in shape, but the similarity ends there because the LADAR 6000 is 90% new in terms of parts and components," she noted.

One of the key features of the LADAR 6000 is its enhanced illumination system that affords greater intraoperative visibility and also enhances registration and the precise alignment of wavefront maps.

"One of the very first things that impressed me about this new system was its improved microscope capability with respect to both the better illumination and crispness of the images," Dr. Carones said. "There is a cold, bright illumination that may be used during flap creation and repositioning that affords an amazing ability to see details of the LASIK flap, the quality of the lamellar bed, and the status of the interface."

The LADAR 6000 also has an advanced infrared illumination system that is used for the wavefront alignment and registration process and provides optimum contrast for accurate registration.

With new software, the registration process is also now entirely automated. Prompts take surgeons through all of the steps of registration, so that they can be sure the process is completed error-free and with maximum efficiency.

"When working with the LADAR-Vision 4000, once the five measurements were taken, the surgeon or technician had to align the limbal reticle and the horizontal reference line manually to the limbus and the two ink marks, respectively," Dr. Carones said. "That process was time-consuming and not very exact.

"The new auto-registration software does everything for you much faster and with greater precision so that registration can now be completed four to five times faster than before," Dr. Carones said.

The processing and ablation speeds of the LADAR 6000 are also much faster so that even the largest ablation is completed in less than 1 minute. Other efficiencies have been built into the laser as well.

Relative to the LADARVision 4000 and other commercially available lasers, the LADAR 6000 uses much less gas-gas bottle changes are required only weekly instead of daily, according to the company.

In addition, maintenance and servicing of the LADAR 6000 are easy, the company said.