Liquefaction device's multi-directional capabilities appear safe, effective

September 18, 2004

Richard Tipperman, MD, presented how the multidirectional features of the AquaLase technology on the Infiniti phacoemulsification system (Alcon Laboratories) allow for an improved approach to cataract surgery.

Paris—Richard Tipperman, MD, presented how the multidirectional features of the AquaLase technology on the Infiniti phacoemulsification system (Alcon Laboratories) allow for an improved approach to cataract surgery.

Dr. Tipperman outlined the differences between standard phacoemulsification and performing phaco with the AquaLase liquefaction device. With traditional phaco, a physician can achieve nucleus removal on the forward pass. However, on the reverse pass, most physicians will move into position 2 and no longer have ultrasound. They then have to return to position 3 or the forward-pass position to regain ultrasound power. This back-and-forth movement is not the actual amount of time for lens removal.

With AquaLase, the physician remains in position 3 and can achieve lens removal both forward and backwards, with the total time seen as the actual total time to remove the lens.

Dr. Tipperman recorded the amount of time into a computer and calculated the amount of time the AquaLase sculptures lenses forwards, sculptures backwards, and the total time to make an initial groove.Among 14 of his early cases, Dr. Tipperman reported the mean time for lens removal was reduced. His findings showed that total sculpting time with the AquaLase was 38.4 seconds; total time in the forward pass was 21.2 seconds; and 17.2 seconds in the reverse pass.

"The lens is being removed during the backward pass as well, because with AquaLase you can stay in position 3 and move the tip back and forth," he added. "This feature of AquaLase over time will make it become a more efficient lens-removal modality."

Dr. Tipperman said that AquaLase is in its infancy as a clinical tool. It will undergo evolution through machine technology, but as more surgeons use it, physicians will see improvement in their surgical technique.

"Hopefully, this multi-directional feature of AquaLase will allow it to be a better surgical modality for our patients," he said.