Reduced phaco times realized with use of handpiece

April 5, 2008

Use a handpiece that combines sonic, nonlinear oscillation with linear ultrasound (NeoSoniX, Alcon Laboratories) results in a shorter phacoemulsification time compared with cases in which a conventional handpiece was used. This may result in less phaco energy in the eye and perhaps less loss of endothelial cells, said Jin Choi, MD, of the Catholic University of Korea, Seoul.

Use of a handpiece that combines sonic, nonlinear oscillation with linear ultrasound (NeoSoniX,Alcon Laboratories) results in a shorter phacoemulsification time compared with cases in whicha conventional handpiece was used. This may result in less phaco energy in the eye and perhapsless loss of endothelial cells, said Jin Choi, MD, of the Catholic University of Korea,Seoul.

"Many surgeons have attempted to reduce the amount of ultrasound energy in the eye duringphaco," Dr. Choi said. "The handpiece features traditional longitudinal, ultrasonic vibrationamplitudes with a component of ± 2 degrees and 100 non-linear oscillations per minutegenerated by an electric motor."

This study included 67 eyes of 61 patients with dense nuclear cataracts. Patients were dividedinto two groups: one group was treated with phaco and the new handpiece; the other group wastreated with phaco and a conventional ultrasound handpiece. All cases were performed with aproprietary phaco system (Infiniti, Alcon). Lens densities were measured preoperatively using acamera (Scheimpflug, Nidek). Dr. Choi and colleagues evaluated the phaco energy, the mean time,and the effective phaco time between the two groups.

"There was no significant difference in age or cataract density between the two groups," Dr.Choi said. "The mean phaco time in the [new handpiece] group was significantly shorter (p =0.018) compared with the conventional handpiece group (28 versus 49 seconds, respectively). Theeffective phacoemulsification time in the [new handpiece] group was about half of that in theconventional handpiece group (p < 0.05)."

There was no difference between the groups in the lens densities measured preoperatively.

"Use of the [new] handpiece results in significantly lower average phaco time and lowereffective phaco time compared with a conventional handpiece in emulsification of densecataract," Dr. Choi concluded.