Software, hardware upgrades make phaco unit safer

San Francisco-The new software and hardware upgrades to the Sovereign phacoemulsification system (Advanced Medical Optics [AMO]) make cataract surgery safer and more efficient, based on the results of three studies of the WhiteStar ICE (Increased Control and Efficiency) technology (AMO) reported at the annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

What is especially noteworthy from the studies is the increased stability of the anterior chamber that is provided by the CASE (chamber stabilization environment) component of the system.

Software, hardware upgrades

"A few years ago, cool phaco was the subject of interest and WhiteStar . . . moved the technology forward to minimize the application of ultrasound energy during cataract surgery," Dr. Auffarth explained. "Now the manufacturer has moved on to the 'ICE age,' which is concerned not with cool phaco but with increased control and efficiency of phaco."

"These new features provide more stability, more safety, and more freedom when using higher settings, especially for flow rate and vacuum," Dr. Auffarth said. "The surgeon can even manipulate the shape of the microburst during surgery. These changes represent fine-tunings of the system that the surgeon does not feel during surgery."

Dr. Auffarth and colleagues conducted a pre-market-release study of the WhiteStar ICE System with the approval of the ethics committee of their institution. Initially, they were limited to including 32 consecutive patients (mean age, 71.3 ± 5.4 years) undergoing cataract surgery. First, the investigators used the Pentacam Scheimpflug camera to measure the cataract densities, flaremeter, and the anterior chamber depth volume.