New Vision In Surgery

CATARACTS were making life hazy until a new type of eye surgery came to the rescue.

Herald Sun

Edition 2WED 06 SEP 1995, Page 016

Within a week of the operation, a patient could return to activities the cataracts, a clouding of the lens inside the eye, had made difficult, such as reading three books a week, driving at night and reading numbers in the phone book.

Unlike traditional surgery, the operation results in no stitches and sight returns to normal within a few days instead of months, according to eye surgeon Dr Mark Medownick.
Dr Medownick, director of the Epworth Eye Centre and Laser Vision Clinic, said a handful of eye surgeons in Melbourne had used the technique.
In traditional surgery, a lens is implanted and up to 10 stitches inserted.
Dr Medownick said it took two to three months to heal as stitches which were gradually removed changed the eye’s shape.
But in small-incision cataract surgery, a diamond knife created a tiny porthole of 3mm in the outer cornea and a tiny tube was placed in.
An ultrasound machine which vibrated at 33,000 times a second and was like a vacuum cleaner “mushed” up the lens and sucked it out.
As a plastic lens could not be inserted without stretching the incision and creating a need for stitches, new implantable lenses made of folding silicone, acrylic and contact lens material were invented.
They were implanted in the hole and as they were so small, the incision was self-healing and there was no need for stitches.

Section:  NEWS