Happy Holidays from all of us at Surgical Direct!
It’s that time of year where we all begin to think about the year ahead and all that it holds. We’d like to take the opportunity to give you a short list of advancements and trends that we feel will become more prevalent in 2019 in cataract surgery. Our job isn’t to sell products, but to be a resource of information and knowledge. We don’t have any agenda. This is just our opinion of what you’ll see more of in 2019 in cataract surgery. Let’s jump right in!
Here’s our 2019 Cataract Surgery Trends short-list.
1) Premium IOLs
a) MultiFocal & Toric IOLS
Premium lenses are becoming more and more popular with surgeons and patients. We feel that there will be an increase in volume that these IOLs are implanted in 2019. Not only are these lenses being improved upon in quality and accuracy, but new science and technology is being added to them seemingly every year. And with the latest addition to the premium IOL industry with Toric/Multifocal (2in1) lenses, patient satisfaction and better vision outcomes are at all time highs. So, we feel in 2019 you’ll see more premium lenses added to your surgery days.
b) Adjustable IOLS
There is a new technology on the market as of early 2018 called the “adjustable IOL”. This is a lens that is implanted with a diopter size (similar to a normal IOL). The difference is that 2 weeks post-op, the surgeon can adjust the diopter of the IOL to attain 20/20 vision, non-surgically! The IOL uses a proprietary photo reactive silicone material. If the patient is not 20/20 at the post-op vision test, the IOL power can be changed by a 1-2 minute exposure of a low-intensity beam of ultraviolet light (delivered by a specialized machine) to change the shape of the lens according to the patient’s prescription. FDA studies show that twice the number of patients are able to ditch glasses and have 20/20 vision after cataract surgery using this technology. Read more about the lens here.
The lens hasn’t caught on yet in large volumes, primarily due to lack of exposure. Any new technology naturally takes time to gain momentum. But our opinion is that we may see and hear more about this lens in 2019. In fact, many believe that it’s only a matter of time before the Adjustable IOL becomes one of the most disruptive and innovative technologies to hit cataract and refractive surgery in recent years.
2) Disposable Instruments
In many ways, the name of the game in cataract surgery is efficiency. Of course, patients and their health always come first! But it’s always been a drive in the refractive and cataract surgery market to make things more efficient. With more and more regulations being enforced on sterilization standards over the last years, there has been a big push and increase in disposable instruments. Many of the major players (such as Alcon and B+L) have already started with disposable IA handles, phaco sleeves, tubing, cannulas, etc. We feel this trend is going to go deeper in this direction in 2019, possibly even into secondary instruments such as forceps and hooks regularly used per case. Companies like MST and BVI are already mass-marketing these disposable instruments. Will reusable instruments go away in 2019? Not at all likely. But we feel we will begin to see more incorporation of disposable instrumentation.
3) Phaco & Microscope Developments
The biggest news in the phaco market is the recent release of the B&L Stellaris Elite, with its Adaptive Fluidics TM and Attune® Energy. The Stellaris Elite also offers compatibility for both posterior and anterior segment procedures, which causes it to stand alone as a viable option for cataracts and retina. Alcon’s Centurion phaco platform is a still a viable player in the phaco market. There have been inklings of new updates to this machine (or a new Alcon machine on the horizon), but nothing official has been announced beyond speculation. Abbott (what used to be AMO – creator of the WhiteStar Phaco system) was acquired last year by Johnson & Johnson. With new financial backing, maybe there will be an announcement of development there? Per usual, during the annual AAO conference is typically when announcements will be made on new technology that is being developed or released. We’ll be sure to publish another article after the AAO conference on what is in the pipeline.
And of course, every year now we get further and further into the era of baby boomers coming into cataract surgery range. This means that in the next years, we are going to see a huge influx of cataract needs in the US. We believe it’s so important to have a trusted partner in cataract surgery. That is our goal at Surgical Direct.
Surgical Direct Inc provides the latest cataract technology to your facility for $0 of capital investment.
We provide tailored equipment and supply lists for the surgeon’s specific needs, including the desire to try new technology as it comes out. With Surgical Direct, you get a safer, more efficient cataract experience in your facility. Don’t believe us? Read through our testimonials to see what our customers are saying about our services.
Interested in learning more about what we offer? Visit our Mobile Cataract Services page to find out more about what we do. Have a more pressing question or need? Call us directly at 1-800-346-0544.