5 Considerations Before Upgrading to a New Phaco

If your surgeon is still operating on old cataract equipment ( Alcon Infiniti, AMO Whitestar / Sovereign, all B&L machines pre Stellaris PC), then you should be considering a phaco upgrade. New phaco systems boast advanced technologies that allow the surgeon to perform safer and more efficient surgery. There are a number of impressive systems available. In fact, all recent phaco machine releases to the market have considerable upgrades in cutting power, fluidics, and chamber stability when compared to older systems. Those 3 features are reason enough on their own, but there are many more benefits to upgrading. 

Upgrading should be in the conversation! However, there are some important aspects to consider before pulling the trigger. Among many considerations, here are 5 that we feel important.

5 Considerations before upgrading to a new Phaco machine. 


1) Which Phaco System? 

Choosing a system can be a hard decision. The 3 latest phaco systems from the main players in the US market (Alcon Centurion, J&J Veritas, and B&L Stellaris PC ) are all fantastic in their own right. Many surgeons have brand loyalty to a particular system, and often that is good path. However, we’ve helped many surgeons transition platforms and brands, resulting in big satisfactions!

The key here is to trial the technology and give your surgeon the ability to get familiar with the system before committing to it. This is harder than it sounds in reality. We’ve seen many surgeons adopt new technology and operate with it for months, only to then decide they don’t like it and want to switch. This can make the decision to purchase a new platform stressful for the decision maker.

2) Upfront Capital

The financial component of this decision is very important and should not be taken lightly. New technology can range anywhere from 50-80k for a single machine, and many facilities would require more than one to operate at full capacity (eg 2 room surgery day scenarios). Holding up large amounts of capital for a specialty like ophthalmology can be risky to the facility’s profitability. This can be especially true if you are onboarding cataracts for the first time or are working with a new surgeon that doesn’t have tenure with you. 

3) Additional Purchases

With every phaco purchase comes a handful of additional required purchases that are only compatible with the new machine. These items include phaco handpieces, tips, sleeves, tubing, BSS bags, foot pedals, and more. Even though these items often come in a package deal, if any of these items becomes faulty, you’ll need to repair or replace…which brings us to our next point.

4) Support & Maintenance

Maintaining your equipment is vitally important to protect (first and foremost) the safety of your patients, as well as your investment. Routine maintenance plans with the manufacturer are highly recommended (and in our opinion, necessary). However, these plans can be costly and should be factored into your ROI figures. Another thing to consider is the training and support for the new technology. It can take a long time for your team to learn the new system and be proficient in assisting the surgeon. Troubleshooting problems (which in our experience are bound to happen…even with new equipment) can hold up an entire surgery day if your team is not fully versed on what to look for. 

5) Outsourcing VS Purchasing

In our opinion, you are not ready to make an informed decision about upgrading to a new phaco machine until you’ve explored the option of outsourcing equipment. There are big benefits in outsourcing! Outsourcing allows you to predict and protect your profit margins. Outsourcing dramatically reduces your risk. Outsourcing allows your surgeon the luxury of trying out new platforms, switching, and adding rooms without it affecting the facility’s bottom line. Additionally, you don’t pay for maintenance or repairs!

Surgical Direct Inc provides a high-quality cataract equipment outsourcing program  that will rival any other service in the nation. Our team is committed to surgeon and facility alike, so that everyone involved wins on eye-day. 

Read through more about how we approach outsourcing and the benefits in greater detail. 

Can you envision a smoother, less stressful, and lower risk way of doing Cataract Surgery? We believe that outsourcing is the best way to do it! Click through below to learn more, contact us, or request a demo. 

Surgical Direct is the partnership that you’ve been looking for. 

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