Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Laser Could Change The Face Of Corneal Transplant Surgery

Date:
July 10, 2008
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Faster recovery times and better visual outcomes are among the early results of a corneal transplant new pilot study. The study uses ultrafast or femtosecond laser to perform full thickness corneal transplants.

Display of the femtosecond procedure.
Credit: University of Michigan Health System

Faster recovery times and better visual outcomes are among the early results of a corneal transplant pilot study underway at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center.

The focus of this two-year pilot program – called the Femtosecond Laser Assisted Keratoplasty study, or FLAK – is the use of the ultrafast or femtosecond laser in performing full thickness corneal transplants.

Researchers at Kellogg were first to discover in the early 1990s that the femtosecond laser, then used for industrial purposes, had great potential for eye surgeries that traditionally required a surgical blade or knife. Through joint efforts of faculty from Kellogg and the U-M College of Engineering, the femtosecond laser was further developed, and is widely used for refractive surgery. Now, experts hope for the same success in applying this exceptionally fast and precise laser to cornea transplant surgery.

“We hope that with the use of the femtosecond laser, patients will have better vision, faster recovery of vision, and stronger wound construction, which will allow them to be more resistant to injury in the future,” says Shahzad I. Mian, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Kellogg, and principle investigator of the FLAK study.

While lasers have been effective in eye surgeries for decades, they were not used for corneal transplants until the femtosecond laser was shown to be a superior cutting tool to the trephine, the cookie cutter-like knife currently used for transplants.

“The advantage of this laser is that it allows the surgeon to focus the laser energy at a particular depth and then rapidly cut the tissue at that depth without causing any additional injury to the surrounding tissue,” says Mian. “It also allows the surgeon to pattern these cuts into shapes – such as a mushroom, a top hat or a zig zag – that allow for better customized overlap between the donor’s corneal tissue and the patient’s corneal tissue.”

Because of the speed and precision of the femtosecond laser, the study results to date for corneal transplant surgery have been very encouraging, says Mian. If these results hold true, a larger, multi-center clinical trial comparing this procedure to the traditional method of performing transplants could follow.

About corneal transplants

The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped tissue covering the front of the eye. It is about the size of a dime and the thickness of a credit card. If the cornea becomes distorted in shape, or scarred or hazy from disease or injury, the light rays passing through it are distorted and vision is reduced. In some cases, corneal transplant surgery may be necessary to replace the damaged cornea with a healthy donor cornea to restore good vision.

Donor corneas are provided by eye banks and come from deceased individuals who arranged for donation prior to death or whose families gave consent.

Ophthalmologists perform more than 35,000 of these sight-saving procedures each year in the United States and, of all transplant surgeries done today, corneal transplants are the most common and most successful.

According to results from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health’s Cornea Donor Study, the pool of cornea transplant donors – often limited to those age 65 and younger – should be expanded to include donors up to age 75.

The study, conducted during a five-year period at 80 eye centers, including Kellogg, proved that the transplant success rate was the same – 86 percent – for transplants performed with corneas from donors ages 12 to 65, and from donors ages 66 to 75.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Laser Could Change The Face Of Corneal Transplant Surgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080707165257.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2008, July 10). Laser Could Change The Face Of Corneal Transplant Surgery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080707165257.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Laser Could Change The Face Of Corneal Transplant Surgery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080707165257.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins