On Saturday 20th October next, Doctors José Luis Güell and Daniel Elies, specialists in cornea and refractive surgery at the Barcelona Institute of Ocular Microsurgery (IMO), will demonstrate, using streaming technology, how a cataract operation is performed with the new femtosecond laser, which has been used for this type of surgery for several months.
It is a direct connection over the Internet open to anyone who wants to connect, which will take place as part of the VCR Conference (Video Cataratta e Refrattiva), a conference on the latest advances in cataract and refractive surgery, which will be held in Milan next weekend and whose attendees – around 1,500 ophthalmologists from around the world– can watch operations via satellite. Although it is quite common to rebroadcast surgery live during medical conferences, the novelty here is that this access is offered freely over the Internet to anyone interested in watching the surgical techniques, which means that IMO's surgeons will work in front of hundreds of witnesses from around the world, not just doctors, but any Internet user with an interest in seeing their work live.
IMO is the only centre to have opened up this channel as part of the Conference, since the connections that will be made during this professional event will only be via satellite for ophthalmologists, through connections with surgeons from the Clinique de la Vision (Paris) and the Centro Ambrosiano oftálmico (Milan) who will demonstrate, live and with high-definition 3D technology, other cataract surgery cases using the femtosecond laser, lasik for myopia and presbyopia and corneal ring implantation. So, for the first time, Barcelona and Paris will be the headquarters of the VCR Congress, the largest ophthalmological conference held in Italy, celebrating its 32nd edition this year. At 4pm, doctors Güell and Elies will demonstrate how this new instrument can be used for cataract surgery through five live operations in IMO operating theatre. In addition, they will perform two other operations where they will implant phakic lenses for myopia.
A more simple, precise and safe procedure
IMO has already successfully performed 150 cataract operations using the femtosecond laser since this instrument was first used last May in IMO, a pioneer in Spain, after several years collaborating on its development. The new technique is a revolution in the surgical treatment of cataracts, since it modifies and provides several benefits to ultrasound phacoemulsification.
The new laser makes the surgical procedure more simple, precise and safe. According to Dr Güell, one of the few ophthalmologists in the world to have been involved in the process of developing the new laser in recent years, "the femtosecond laser does not directly depend on the ophthalmologist's manual dexterity, since it micrometrically reproduces the microincisions previously designed by the surgeon on the computer to which the laser is connected".