Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in USA affecting at least 2 million people annually. It is the leading cause of blindness in the African-American community in USA. Prof. Assia, , which treats thousands of glaucoma patients each year.
One of a small number of surgeons in the world who currently perform a complicated form of glaucoma surgery, Prof. Assia, director of Ophthalmology at Meir Hospital in Israel, has developed a CO2 laser device named OTS134 that promises to revolutionize treatment of glaucoma.
Laser Glaucoma surgery is expected to give most practicing eye surgeons the ability to master complex glaucoma surgery very quickly.
The most common surgical treatment in use today perforates the wall of the eye, often resulting in collapse of the eyeball, infection, cataract formation and other complications. A more effective and elegant approach, a specialty of Prof. Assia's, involves penetration of the eye wall to a depth of only about 95 percent, leaving a razor-thin layer few microns width intact.
This highly-specialized non-penetrating surgery, requiring years of rigorous training and great skill, is performed by only a small number of surgeons at leading international ophthalmology centers.
CO2 is a relatively strong type of laser, it is normally not a likely candidate for use on something as delicate as the eye. However, one of the CO2 laser's unique characteristics is that it does not function when it comes in contact with liquid.
Working in partnership with the Israeli-based company IOPtima, Prof. Assia has already carried out a series of successful human trials. A larger worldwide study will take place this year before the company launches the OTS134 — as it plans to do in the United States — by the middle of 2008. via Psyorg [www.physorg.com]