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Laser Microsurgery for Treating Eye Tumors Developed
July 14, 2010 17:35

Cooperation of Russian physicists and ophthalmologists resulted in a technology of femtosecond laser microsurgery of subsurface eye tumors, for instance, tumors of sclera – eye protein coat.

Frankly speaking, some methods for removing subsurface or, in medical terms, epibulbar tumors already exist – radiosurgery, for instance. However, this treatment often results in recurrent tumors or metastases. Another risk factor is professional qualification of a surgeon. In order to eliminate these health hazards, Russian physicists and ophthalmologists developed a noninvasive surgery technique, using femtosecond laser radiation.

Similar technique – “FemtoLASIK” – is successfully used in microsurgery for treating myopia (shortsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). When short-pulse laser radiation is focused under the surface of a transparent material, a tiny bubble is formed in a focal point. Thus, when laser “makes” several bubbles, a tissues flap forms over the baubles and can be removed, if necessary. In this case, patients shouldn’t worry about human errors, and, moreover, laser cut is much cleaner than scalpel’s. Laser provides ideal fitting of tissues, thus making recovery fast and full.



As for sclera, femtosecond laser surgery nullifies formation of metastases, both local and remote, and eliminated the necessity of additional tissue cut for smoothing of contacting surfaces. Well, “FemtoLASIK” works great in transparent eye cornea, but is useless for sclera, which is opaque, due to light scattering. Working with sclera needs several aspects to be kept in mind: sclera’s optical opacity, its nonlinear nature, and eye’s spherical shape.

Scientists considered all of mentioned aspects and offered a solution. Researchers found a safe reagent for sclera clarification – glucose water solution; in order to cope with nonlinearity, femtosecond laser radiation was made 1000 times less powerful; and flat cuts were used to eliminate tissue curves. The technology was first tested on glass, then – on organic glass (Plexiglas), and after that scientists started testing their development on sample eyes. Tests showed that new development works right (tiny bubbles do form under tissue surface), and now it is waiting for clinical trials to begin.

However, before clinical trials can start, scientists need to build a tool for this technology, because powerful femtosecond laser devices, which are used in laboratories, cannot be used for treating a patient – they cannot provide necessary pulse frequency and are one thousand times more powerful than the technique needs. Authors of the technology believe that existing tools for femtosecond eye microsurgery can be modified in order to work with eye sclera. Scientists say that they negotiated with a famous Russian laser-producing company in order to perform necessary modifications in existing tools.

Russian scientists are currently preparing materials for publication in an electronic periodical “Health Care Research Updates”, edited by Nova Science Publishers, United States.

Sources: Institute of Physics

Kizilova Anna

Tags: Russian Scientists Russian medicine    

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