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UK clinicians use laser to split corneal tissue

Technology that has the potential to double the number of people who receive corneal transplants has been used in the UK for the first time

12 Jun 2019 by Selina Powell

A laser that pulses at one quadrillionth of a second has been used in the UK for the first time.

Southampton resident, Daniel Hackling, 36, underwent surgery with the Femto LDV Z8 laser for keratoconus.

“It is fantastic that here in Southampton we are the first hospital in the UK to carry out this procedure and I hope to be the first of many to benefit from it,” he said.
The laser is capable of splitting the cornea in two.

University of Southampton ophthalmology professor, Parwez Hossain, shared that the laser would allow for a single cornea to be used by two corneal transplant recipients.

“A single eye donor could restore sight in up to four patients,” he said.

“This is a significant advantage since corneal transplant tissue is in short supply and it is getting more difficult to find suitable donors, with some patients waiting four to six months for corneal transplant tissue,” Professor Hossain highlighted.

As well as applications in corneal transplant surgery, the laser can be used in cataract surgery.

Professor Hossain added that the £500,000 portable laser was developed in Switzerland over the past five years.

So far, it has only been used in the UK, Switzerland, Austria and Singapore.

“We are among the frontrunners in adopting this innovation,” Professor Hossain said.

Image credit: Pixabay

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