First "Catalys" laser cataracts treatment in Hawaii
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
A cutting edge laser Cataracts procedure is now available for the first time in the State at the Cataract and Vision Center of Hawaii in Liliha.
Jackson Fujikawa's cataracts got so bad, everything became a big blur, like he was wearing dirty glasses.
Dr. Brandon Lee describes it as "gradual clouding over of the lens. Usually around 60-70, is when it becomes significant. Almost like looking through a dirty or hazy glass."
Lee and his dad, Dr. Worldster Lee, are the first in the state to perform the new treatment using the Catalys Precision Laser System at the Cataract and Vision Center of Hawaii.
The elder Lee received a signed thank you picture for removing Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos' cataracts in 1986.
Techonology has come a long way since then.
'Catalys' treats cataracts with pinpoint precision. It can also correct vision problems like astigmatism.
As Dr. Lee explains, "Laser first creates a small incision in the capsule that holds that cataract.
Then it goes in and softens the lens."
That makes the cataract easier to remove in surgery, with less inflammation.
"We make a tiny incision, no larger than the size of a pen tip" says Lee. "So we can access an eye with ultrasound probe that goes in and emulsifies or breaks up the cataract. It removes it like a vacuum."
In a matter of minutes, the cataract is gone and replaced by a new lens that will improve vision overnight. No stitches necessary.
The procedure averages one thousand dollars, more for vision correction. Your insurance may cover part of it.
Addendum to original story:
It's been brought to our attention that this is not the first laser cataracts treatment in Hawaii. It's the first performed by the "Catalys" system. Both Dr. Lee and the Physician Partners of the Surgical Suites, LLC (Dr. Carlos Omphroy, Dr. Tyrie Jenkins, Dr. Ming Chen, Dr. John Portis and Dr. Alan Faulkner) clarified to Hawaii News Now that the Hawaii's LenSx® Femtosecond Laser has been offered since February 2012 by the Physician Partners of the Surgical Suites, who have done more than 1,225 procedures to date.
The LenSx® Femtosecond Laser was the first laser that was FDA approved for cataract surgery. It eliminates the need for scalpels and blades, and uses light energy to quickly and painlessly perform the incisions that allow access to the cataract. Once the cataract is removed, it is replaced with a new and clear intraocular lens.