The laser cataract surgery craze reached Australia in April 2011, when the first femtosecond laser unit capable of cataract surgery was installed in the country. It was only the fourth LensSx laser (Alcon Laboratories, Inc.) installed in the world. After watching a laser cataract surgery demonstration at the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) meeting in Sydney a few weeks previous, I immediately realized that this is one of the most significant developments in cataract surgery since phacoemulsification.
The technology has been promoted with much fanfare, but not without rumors of surgical complications. Because laser cataract surgery is a new phenomenon, the majority of cataract surgeons around the world still know little about the technology itself, with many holding strong opinions either for or against its use.
This July, I established a global social network for surgeons to dialogue and share their experiences and opinions about this rapidly evolving technological change. The International Society for Laser Cataract Surgery is a not-for-profit organization with members in more than 30 countries thus far. I see it as not just a platform for those currently using the technology, but also a forum with resources and links for all surgeons, technicians, and industry. Members are free to express their opinions and find others facing similar challenges to network with.
The society’s Web site, isLCS.org, houses regional forums with updates from around the world as well as discussions of the ethical, clinical, technical, and logistical challenges of laser cataract surgery. I hope this organization helps surgeons find their way through this somewhat confusing maze of new opportunity.
Mark Cherny, MD, practices at the Cataract Clinic of Victoria, Australia. Dr. Cherny may be reached at e-mail: email@example.com; Web: www.cataract.com.au.