LenSx Laser System

Cataract Surgery


Metabolic changes of the crystalline lens fibers in your eye can lead to opacification and loss of transparency of the lens in the eye over time. This could lead to vision impairment. During cataract surgery, the cloudy natural “cataract” lens in your eye is removed and replaced with a synthetic lens to restore clear vision.

Laser Cataract Surgery

Laser cataract surgery was first performed in the USA in 2010. Due to the precision, quick turnaround time, consistency and convenience offered by this procedure, it has gained the support of ophthalmic surgeons worldwide.

Most laser cataract surgeries take just 15 minutes and since the procedure only requires local anesthesia you will be awake during this procedure.

How a laser cataract surgery is performed:

  • The laser-assisted cataract system’s camera analyses your eyes and feeds detailed visuals of your eye lens to a specialized computer. This allows your surgeon to map the eye-lens surfaces and identify the ideal location for incision.
  • A tiny incision in the eye surface is made via laser through which a small probe is inserted. This probe emits ultrasonic sound waves to break up the cataract-damaged lens.
  • The probe is then substituted for another that removes the lens pieces via suction.
  • A new synthetic intraocular lens (IOL) implant is rolled up inside the tip of another probe and inserted through the original incision.
  • The lens is carefully unrolled and positioned for optimal vision.
    Since the incision is tiny, it doesn’t require stitches. After leaving the surgery room you’ll be asked rest in a recovery room for a few hours and then you’ll be discharged. Your eye-doctor will prescribe various eye drops for preventing infection and keeping your eye from getting dry.

LenSx Laser system

In traditional cataract surgery, the surgeon makes an incision in the eye using a blade. However, the LenSx laser system allows ophthalmic surgeons to use a bladeless, computer-controlled refractive cataract laser that uses an image-guided, high-repetition rate femtosecond laser to:

  • Make all required incisions
  • To break the old, cloudy lens and then replaced by a new lens.

This laser system is designed to improve precision during critical steps of cataract surgery that were earlier performed manually. This reduces human errors and increases reliability.

In the hands of an experienced ophthalmic surgeon, the LenSx system makes sure to produce extraordinary, precise and safe results every time.

A few advantages of the LenSx system are:

  • Enhanced procedure automation.
  • Precise and customizable incision architecture.
  • Versatile fragmentation patterns.
  • Simple and efficient one-piece patient interface. This uses an exclusive hydrogel lens technology that
    • Minimizes corneal distortion compared to solid interfaces
    • Reduces intraocular pressure to the cornea compared with solid interfaces
    • Fixates the eye, enhancing control of movement compared to liquid interfaces
  • Innovative, high-definition OCT technology which delivers high-resolution cross-sectional images for every incision.

Complementary Technology

A complementary digital marker can enhance the cataract refractive surgical experience as it automatically positions itself to the streamlined surgical plan. This reduces the time to program LenSx.

Houman Ahdieh, MD
Lehigh Valley Center for Sight


Call to Action: Ask Congress to Support $1 Billion in Eye Research


An important bill has been introduced to the US House of Representatives that has the potential to greatly increase research funding for all blinding eye conditions, including retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, Leber congenital amaurosis, Usher syndrome, and age-related macular degeneration.

We at FFB are asking you to write or call your Member of the House of Representatives to ask them to support H.R. 6421, the Faster Treatments and Cures for Eye Diseases Act.  Co-sponsors of the bill include: Pete Sessions (TX), Sanford Bishop (GA), Fred Upton (MI), and Gus Bilirakis (FL).

Visit Find Your Representative to get contact information for your House Member.

This legislation, which has bipartisan support, would significantly increase funding for the translational biomedical research that will speed development of treatments and cures for all eye conditions, including inherited retinal diseases, from the lab out to the people and families who desperately need them.

The Foundation Fighting Blindness has been a driving force for this critical legislation, and your support now can make it become a reality.

H.R. 6421 creates new financial instruments called Eye-Bonds which will create $1 billion of new funding specifically designated for treatments and cures for all causes of blindness and severe vision loss.  These funds would be backed by a limited federal guarantee.  Given current federal deficits, this guarantee has been carefully constructed to ensure that it works for all of us and should have no material impact on the deficit.

See FFB’s press release for more details on the bill.

With your help, we can get these projects the funding they need to advance them towards becoming treatments and cures.  Please reach out to your House Member today and ask him or her to support H.R. 6421, the Faster Treatments and Cures for Eye Diseases Act.

Again, visit Find Your Representative to get contact information for your House Member.

Thanks for supporting this vision-saving legislation!



How Can I Convince My Elderly Parent to See an Eye Doctor?

There are many elderly Americans who are reluctant
to get medical attention for a number of reasons,
many of them not justified by the facts.

Elderly-Parent.jpgIt’s their fears and emotions that may be getting in the way of obtaining needed eye care.

If you’re helping an elderly parent or family member and you know they need medical or eye care Houman Ahdieh, MD but they’re reluctant or unwilling to get it, here are some things to think about.

  • Is the person mentally competent? Whether because of some form of dementia, psychological issues or due to the side effects of medications, the person may be incapable of making health care decisions for themselves. If they are seeing physician inform him or her of the problem and try to get their help. Unless you’re the agent on a health care power of attorney or the person has signed a release, the doctor probably won’t tell you much because of privacy issues, but that doesn’t stop you from letting the doctor know what’s going on at home. If you genuinely think the person isn’t mentally competent you should consult with an attorney to discuss if being appointed a guardian (enabling you to make healthcare decisions) might be appropriate.
  • Is transportation the issue? If the person can’t drive themselves to appointments, are there other ways to get him or her there? Are there other trustworthy, reliable people who can provide transportation? Is public transportation, using a taxi, Uber or Lyft an option? The person may feel that because of physical problems they feel like they’re a burden on others because they need help with transportation. Let the person know you, and maybe others, are ready, willing and able to help. Make it clear helping them is not a burden.
  • Is money an issue? Do they have Medicare? If so, what are the co-payments? Can the person afford them? If not, might the person qualify for Medicaid? Can family members pitch in to help pay the bills? The person may have the money but fear spending it because they don’t want to outlive their savings. The cost of co-payments for eye procedures may not be as high as the person thinks. Call our office so we can talk about what should be expected costs, possibly paying over time and you can work out how costs could be paid.
  • Do they feel declining health is just something that comes with age and needs to be tolerated? They may have resigned themselves to bad eyesight, aching knees or incontinence because they’re old. You need to talk about how effective treatments can improve their life and that they don’t need to suffer.
  • Do they fear a procedure because they heard from someone who had a bad experience? The person may have a heard a horror story (true or not) from someone they know. Medical professionals take every precaution to prevent problems. You should emphasize millions of people have had procedures to help with their eyesight without any problems and they end up living much better, not worse, lives.

If we can help in any way with a loved who needs eye care, please call us at 610-437-4988 or contact us. We’ll be happy to answer any questions and address any concerns whether it’s about eye surgery, possible side effects or financial issues. Seeing well is an important part of living well and it’s something all of us, especially the elderly, should enjoy.

Houman Ahdieh, MD
Lehigh Valley Center for Sight


Who Should Undergo Lasik Surgery?

Many people using eyeglasses or contacts everyday
can now receive Lasik surgery.


In order to be considered as a good candidate for Lasik surgery there are some rules you will need to abide by.

Lasik is FDA-approved for those 18 and older. Most providers encourage young adults to wait until their mid-20s. Until this time a person’s prescription may be still changing. Having a stable prescription for at least two years is often required as proof before anyone, young or old, is deemed a good Lasik candidate.

From the point of stable prescription on, most adults concurrently grow their savings, begin traveling for work and pleasure. Perhaps they start developing an irritation or exhaustion with contacts and eye glasses. This creates the popular period during which most people look at Lasik surgery.

Around the age of 40, a person’s eyes start to change. They are usually good candidates for laser surgery. At age 60, the eyes start to change once more. This is when the risk of cataracts increase. Some adults get to age 70 or 80 with no cataracts and have otherwise healthy eyes. Despite being outside the common Lasik age spectrum, these people can be good candidates for laser eye surgery. Age certainly influences one’s Lasik candidacy, but it by no means draws an absolute boundary. If you are in good health, have a stable prescription and are considering Lasik, ask your eye care specialist to assess your candidacy.

Moreover, good candidates should not have any eye diseases for at least one year before the surgery. Also, the cornea should not be scarred. Good candidates should not suffer from the dry eyes syndrome because it can be worse after the Lasik surgery. Pregnant women are prohibited to undergo the Lasik surgery due to the high fluctuations in their hormone levels. Patients suffering from cataracts, advanced glaucoma, corneal disease, corneal thinning disorders or other pre-existing eye diseases are not good candidates.

You should remember that surgery is not risk free. Good candidates should fully understand those risks. Otherwise you are definitely not a good candidate for Lasik surgery. Good candidates make sure they understand how Lasik surgery works and the benefits before undergoing surgery.

Houman Ahdieh, MD
Lehigh Valley Center for Sight


Ten Common Questions About Age-Related Macular Degeneration




For Ophthalmology, 3D Printing Eliminates Human Donors and Costly Middlemen


3D printing sounds like a concept from a sci-fi movie or an Isaac Asimov novel. It involves creating a physical, three-dimensional object from a digital file. The technology has been used for some time in niche markets, generally for prototyping. However, new breakthroughs are propelling 3D printing into the mainstream, and the technology is poised to cause serious disruptions in manufacturing and healthcare.

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of US manufacturers revealed that two out of three companies have already begun adopting 3D printing, from experimenting with the technology to using it to create final products. The same survey found that about 30% of manufacturers believe widespread adoption of 3D printing will revolutionize supply chains, shrinking them so that end-users get ahold of products faster, and without the need for costly.

Some of the most fascinating applications for 3D printing can be found within the healthcare industry. Already, enterprising researchers are using the technology to manufacture artificial tissue, organs, and the equipment needed to perform treatment procedures. For the field of ophthalmology, this can present tremendous benefits. A 3D printer can utilize patients’ cells to create their own transplant organs, or print intraocular cataract lenses and artificial eyes. The technology shrinks the healthcare supply chain, reducing a patient’s and clinican’s dependence on costly equipment, long turnaround times for custom devices, and even human eye donors.

The Spanish Institute for Biomedical Research, at the La Paz Hospital (Instituto de Investigación Biomédica del Hospital La Paz (IdiPAZ) in Madrid is actively working toward developing 3D printed corneas by 2022, which will deliver cost-effective and highly-customizable treatment products to patients suffering from corneal pathologies. The technology will completely eliminate the need to locate suitable human donors, saving time and the vision of many patients. Manufacturers will be able to produce the required corneas in mere days, or prosthetic eyes and spectacles at the push of a button.

3D printing technology can assist in creating more specialized ophthalmology

Equipment and products, all in a way that is faster and more cost-effective than how the current supply chain operates. As a leading provider of instruments and equipment vital to the ophthalmology industry, Accutome is excited to explore how 3D printing will shape the future of eye care. Discover more about what is happening in the ophthalmic community by subscribing to the EyeOpener today!


Retinal Regeneration: Releasing Your Inner Salamander

For someone with a retinal disease such as retinitis pigmentosa or macular degeneration, their vision loss is caused by photoreceptor degeneration. Photoreceptors are the retinal cells that capture light and convert it into electrical signals, which are sent back to the brain where they are used to create the images we see.

Many research groups from around the world are investigating ways to create new photoreceptors from stem cells for transplantation into the retina for vision restoration. But this approach presents many challenges including risk of immune response to the new photoreceptors, as well as the difficulty in getting them to functionally integrate with the patient’s existing retinal tissue. The delicate surgery often necessary for transplanting the new cells can be risky, as well.retinal-regeneration-releasing-your-inner-salamander.jpg

However, Thomas Reh, PhD, an FFB-funded expert in retinal development and regeneration at the University of Washington, is working on an innovative approach with the potential to revolutionize how scientists go about restoring vision. He’s trying to find a way to coax the retina to grow its own, new photoreceptors.

In fact, at the 2018 VISIONS Conference in San Diego, he received FFB’s 2018 Ed Gollob Board of Directors Award for his research paper in the journal Nature on the emerging technique, which was inspired by his earlier work with amphibians.

“The paper is the culmination of research in my lab spanning more than 30 years.  I first learned about the ability of salamanders to regenerate their retinas when I was an undergraduate student at University of Illinois,” said Dr. Reh. “There was a professor there, Dr. David Stocum, who studied limb regeneration in these amphibians.  I was fascinated that these animals had this potential. When I started my own lab as an assistant professor in Calgary, I began to study regeneration in tadpoles.”

Dr. Reh’s paper in Nature highlighted his retinal regeneration advancements in mice. His team was able to derive neurons from retinal cells called Muller glia, which normally provide architectural support and a number of protective and waste-disposal functions. The new neurons connect with the existing circuits and the cells respond to light. However, the new neurons are not full-fledged photoreceptors, so there is much more work to be done in advancing the approach into a human study.

“The FFB is currently funding our research to derive actual photoreceptors from Muller glia,” said Dr. Reh. “The next step would be to develop an appropriate gene therapy for humans to direct expression of the protein Ascl1, the catalyst for deriving photoreceptors from Muller glia.”

Dr. Reh added that safety and efficacy studies in a large-animal model would be necessary before moving the approach into a clinical trial.”While more work needs to be done, Dr. Reh’s regenerative therapy is potentially another achievable option for retinal regeneration that has advantages over transplantation,” said Stephen Rose, PhD, FFB’s chief scientific officer. “He’s an innovator willing to look outside of the box. That is important in getting vision-restoring, retinal-disease treatments out to the people who need them.”