“This new laser with yellow light is currently the only one of its caliber in the U.S., and there’s only one other being used in the world right now,” says Quan Dong Nguyen, the McGaw Memorial Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology and director of the Eye Institute.
On July 22, the first patient received treatment from the laser for proliferative diabetic retinopathy, the most severe stage of eye disease caused by diabetes.
“This laser is the most cutting-edge laser device available today,” says Diana Do, associate professor of ophthalmology and director of the Carl Camras Center for Innovative Clinical Research at the Truhlsen Eye Institute and the retina specialist who performed the first treatment.
“It allows us to apply a large number of laser spots in a variety of patterns,” Do says. “Overall, it is more effective, efficient and may be safer than traditional lasers.”
Traditional lasers are limited in the number of patterns and pulsing they can accommodate, whereas the new laser allows for more nuanced and problem-specific targeting, Do says.
The laser provides treatment for various rare eye diseases, including retinal vein occlusion, neovascular glaucoma, and retinal tears. In addition, with micropulse application capability, it also can be combined with other therapies to treat diabetic macular edema, the most common cause of moderate vision loss for diabetes patients.
“With diabetes rates on the rise nationally and in Nebraska, more and more patients will be able to benefit from the superior treatment that new technology like this can bring,” Do says.
The full name of the laser is the Supra Scan Multi-spot Laser. It is manufactured by Quantel Medical, which is headquartered in Paris, France.