Friday, April 13, 2007

Advanced Cataract Surgery at Marianas Eye Institute

We made the business section of today's Saipan Tribune. (That's the Commonwealth Health Center's two cataract surgery technicians, Lea Estinopo and Chris Batenga, in green). Here's the full story:

MEI Acquires New Device for its Cataract Patients

Marianas Eye Institute has purchased new equipment that improves the recovery time and enhances the safety of cataract surgery. The new device, called the Sovereign Compact cataract removal system, enables the surgeon to efficiently remove a patient's cloudy cataract using digitally modulated ultrasound.

Marianas Eye Institute CEO Russ Quinn and medical director Dr. David Khorram met with representatives of Advanced Medical Optics in Hawaii to arrange purchase of this newest technology.

“Advanced Medical Optics had announced the release of its latest Sovereign Whitestar technology, and we were eager to provide the latest and best for our cataract patients here in the CNMI,” explained Quinn.

A cataract is the clouding of the eye's lens and is part of the aging process that affects more than half the adults over 60. It is also very common in diabetics in whom it occurs at younger ages.

With over 2 million cases performed each year, cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure in the United States.

The two Marianas Eye Institute official said they felt it was imperative to purchase this new equipment in order to continue providing the most advanced techniques and the highest quality care.

“With this brand new technology, there is nowhere in the world that is more up to date with cataract surgery technology than Marianas Eye Institute,” said Quinn. “We pride ourselves in providing world-class eye care. We have a multi-year agreement with Advanced Medical Optics to provide ongoing technology updates, ensuring that our cataract surgery system remains state-of-the art as new advances are made into the future.”

Prior to this new technology, the Marianas Eye Institute has been using the phacoemulsification technique (or “phaco”) since 1999. This type of cataract removal technique allows the cataract to be dissolved using ultrasound, and removed through a tiny incision, just over 2 millimeters in size. In most cases, stitches are not even needed. The procedure takes about 20 minutes and patients are home and back to their regular activities the same day. Khorram said it is virtually painless.

“This new Sovereign Whitestar technology is a major upgrade to the “phaco” technique. It is even gentler on the eye, and promises faster, easier recovery,” said Khorram. “We have used the Sovereign Whitestar cataract removal system for 14 patients so far, and it is an amazing piece of technology. For example, during the cataract surgery, the Sovereign Whitestar measures the pressure inside the eye 50 times per seconds and makes adjustments which make the surgery very smooth.”

To install the new “phaco” technology, AMO regional technician, John Garland, visited the CNMI from California for the first time and was impressed with Khorram's surgical skill. “He uses the latest cataract extraction techniques that are being used at U.S. mainland facilities. He has a brand new phaco machine which is the latest on the market and his microscope was recently upgraded to have the best view possible. Your patients in the CNMI are truly getting a world-class cataract operation,” said Garland.

Garland also praised the facilities, noting that it is more advanced than most in the US mainland. “I was very impressed with Marianas Eye Institute's office, overall organization, and cataract surgery facility. The office set up is a higher quality than most ophthalmologist offices here in the U.S. Very few facilities here have the advanced electronic medical records that Marianas Eye Institute has and very few have the ability to custom-make their own lenses for glasses. I was very impressive with the friendly extremely helpful staff.”

For more information visit Marianas Eye Institute or call 235-9090.


Tim and Franicia said...

That's wonderful! I remember flying with my mother and grandma to San Diego for my grandmother's cataract surgery.

You're definitely saving the CNMI a lot of money!

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Congratulations, David. Thats quite a complement! I'll be seeing you for my next eye exam soon. Hope you don't have to use the new machine on me, but it's nice to know you have it and that you are held in high professional regard.

KAP said...

You should rename your property Cataract Ranch.