A new vitrectomy probe featuring novel geometry and an ultra-high cutting speed will enable vitreoretinal surgeons to perform manoeuvres with greater safety, said Stratos Gotzaridis MD at the 16th EURETINA Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The ULTRAVIT® 10k (Alcon) probe has a bevelled tip and delivers 10,000 cuts per minute (cpm) via dual pneumatic drive technology in 23, 25+, and 27+ gauge series. It is used with the CONSTELLATION® Vision System (Alcon) with the CR4 premium software upgrade.
“When performing vitrectomy, we try to remove as much vitreous as possible. However, we face a dangerous situation when the cutter comes too close to the vitreous base or over an area of detached retina. By increasing the cut rate as high as possible and decreasing the aspiration rate, we can try to protect the retina. Personally, I also hold my breath, ask my assistant to cross his fingers, and ask the scrub nurse to say prayers, thinking that every little bit might help under the circumstances,” said Dr Gotzaridis, Director of the “My Retina Athens Eye Center”, Athens, Greece.
“With its novel design and higher cut rate, this new vitrectomy probe allows the cutting port to get closer to the retina but protects the retina to minimise complications. Its faster cut rate reduces traction and therefore the risk of iatrogenic tears, and it reduces resistance to flow because it takes smaller size bites.
“In addition, the new probe allows for enhanced surgeon control because it has a smaller sphere of influence and it enables access to tissue planes. Based on its features, the ULTRAVIT® 10k vitrectomy probe should allow for better posterior vitreous detachment creation over the disc while also making delamination easier and enabling aspiration of blood,” said Dr Gotzaridis.
The distance between the bottom of the probe and the port opening is shorter on the new bevel tip probes compared with the same gauge flat-tipped probes, measuring just 0.009 inches for all probes in the series versus 0.016 inches to 0.021 inches on the flat-tipped counterparts. And the bevel tip design further reduces the effective port-to-retina distance.
For a 23-gauge probe, the bevelled probe provides 57% closer proximity to the retina when held at a 60° tangential angle compared with the flat-tipped probe. Using the 25+ and 27+ gauge bevel tip probes, the distance between the cutting port and retina is reduced by 50% and 44%, respectively, compared with standard flat-tipped probes.