FOCUS ON …
Alcon's PurePoint Laser
LESLIE GOLDBERG, ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Alcon's PurePoint laser (Fort Worth, TX) is designed to provide surgeons with more control over laser surgery procedures. This freestanding 532 nm photocoagulator provides features that include integrated voice-confirmation technology and a multifunction foot pedal.
ADVANTAGES OF THE PUREPOINT LASER
Steve Charles, MD, founder of the Charles Retina Institute in Memphis, TN, particularly likes the versatility of the foot pedal control coupled with voice confirmation. "The multifunction foot pedal helps with power increase and decrease and switching the laser from standby to ready," he says. "Other lasers have power control in the foot pedal, but they don't have voice confirmation or standby/ready activation."
Dr. Charles says that these features increase the efficiency of laser coagulation. "In the office, a surgeon uses a corneal contact lens in 1 hand, a joystick to move the laser and slitlamp and a fixation light to move around — a number of highly important controls. Which hand is left free to control the laser parameters? The PurePoint eliminates the need to have a nurse or technician in the room to turn the power up or down, and switch between standby and ready."
Dr. Charles says that surgeons must always be adjusting the power based on what they see at the retinal level. "With foot-pedal control without the voice-control feature, you must take your eyes off the patient, potentially moving a hand that is holding the lens. With this system, you don't need to look at the display.
"This is a big advantage. Every time you adjust the power or every time you switch from standby to ready or back, it tells you what has happened."
In addition, the PurePoint has 2 ports, each with RFID (radio frequency identification). "When you plug in an Alcon fiber, it recognizes the device and voice confirmation tells you that it has recognized the new device. And, because there are 2 ports, in an OR setting, you can have a laser indirect ophthalmoscope (LIO) in one port and endophotocoagulation probe in the other," says Dr. Charles.
"In the office, it is very common to start with a laser and a slit lamp and find a peripheral tear that you can't surround with a laser, requiring that you switch to LIO. With this laser, you can easily switch from port to port. The setup sequence is easier because the RFID knows what is plugged in. If you plug in a competitor, the laser will work, but it will not have voice confirmation," says Dr. Charles.
Dr. Charles says that the PurePoint laser is the most mechanically structurally sound laser and optomechanically the most reliable and stable laser ever built. "It does not require any realignment," says Dr. Charles. "They have dropped it off of the second floor at the R&D lab, turned it on, and it has worked fine. They have subjected it to 60 Gs of acceleration force, shipped it around the world and it has worked without having a technician come in to realign it."
Lastly, the system is compact and has an intuitive user interface. "The way the controls are set up, the addition of the voice confirmation, and the graphical user interface makes this system very intuitive," says Dr. Charles. "It is easy for both surgeons and technicians to learn." RP
Dr. Charles is a consultant for Alcon.