Focus On

User-friendly combo system provides efficiency

Focus On …

User-friendly Combo System Provides Efficiency

Samantha Stahl, Assistant Editor

Combined phacoemulsification and vitrectomy systems have grown in popularity due to their convenience and continually refined technology. The Faros combo system from Oertli Instruments offers a compact device that proponents say is easy to use.


Dr. Etienne Bovey of Lausanne, Switzerland, has been a fan of Oertli's systems since 1990. Before using the Faros, he used the company's previous machine, the OS3. While the Faros is similar, there are marked improvements in the new model.

“Concerning vitrectomy, the cutting speed is higher and the light is slightly brighter,” he says. A double pneumatic Twinac drive is capable of up to 3000 cuts per minute, meaning it can cut aspiration time in half compared to typical, less efficient models. The high-speed cutting reduces strain on posterior segment tissues, creating a safer procedural experience for the patient.

While Xenon lights offer brightness, they also have a substantial risk of toxicity. Instead, Faros uses metal halide bulbs, which give high-contrast visibility of the surgical field without the safety risks. The optimally set spectrum protects both the patient and surgeon.

The flow control is entirely independent of the cutting rate or duty cycle, which allows surgeons to have finely-tuned control of micro-flow with high occlusion vacuum—crucial with peripheral vitrectomy, loose retina, shaving the vitreous base and inducing posterior vitreous detachment.

Another beneficial feature is the one-step, autoseal pars plana microincision system. Pressure is kept stable, the posterior segment remains unmoved by perfusion and the small incision makes suturing unnecessary.

Oertli's Faros is a combined vitrectomy/phacoemulsification system.


“I find the Faros very practical,” Dr. Bovey says. “The machine is small and does not require much space in the operating room. It is easy to install and does not make noise. I really appreciate it.”

The system measures in at a compact 55 cm by 55 cm. During surgery, physicians use a programmable dual-linear pedal. Fifty different individual pedal preferences can be stored, reducing time spent selecting settings before each procedure. There is also a wireless remote control that can be used by OR assistants for all operation functions, including bottle height, light and vitrectomy air settings. A non-contaminating sensory system combined with sterile packs makes it easy to assemble and disassemble the system quickly, increasing OR efficiency.

Retinal physicians who work in a multi-specialty setting will appreciate the system's dual technologies. While Dr. Bovey uses the Faros primarily for vitrectomy, he also uses phacoemulsification occasionally for cataract surgery. He references the capabilities for small-incision techniques and the stability of the anterior chamber during the procedure as the main benefits of the system for such applications. The level of chamber stability can be credited to the high-performance peristaltic pump that comes equipped with the device.

While the system's technology is advanced, Oertli takes pride in the device's clean aesthetics and ease of use. Dr. Bovey agrees completely, saying, “The Faros is simple, but does all I need for surgery.” RP

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