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    ‘Hypersonic’ vitrectomy overcomes flaws of traditional systems

    Using ultrasonic power to actuate a vitrectomy probe (hypersonic vitrectomy) allows for a “smooth steady flow of vitreous into a port that is oscillating at 1.7 million cycles per minute,” said Carl C. Awh, MD.

    This effect termed “hypersonic liquefaction” (Vitesse, Bausch & Lomb) may provide numerous advantages over conventional guillotine vitrectomy cutters because of fundamental differences in the mechanics of the devices, Dr. Awh said. The ever-increasing cut rates of guillotine vitrectomy cutters have improved flow by decreasing the viscosity of aspirated vitreous, but further improvements will be limited by constraints of cut rate and duty cycle.1

    The hypersonic vitrectomy probe does not “cut” vitreous or tissue in a conventional manner. Instead, the device virtually liquefies tissue as it enters a port oscillating at 1.7 million cycles per minute.

    Dr. Awh, of Tennessee Retina, Nashville, TN, said the liquefaction “occurs at the outer margins of the port. There appears to be no cutting by other portions of the tip, and different port geometries and locations are possible.”

    The port, much smaller than that of conventional guillotine cutters, remains constantly open, allowing continuous and uninterrupted vitreous flow, he said.

     

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