The benefit is the removal or reduction of the floater and the elimination or reduction of symptoms.

When a very brief statement of surgical success is needed, the use of 92 per cent success is appropriate. That number is accurate, but it is a composite of all types of floaters. Success with opacity obliteration is like any other surgical procedure in that case selection and the surgeon’s experience affect it. Success can be above 95 percent with narrow case selection. As one gains experience and tries more difficult cases, the success rate drops. Many cases are so straight forward that one can not only predict accurately the success, but one can predict fairly accurately how many shots it will take to clear the opacity.

Success can be obtained in two ways: (1) eliminating or reducing the floaters or (2) moving the floaters so they are seen less by the patient. In each case you decide which method (or rarely a combination of the two) you will use.

In general, this is a low risk procedure. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration approved our application to perform a study on the Laser Treatment of Vitreous Opacities and ruled it a “non-significant risk device study.” After gaining this FDA ruling, we did our 200 case Formal Study. There were no significant short or long term complications in the 200 patients.

In spite of this excellent record of safety, the operative permit should contain the statement that complications are quite unlikely, but can occur. Hemorrhage, retinal detachment, damage to the lens, elevation of ocular pressure, and others are possible. No listing of complications is complete.

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John Karickhoff, M.D. • 313 Park Avenue • Falls Church, VA 22046

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