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Laser Cataract Surgery: Sorting Out The Business Case

Executive Summary

The once staid US cataract surgery market has evolved considerably over the past several years. A trio of conferences this fall provided updates on the latest developments.

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Femtosecond Lasers: Expanding The Premium Cataract Surgery Market

When femtosecond lasers for cataract surgery hit the market in early 2011, it was apparent that that they would bring unprecedented precision to the procedure. The key questions surrounding this emerging field quickly shifted to commercial viability: how would US cataract surgeons and facilities be able to pay for this expensive new technology in a procedure that is reimbursed almost entirely by Medicare, and therefore subject to strict billing limitations? A survey of early laser adopters in the US, detailed below, suggests that surgeons are successfully navigating these regulatory hurdles and incorporating the new lasers into their practices.

Ophthalmology Community Focuses on Laser Cataract Technology

Among new technologies discussed at three major ophthalmology conferences this fall, it was the emerging field of laser cataract surgery that generated the greatest interest among attendees, although the first system is just now being launched commercially and there are many unanswered questions regarding the economics of this promising technology and how it will be adopted.

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