A new hypersonic vitrectomy system (Vitesse, Bausch + Lomb) is novel technology that is expected to provide a number of advantages compared with conventional pneumatic guillotine vitrectors because of its unique design features and mechanism of action.
The technology utilizes a disposable handpiece and single-lumen probe that provides a 100% open port, allowing for constant flow. Instead of cutting vitreous, it liquefies tissue at the edge of the port prior to aspiration using the principle of a high-speed flow field.
In theory, these features may offer specific advantages compared with guillotine vitrectors, and early experience using the device in practice is encouraging, said Paulo E. Stanga, MD, professor of ophthalmology and retinal regeneration, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and University of Manchester, Manchester, England.
Dr. Stanga was involved in the development of the hypersonic vitrector from the bench prototype stage through FDA approval. He conducted studies investigating its performance in cadaver eyes and live animals, and he performed the first clinical cases of hypersonic vitrectomies in patients.
“Hypersonic vitrectomy is a new technology that allows for smaller-gauge vitrectors with efficiency similar to that of a guillotine-based device,” Dr. Stanga said. “This new technology also allows for the removal of vitreous, dense hemorrhage, soft lens material, and silicone oil as well as the execution of a retinectomy using the same probe.
“Our first in-human experience suggests that this new hypersonic vitrector is a promising alternative to the currently commercially available guillotine vitrectors,” he said. “With hypersonic vitrectomy, vitreous was removed effectively in all cases. Now, larger scale studies are required to confirm our initial findings.”