WALTHAM, MA – Medical firsts are expected in Boston, but they are not limited to academic medical centers. Here’s the proof: SurgiSite Boston – an eye surgery facility in Waltham MA – performed the first laser-assisted cataract surgery in Massachusetts. This unique “first” was performed by SurgiSite Medical Director Jonathan H. Talamo, MD in December 2012. Dozens more ‘bladeless cataract surgeries’ – as they have come to be known – have been performed successfully in the weeks since, and both cataract surgeons and patients have raved about the speed, safety and rapid recovery.
SurgiSite Boston, now about six years old, is a stunningly modern ambulatory surgery center that is used by 70 ophthalmologists from throughout the region. It was created by Andrew Gillies, MD, President of SurgiSite Boston, and Jay S. Duker, MD, Director of New England Eye Center at Tufts Medical Center. SurgiSite aims to best serve both patients and physicians by acting quickly to adopt new technologies and create a comfortable, accessible environment for treatment.
The Catalys® Precision Laser system (www.optimedica.com) “is the result of unprecedented advances in image-guided laser eye surgery. It is gentle and patient-friendly, causing little or no discomfort while performing key steps of cataract surgery with superb precision and accuracy,” according to Dr. Talamo who was pleased to be among the first in the nation – certainly the first in Boston – to use the Catalys system in the operating room.
“This new technology is transforming cataract surgery from less of an art, heavily dependent on individual manual dexterity, to more of a science,” Dr. Talamo said. “This should lead to new and more reliable ways that we, as eye surgeons, approach this disease.”
The laser system has innovative features to create a breakthrough system for cataract surgery. Clinical studies have shown the laser is approximately 10 times more accurate than incisions made by hand. It borrows ideas from the now mature LASIK surgery systems that reshape the cornea to correct vision. Dr. Samir Melki, a Boston LASIK surgeon, says ReLACS is a natural extension. “Catalys has taken a very good instrument and made it even better and more useful,” he said.
SurgiSite Boston is located at 1440 Main Street in Waltham, MA. Patients interested in having their surgery at SurgiSite Boston must be referred to a surgeon on staff. Physicians interested in using the facility should contact Business Manager Laura Burns at 781-891-9300.