Miloop Removes Cataracts In A Flash


NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans over the age of 40, and are a leading cause of blindness, worldwide. A new portable device for cataract removal is speeding recovery time and may make the procedure available to patients in countries where there have been very few treatment options.

Beverly Mims’ vision problems started in her fifties and got progressively worse.

“When I started to read I’d have to hold the paper up above,” Mims said.

Magazine print that once was clear, was just a blur. Mims had cataracts, a clouding of the lens of the eye. Traditionally, doctors have used a laser probe to break up the cataract.

“It’s almost like having a stone in your eye and breaking that up sometimes requires a lot of energy. That energy is not good for the eye,” said Sean Ianchulev, MD, MPH, Director of the Ophthalmic Innovation and Technology Program at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.

(Read Full Interview)

Harvard- trained Dr. Ianchulev helped develop a new device to more easily remove the cloudy lens. It’s called MiLoop.

He explained, “It’s a microthin filament that is actually memory shaped. You can unfold it and go through a two-millimeter incision. When you retract the button, you actually cut the cataract immediately.”

For Mims, the removal was so quick, the procedure was over before she realized the doctor had started.

“I called my husband and said he’s finished. My husband said ‘finished? Did he cancel? What did you do?’ I said I didn’t do anything. He’s finished,” Mims said.

Because the device is portable and doesn’t require heat or vibration. Dr. Ianchulev used it on recent humanitarian trips to Panama and Ethiopia. Restoring vision to patients around the world …

And here at home.

Mims had her left eye done first and is scheduled to have a cataract removed from the right. She had clear vision almost immediately after the procedure.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Field and Supervising Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Hayley Hudson, Assistant Producer; Robert Walko, Editor.

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REPORT:       MB #4507

 BACKGROUND: Cataract is a term to used to describe a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, lying behind the iris and the pupil. They are the most common cause of vision loss in people over the age of 40, and the number one cause of blindness in the world. Today, cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans over the age of 40, and more than 30 million are expected to have them by the year 2020. There are several different types of cataracts, described as cortical, nuclear, or subcapsular. Signs and symptoms include vision blurriness, like looking through a cloudy piece of glass. Cataracts may make lights seem too bright or glaring, and when deriving at night glare from oncoming headlights may irritate even more. Colors may also not appear as bright as they once did. The lens of your eye is mostly made of water and protein. This protein is arranged in such a way that it keeps the lens clear and allows light to pass through; however, as you age, some of this protein may clump together.


DIAGNOSING/TREATMENT: Risk of cataract increases with age, but some other risk factors include obesity, smoking, alcohol use, diabetes, and prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light. If you believe you may have a cataract, you will need to see an eye specialist. Cataracts are detected using thorough comprehensive eye exams, including; a visual acuity test, a dilated eye exam, and tonometry (an instrument measures the pressure inside the eye). Your eye care professional may also want to conduct other tests to learn more about the health and structure of your eye. Treatment of an early cataract that may result in symptom improvement includes new eyeglasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses. If these do not help, surgery is the only effective treatment. Typically surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and does not require an overnight hospital stay. Modern procedures involve the use of high-frequency ultrasound devices to break up the cloudy lens into small pieces; these are then removed with suction from the eye and the surgeon inserts a clear artificial lens.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: Microinterventional technology in surgery isn’t new; however until now, ophthalmic surgery has generally failed to benefit from its developments. Dr. Sean Ianchulev, MD, MPH, Professor or Ophthalmology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has created a device called the miLOOP. It is a simple and low cost device for microinterventional cataract surgery. The miLOOP is made up of nitinol filament mounted on a pen-like actuator, enabling rapid non-thermal cutting of even the hardest cataracts without using laser, heat, or vibrational energy, with no fluidic complications. The miLOOP also boasts the fastest patient recovery time, with patients seeing and reading on day one after surgery.

(Source: & Sean Ianchulev, MD, MPH)


Ilana Nikravesh, PR Mt. Sinai


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Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Sean Ianchulev, MD, MPH, Professor of Ophthalmology, Director of Ophthalmic Innovation and Technology, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary

Read the entire Q&A