It is rare indeed that we mortals are fortunate enough to be drawing breath when something so anxiously anticipated, so life-alerting, so transplendent comes to pass as occurred just one short week ago.
I’m talking, naturally, about—
The Release of the New iPad.
OK, kidding. But the number of trees that were sacrificed to articles predicting, forecasting and tea-leaf-reading on the new Apple tablet with the deviously clever name was astounding. That’s not even counting the bloggers and online authors, who were only felling virtual trees.
Femtosecond laser cataract surgery, I will admit, has not received quite the same level of hype as the new iPad. It just seems that way. It seems that it’s all anyone has wanted to talk about for about the past year and half or so at every ophthalmology meeting except for maybe the Retina Society. (There, it was just in the hallways, not from the podium.)
As this month’s cover attests, along with the number of trees that we ourselves have claimed over five separate articles in this issue, we are hardly immune to the call of the new. And while I’m very happy with what we’ve produced and feel it is well worth your time as a reader, we have to acknowledge right up front: If you’re looking for definitive answers about femto laser cataract, they are few and far between.
From the early adopters, we are learning that, indeed, the technology offers some significant potential advantages. What actual outcomes data there is at this point, you’ll find in Chris Kent's fine article starting on p. 54. For most of the issues around laser cataract, though, there remain more questions than answers.
What is not in question, I think, is that the technology has the potential to drastically alter the way this profession thinks about cataract surgery, in a way that parallels major transitions like the move from intra- to extracap and the adoption of phacoemulsification, as several of our experts have pointed out.
While we can’t hope yet to deliver definitive answers, I hope that over the course of these pages we are asking the right questions about issues such as reimbursement, the role of physician extenders, the impact on residency training and the decisions you’ll need to make to remain competive. You and your colleagues are in for a lot of marketing about this once everyone’s approved and up and running. That’s the nature of the business. You’re used to it by now.
Oh, and in truth I wasn’t completely kidding about the new iPad. We actually do have an article on it this month, on p. 20. Maybe this marketing stuff works after all.