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C. Surgeons Trained for a New Vision Correction Procedure

Narrator: This is Science Today. A new non-laser option to treat mild to moderate nearsightedness has generated lots of excitement since recent FDA approval. The innovative procedure called Intacs, implants tiny plastic rings directly onto the cornea. Unlike lasers, these implants can be removed if a patient isn't satisfied with their vision. But the procedure isn't widely available yet. David Schanzlin, an ophthalmologist at the University of California, San Diego, says that's because there's a learning curve involved.

Schanzlin: In the United States, there have only been about fifteen surgeons that are trained to do the Intacs. These are the places where the clinical trials were conducted. So there's going to be a massive training effort put on by the company that makes the Intacs, as well as universities like ours, that will be teaching other doctors how to do these procedures.

Narrator: And that will take some time.

Schanzlin: We'd like to train people and train them very well - make sure that they learn the skills that it takes to master this technique and then in their first cases, that they have other surgeons helping them out.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.