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.