The Eyes have it at University Health System and UT Health, where Ophthalmologist Dr. Kundandeep Nagi is perfecting a special laser technique to make eye operations to treat glaucoma and cataracts easier, quicker, and far less painful, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  "Much milder, much gentler, much quicker visual recovery," Dr. Nagi told 1200 WOAI news.


  The procedure, called endocyclophotocoagulation, actually uses fiber optics to place the laser beam that performs the surgery inside the eye, rather than having to cut into the eye to introduce the laser.


  "Now this later is hooked up to a fiber optic probe," he said. "It is hooked up to an endoscope.  You can actually go inside the eye, visualize what you are seeing, and laser that specific tissue."


  He says the key is to be able to lower pressure in the eye after cataract surgery, and to repair the gland that produces excess liquid in the eye, leading to glaucoma, from inside the eye rather than from outside.  Older techniques laser the muscle from outside the eye, which uses substantially more energy and results in greater inflammation.  The new technique can lower intraocular pressure when used in conjunction with cataract surgery.


  Dr. Nagi says the better, quicker, and more painless cataract and laser surgery is important because the surgery is about to experience a rush of demand.


  "Cataracts and glaucoma are both age related conditions," he said.  "As we get older we are more likely to get cataracts, and as we get older the risk of glaucoma increases as well."


  As the Baby Boomer population moves into its 60s and 70s, Dr. Nagi says there will be increasing demand for this surgery.


  He says the eye conditions are also both side effects of diabetes, which is also very prevalent in this area.