2 October 2013

Ellex to Spotlight Role of Vitreolysis in the Treatment of Floaters at the XXXI Congress of the ESCRS


Ellex Medical Lasers Limited (ASX:ELX), a pioneer in ophthalmic laser and imaging technology, will spotlight the role of Nd:YAG laser vitreolysis (vitreolysis) in the treatment of vitreous strands and opacities during the XXXI Congress of the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons in Amsterdam, 5-9 October 2013.

Clinical studies have shown vitreolysis to be an effective treatment approach for vitreous strands and opacities, commonly referred to as floaters (1,2, 3). Furthermore, when performed with a YAG laser designed specifically for use in the posterior segment, reported side effects and complications associated with vitreolysis are rare. Despite this, vitreolysis is generally not taught, nor endorsed, by medical schools. This is due, in part, to the belief that floaters are benign and do not require treatment.

While they are not sight threatening, floaters can result in significant visual disturbance. Indeed, a study by Wagle et al. found that many sufferers consider them to inflict the same degree of burden and emotional strain as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (3).The Company’s focus on vitreolysis will be addressed as part of the Ellex-hosted EuroTimes Symposium, “Redefining Convention: Laser Applications for Glaucoma and Vitreolysis”, as well as a Physician Forum. ESCRS will also mark the European launch of the Company’s Ultra Q Reflex multi-modality YAG laser, which is the first and only YAG laser designed specifically for vitreolysis.

Ellex EuroTimes Satellite Symposium

Date:     Sunday, 6 October
1.00 – 2.00pm
Venue:  Room E103 (Amsterdam Congress Centre, RAI) 

The Ellex EuroTimes Satellite Symposum: “Redefining Convention: Laser Applications for Glaucoma and Vitreolysis”, will highlight the latest advances in laser technology, including vitreolysis in the treatment of vitreous strands and opacities. The keynote presentation titled: “Vitreous Floaters Impeding Our Vision”, will be given by Marie-Jose Tassignon, MD, PhD (Belgium), former President of the ESCRS Society and Head of Ophthalmology Department at the University Hospital Antwerp. A panel of vitreolysis experts, including: Feike Gerbrandy, MD (The Netherlands) and Cees van der Windt, MD (The Netherlands) will join Prof. Tassignon.

Vitreolysis Physician Forum

Date:     Monday, 7 October
Time:    7:30 – 9:00am (breakfast provided)
Venue:  MOMO Exclusive, Level 1, Hobbemastraat 1 1071 XZ Amsterdam

Feike Gerbrandy, MD (The Netherlands) will moderate a roundtable discussion with the industry’s leading experts on the role of vitreolysis in the management of vitreous strands and opacities. A range of topics will be addressed, including: patient selection, managing patient expectations, documenting and measuring improvement, treatment protocol and clinical tips/pearls for success.

ESCRS Scientific Program

Vitreolysis will also be addressed as part of official scientific program at the XXXI Congress of the ESCRS. Two paper presentations to take note of are outlined below:

Floater Laser or YAG Vitreolysis: Results of a Large Prospective Case Series
Session Title: Special Cases
Session Date/Time: Monday 07/10/2013; 17:00-18:30
Paper Time: 17:15
Venue: Elicium 1 (First Floor)
Author: Feike Gerbrandy (The Netherlands)

A Comparison of Nd:YAG Laser Vitreolysis vs. Pars Plana Vitrectomy in Eyes with Vitreous Floaters
Session Title: Ocular pathologies and training and innovation
Session Date/Time: Monday 07/10/2013; 08:00-10:00
Paper Time: 08:44
Venue: Emerald (First Floor)
Author: Cees Van der Windt (The Netherlands)

European Launch of Ultra Q Reflex 

The Ultra Q Reflex is the only YAG laser designed specifically for the treatment of floaters. Optimized for performing YAG laser treatments both in the anterior segment and posterior segment, it is ideally suited to performing for all conventional YAG laser treatments, such as capsulotomy and iridotomy, as well as vitreolysis.

The new Ultra Q Reflex multi-modality YAG laser will be exhibited at the Ellex exhibit #A13. There will be opportunities for hands-on demonstration, including a wetlab where physicians can test their ability to visualize and “shoot” floaters.

The European launch of Ultra Q Reflex coincides with the creation of a website www.floater-vitreolysis.coma new online resource about floaters and vitreolysis for both physicians and patients. It provides a wealth of treatment information based on the experience of physicians worldwide and covers a range of topics, such as how to qualify patients for treatment and optimal treatment techniques.

  1. Fankhauser F, Kwasniewska S, van der Zypen E. Vitreolysis with the Q-Switched Laser. Arch Ophthalmology 103:116-1171, 1985 (1985).
  2. W F Tsai, Y C Chen, and C Y Su. Treatment of vitreous floaters with neodymium YAG laser. Br J Ophthalmol. 1993 August; 77(8): 485–488 (1993).
  3. Tassignon MJ, Kreissig I, Stempels N, Brihaye M.Indications for Q-switched and mode-locked Nd: YAG lasers in vitreoretinal pathology. Eur J Ophthalmol. 1991 Jul-Sep;1(3):123-30 (1991).
  4. Sebag, J et al. Floaters and Quality of Life. Am J Ophthalmol. 2011 Jul;152(1):3-4.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2011.02.015 (2011)


Ellex (Ellex Medical Lasers Limited) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of ophthalmic laser and ultrasound systems used by ophthalmologists to diagnose and treat eye disease. With more than 20,000 systems delivered to the market, Ellex has evolved since 1985 from a manufacturing company of primarily OEM products, to direct marketing of its own branded products through subsidiaries in the United States, Japan, Germany and Australia, and a network of distribution partners in more than 100 countries.