Invention

Dr. Santamaria's Invention
Facilitates Cataract Surgery - 1992

There is light at the end of the tunnel for cataract sufferers. And thanks to a newer stitchless operation to remove cataracts done by Dr. Jaime Santamaria II.

A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens that obstructs the passage of light causing blurred or doubled vision and in-depth perception problems.

Dr. Santamaria, the well-known eye surgeon, has invented a sheath that covers the knife that makes a precise tunnel in the eye. This self-sealing tunnel is the secret to sutureless ("stitchless") cataract surgery. Sutureless cataract surgery is a true improvement, since there is much quicker visual rehabilitation and stabilization of vision. The entire surgery is performed through this small tunnel varying in size from only 3.5mm to 6mm. Self-sealing incisions are also safer in case of trauma following surgery. Dr. Santamaria's Phaco-Gardâ„¢ Knife features a sheath, which prevents the knife from nicking the tunnel sides and is retracted when it reaches the end of the tunnel. Dr. Santamaria has licensed this invention (Patent No. 5,234,436) to Xomed-Trace and the device is now available to physicians.

Only a few years ago, cataract surgery would have meant weeks at home in the darkness while a patient's eye was healing. But now with new technology patients are recovering in very short periods of time and seeing clearly what was once a blur.

Dr. Santamaria is one of about thirty percent of eye surgeons nationwide performing sutureless cataract surgery enabling patients to return to full activity within just 24 to 30 hours.

And that is just what happened to Leon Kaczmarek. Only two days after Santamaria performed surgery on Kaczmarek, he saw things differently. Now he no longer uses the thick glasses that he was forced to use because of the blurred vision caused by the cataracts. And, he can get behind the wheel and drive again, a privilege that he hadn't enjoyed because of his distorted vision that forced his wife to do all the driving.

Dr. Santamaria is the Surgeon-Director of the Santamaria Eye Institute in Perth Amboy, NJ (732.826.5159).

Dr. Santamaria is also on the staff of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York where he is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology (Columbia University). He is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.