Utah Chosen for Live Surgery Witnessed by Eye Surgeons from Around the World

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (March 31, 2009)— Eight Utah patients will receive free cataract eye surgery from The Eye Institute of Utah—the venue chosen for a Live Surgery educational course will be broadcast to over 1,000 surgeons at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons conference. The surgery takes place Saturday, April 4 and will be beamed live in HD to the Moscone Conference Center in San Francisco, where surgeons at the conference can interact with some of the world’s experts, who will be conducting the surgery at The Eye Institute of Utah.

The Eye Institute of Utah has selected eight patients to receive the free surgery based on financial need, general health of the eye and desired patient lifestyle. The cataract surgeries that will be performed feature state‐of‐the‐art, premium lenses that will be implanted in patients who would not typically be able to afford it either because they do not have insurance, or insurance and Medicare are only able to cover basic cataract surgery. Two advanced corrective lenses, the Acrysof ReSTOR IOL and the Acroysof Toric IOL, will be used to replace the patients’ hardened cataract lenses during the live surgery event: the Presbyopia Correcting Lens (ReSTOR), which now corrects for near, intermediate and
distance vision, will be implanted in two (2) patients. The benefit in using these new lenses over standard cataract lenses is that standard lenses only address distance vision and patients are still dependent on glasses for reading. The Toric Lens, which now corrects for astigmatism, a vision impairment affecting crispness, will also be implanted in a patient who needs significant astigmatism correction. Astigmatism has previously been difficult to treat, especially in cataract patients.

“These surgeries—performed by some of the top surgeons in the world—will make a dramatic impact to our patients, who otherwise couldn’t afford to have their vision restored” said Dr. Robert Cionni, Medical Director for The Eye Institute of Utah. “Now they will not only receive treatment for their cataracts, but they will also be receiving the best of what’s available from world class surgeons right here in Utah.” For the live April 4th worldwide conference event, four surgeries will be broadcast live, but all eight patients will receive the corrective surgery in both eyes for free. Some of the patients have already had the surgery on their first eye in preparation for the live event and are experiencing the improvements to their vision. To learn more about the Live Surgery event conducted at The Eye Institute of Utah, contact Helen Sikes at 801.266.2283 or hsikes@theeyeinstitute.com. Limited space is available for media interested in capturing portions of the live surgeries and interviews with the surgeons. Please contact Helen by April 3rd to make arrangements.

About The Eye Institute of Utah

Known throughout the Intermountain West as a leader in the eye care industry, The Eye Institute of Utah specializes in cataract intraocular lens (IOL) implant surgery, cosmetic surgery and refractive surgeries including LASIK and refractive lens procedures (using ReSTOR, Crystalens, and Visian ICL). The Eye Institute of Utah also cares for and treats general ophthalmology needs including glaucoma, dry eye, retina and macular degeneration, and corneal transplantation. Established in 1980, as the first and largest office‐based eye surgical center in Utah, The Eye Institute is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, with a satellite office in Rock Springs, Wyoming.