Brett Foxman, MD, Clinical Service Chief in Ophthalmology at Shore Medical Center in Somers Point, New Jersey, recently won a U.S. patent for his new version of the scleral depressor.
Dr. Foxman said after performing thousands of eye surgeries using a tool that had stayed essentially unchanged since he was a resident more than 30 years earlier, he had a better idea and began tinkering with different designs, according to a news release.
The Foxman Scleral Depressor offers several advances over older models, according to Dr. Foxman. This version ends in a quarter-circle arc, which gives surgical assistants easier access to all of the sclera without hitting the wide field lens system, microscope, and surgeon’s instruments. The teardrop-shaped tip also is less likely to catch on sutures, scleral buckle elements, the lid speculum, and other objects in the operative field, he said.
“It’s not a game-changer, but every step in surgery that you can make easier or more efficient is worthwhile” says Dr. Foxman.
The patented device is now available by special order from Bausch + Lomb. It also may be available from Vortex Surgical and other manufacturers soon.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office formally awarded the Foxman Scleral Depressor patent number 10,251,634 this spring. Foxman also has a patent application pending in the European Union.
To learn more about the Foxman Scleral Depressor, visit Dr. Foxman’s October 2018 article in Retina: The Journal of Retinal and Vitreous Diseases titled, “A Novel Scleral Depressor for Use in Vitrectomy Surgery.”