Chiron Vision Technolas Planoscan 217 Laser System



Overall Rating:  B


Overview:  Chiron Vision, a subsidiary of Bausch and Lomb, has developed a scanning excimer laser system. 

    Over the years Chiron has traveled an often painful and tortuous path on their course to develop a usable laser system.  The original Chiron system was merely a poor copy of the VISX platform and was rejected outright in the early 1990’s due to clear patent infringement.  However, instead of developing a truly innovative device that was superior to other conventional technology, Chiron merely attempted to develop a system that circumvented patent law.  Apparently driven by a need to retrofit their existing hardware to minimize development costs and a need to get product to the market to survive financially, Chiron felt compelled to build on existing hardware available in the early 1990’s rather than create a laser system that would be truly state-of-the-art in 2000.   

    The result is a laser platform that attempts to emulate both the VISX Star S2 and the Autonomous LADARVision platforms but comes up seriously short on two counts.  Most glaring in these deficits is Chiron’s inadequate eye tracking methodology – an essential part of an accurate scanning laser system.  Fundamentally, the acquisition time for the Chiron laser is far too long to properly track a moving eye target.  To compensate for this deficit the Chiron 217 uses a large 2 mm beam to scan the cornea.  Apparently, Chiron’s engineers came to conclude that if you cannot accurately or consistently aim the scanning beam at the correct spot, it is much easier to use a “shotgun” than a “rifle”.  In addition, the German ceramic laser head produces a beam profile that is not nearly as smooth as even older broad beam laser systems.  By creating a hybrid device that stands between the true scanning lasers and the broad beam lasers, the Chiron platform is a device that may prove to be useful for treatments in 1999 but cannot adapt to the surgeons needs into the next millennium.

    Overall, the Chiron Technolas Planoscan 217 laser platform is a 2 mm scanning laser  with a video based eye tracking system.





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Link to Chiron Vision Web Site  -