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The Ocularist
Magnetic Attraction
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Case Histories
Prosthetic Eye Institute


Magnetic Attraction System for Prosthetic Eyes:

Below is a short movie of one of our patients with the Magnetic Attraction System in his right socket. You can see that the movement of the prosthesis is greatly improved with the magnet in place.

Several years ago Scott Garonzik, Ocularist for the Prosthetic Eye Institute began testing on the magnetic attraction system for prosthetic eye wearers to increase the motility of the prosthetic eye. Dr. Timothy Murray, M.D. from Bascom Palmer Eye Institute did a study using Scott’s system. The system showed great promise adding movement to the prosthetic eye without many of the complications experienced in the past systems.

Scott received 2 (two) patents and has sold the rights to market the system to one of the major implant manufacturers (Porex Surgical) who recognized the systems potential. Scott developed the system and it has been approved by the FDA and is available for use by surgeons. The system contains a non-magnetic titanium screw that is placed in the MEDPOR implant and is completely covered with socket tissue at the time of surgery. The Ocularist can then fabricate a custom prosthesis with small 1mm thick magnet(s) in the back of the prosthesis. The Ocularist will determine how many magnets to use to adjust the magnetic coupling force between the prosthesis and the implant. The magnet(s) are buried within the back of the prosthesis and covered with the same acrylic material used in making the prosthesis. The result is that the socket tissue is not exposed to the magnetic material. The magnets are only placed in the prosthesis; therefore there are no concerns about reverse polarity between the implant and the prosthesis.

How well the system works depends on two factors, the surgical technique used to insert the screw in the implant and the fitting technique used by the Ocularist to insert the magnet in the prosthesis. We have also found that continuous care and refits of the prosthesis will help to keep the system working well and help to avoid socket complications. This is also true for regular prosthetic eye wearers.

We fit approximately 80 – 100 patients monthly with artificial eyes. One of the complications commonly seen is the thinning of the tissue covering the implant, which is referred to as the conjunctiva. This is the tissue between the artificial eye and the implant, which was surgically placed at the time of the eye removal. Almost every prosthetic eye fit around the world for the past 50 years is fit without the benefit of a coupling system. Movement of the prosthesis has always depended on the movement to be transferred to the prosthesis by the implant rubbing against the prosthetic eye.

In our experience with the patients who received the magnetic attraction system along with their prosthetic eyes, one of the noted benefits of the magnetic attraction system was a reduction in the friction of the prosthesis rubbing against the conjunctiva as the magnetic system allows the prosthesis to move with the implant rather than rub against the tissue covering the implant.

The study that was conducted by Dr. Timothy Murray and Scott Garonzik, Ocularist will be published in the Archives of Ophthalmology in the near future. The study consisted of fitting a group of patients with prosthetic eyes using the magnetic attraction system. In all cases we had the patient wear the prosthesis with and without a magnet. First we would fit the patient with a prosthetic eye without using the magnet and have the patient wear the prosthesis for 30 – 90 days. After this we would use the same prosthesis and insert a magnet into the posterior area of the prosthetic eye, using an impression to align where to place the magnet. In every case, it was noted that the tissue covering the implant had an obvious thinning when they wore the prosthesis without the magnet and thickening of the conjunctiva with the magnet in place.

Doctors you can visit the Porex Surgical website to see more on the attractor system.

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