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NVISION Laser Eye Centers First in the Nation to Offer Avellino-GENE Detection System Test to Protect Patients from Blindness

Tue, 05/14/2013 - 8:04am
PR Newswire

MENLO PARK, Calif., May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Avellino Lab USA, developer of the only genetic test available worldwide for Avellino Corneal Dystrophy (ACD), today announced that California-based NVISION Laser Eye Centers is the first provider in the United States to offer patients the Avellino-GENE Detection System (AGDS™) Test that makes LASIK safer. Prior to undergoing refractive surgery such as LASIK, the AGDS Test detects, with 100 percent accuracy, the ACD genetic mutation in which carriers are at an extremely high risk of experiencing eventual blindness as a result of vision-correction refractive surgery. NVISION Laser Eye Centers now offer Avellino Lab USA's AGDS Test at 10 of its 17 locations throughout California.

The AGDS Test is the world's first genetic test to detect ACD, a disease that causes cloudiness, specifically grey-white granular deposits on the corneas, which can lead to complete loss of sight. While ACD usually develops slowly, carriers of this genetic mutation are at an extremely high risk of experiencing diminished vision and eventual blindness should they undergo vision-correction refractive surgery such as LASIK, LASEK or PRK. Fortunately, the AGDS Test positively identifies with 100 percent accuracy if a person has the genetic mutation. By doing so, the test reduces the risk of patients with ACD having post-LASIK vision impairment or blindness and increases their confidence that they are avoiding unnecessary harm to their vision. 

"We pride ourselves in offering our patients the latest technologies to make vision correction surgery even safer for our patients," said Dr. Tom Tooma , founder of NVISION Laser Eye Centers. "Offering the AGDS Test differentiates NVISION by adding a level of safety to the LASIK procedure that other laser eye centers cannot offer. We are very excited to be the first provider in the country and the only one in southern California to offer the AGDS Test."

The AGDS Test is easy and safe, involving just a simple mouth swab from a patient's cheek. The sample is then sent to Avellino Lab USA's certified molecular diagnostic testing lab. Within 24 to 48 hours, the results are provided to the NVISION physician to share with the patient. Based on a negative result, patients are able to proceed with the planned LASIK procedure with confidence. If an individual is identified as positive for the genetic mutation, he or she will be advised against having LASIK surgery and encouraged to take protective measures, such as minimizing exposure to UV light by wearing appropriate protective lenses, to help postpone the progression of ACD symptoms.

"NVISION's offering of the AGDS Test demonstrates their commitment to providing patients with the most innovative and state-of-the-art care," said Scott Korney , chief operating officer of Avellino Lab USA. "We are proud to work with NVISION in advancing our efforts to make LASIK safer for the thousands of patients who undergo eye vision correction surgery each year."

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