Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery

//Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery
Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery2018-07-29T15:58:53+00:00

Catalys Precision Laser System for laser cateract surgeryOne of the most exciting developments in cataract surgery is the use of a laser to perform parts of the operation to remove the cataract. The actual cataract removal is still accomplished by ultrasonic phacoemulsification.

Overview

Although many patients believe cataract surgery involves the use of lasers, this was not true until about 2010 with the advent of femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery.

Use of Femtosecond Laser in Cataract Surgery

  • The incision: Rather than making this incision on the cornea of the eye manually with either a special metal or diamond blade, this incision can be more accurately performed with the femtosecond laser.
  • The capsulorexhis: One of the most delicate and critical steps of cataract surgery requires the surgeon to perform a round tear or opening into the front capsule of the cataract and to try to make this perfectly round and exactly the correct diameter. This is difficult to accomplish perfectly every time, even for highly skilled cataract surgeons. Research studies have shown that the femotsecond laser can help to more accurately perform this step than the manual method.
  • Softening of the Lens Nucleus: The cataract has two main components that need to be removed by the ultrasonic vibrating needle during phacoemulsification, the firm central core or “nucleus” and the softer material surrounding the nucleus called the “cortex.” The femtosecond laser can soften and partially divide the nucleus to make its removal easier for the surgeon with the ultrasonic probe.
  • Astigmatic incisions: Currently, there are two methods of correcting astigmatism during cataract surgery: toric lens implants or incisions along the axis of the corneal astigmatism. Precisely making these incisions by hand is difficult because the incision has to be gently curved and of the proper depth and location on the cornea. The femtosecond laser has an imaging system which can measure the proper location and depth of these astigmatic arcuate incisions and then the laser places them with the correct amount of curvature, depth, and location on the cornea.

The femtosecond laser is not offered by all cataract surgeons, and not all patients are candidates for its use. If you are interested in laser cataract surgery, you should check to see if your eye doctor offers this technology. If your doctor does not, you will need to find a cataract surgeon who does offer it.

You should find and meet with a surgeon who can properly evaluate whether you are a good candidate – one with whom you can discuss the pros and cons of this technology to help you determine if laser cataract surgery is best for you.