Laser technology continues to make medical procedures quicker, safer and more accurate, and now thanks to femtosecond technology (the same technology behind LASIK) cataract procedures are included in these advances.
Although traditional cataract surgery is one of the safest and most common procedures that ophthalmologists perform, it is highly dependent on the surgeon’s skill and steady hand. In traditional cataract removal, the surgeon uses a hand-held metal blade to make 2 or 3 small incisions in the edge of the cornea to gain access to the lens. The lens capsule is manually opened in order to remove the cloudy lens material via an ultrasonic device. An intraocular lens is then inserted into the capsule, replacing the focusing power of the cloudy natural lens.
In laser cataract surgery, a 3-D image of the eye allows the surgeon to create a plan for an incisions at a specific location, depth, and length in the cornea. The laser performs the additional steps of opening the lens capsule and breaking the body of the lens into small fragments, increasing safety by reducing the ultrasound energy needed to remove the softened lens. Additionally, the laser can make small arc incisions in the cornea to fine tune the focus of the eye. The laser’s phenomenal accuracy and reproducibility improve each of these steps formerly done by hand.
Ophthalmologist Thomas Henderson, M.D. notes, “Laser cataract surgery is the most significant advance in lens replacement since ultrasound and small incision cataract surgery began about 30 years ago. It is similar to the huge advance in LASIK surgery when we switched from mechanical to laser flap making around 10 years ago. Since I started laser cataract surgery two years ago, I have enjoyed providing my patients the best results for lens replacement I have ever achieved.”
To learn more about laser cataract surgery or traditional cataract surgery, please contact the Eye Clinic of Austin team at (512) 427-1100 or message us.