Femtosecond laser technology revolutionized eye surgeries, especially LASIK eye surgery. It made the surgery more predictable, or accurate, and brought levels of safety to the procedure that were not available before. This same technology is having an impact on cataract surgery. It is taking a surgery that was already safe and increasing its safety level in unprecedented ways.
Laser assisted cataract surgery replaces the use of handheld surgical tools. Using lasers improves the precision of the procedure. It makes it easier for the patient to recover quickly, and it reduces or removes most of the risk associated with visual problems after cataract surgery.
Traditional cataract surgery is performed frequently. In fact, it is one of the most frequently performed surgeries around the world. The outcomes of the surgery are very predictable. This allows a skilled surgeon to perform the surgery quickly and in a methodical way.
The first step of any cataract surgery is the incision that is made in the cornea. With traditional methods, a metal or diamond scalpel is used to create the cut along the area where the cornea and the sclera meet. Through this incision, the surgeon can access the inner part of the eye, removing the cataract, which is clouding the natural lens. The incision is made in a unique way that allows it to completely heal without needing stitches.
With laser-assisted cataract surgery, state-of-the-art 3D imaging machines are used to create a detailed image of the eye. Then, the laser is used to create a precise incision at exactly the right depth and at the right angle for optimal healing. Laser surgery guarantees that the incision will be self-sealing. This is important as it is a key factor in reducing the risk of infection.
The next step is the capsulotomy. The human eye has a clear capsule that covers it. During cataract surgery, a small portion of that capsule has to be removed. This allows the doctor to reach the cataract.
It is essential that the part of the lens capsule that is not removed stays intact. This is a key part of preventing eye damage during cataract surgery. The remaining part of the lens capsule is what keeps the artificial lens implant in the patient’s eye for the remainder of their life.
When the capsulotomy is performed using lasers, doctors are better able to center the intraocular lens. This, in turn, increases the final outcome for the patient. Next, the doctor will perform a lens and cataract fragmentation. When this is done using the laser, the laser will soften the cataract and break it into smaller, soft pieces.
Laser assisted cataract surgery is safer for the inner eye and reduces the risk of complications. At Live Oak Ophthalmology in Wilmington, we are proud to offer this procedure as well as a variety of other procedures, including LASIK eye surgery, cornea transplants and other types of cornea surgeries. Contact our Wilmington office today to schedule a consultation for laser-assisted cataract surgery.