For patients with cataracts, there are two options for surgery: traditional cataract surgery or laser assisted cataract surgery. In traditional cataract surgery, the surgeon manually creates a small incision in the cornea with a blade similar to a scalpel. The eye surgeon then uses a small instrument that creates a circular opening in the bag where the cataract is located. Next, a high-frequency ultrasound is used to fracture the cataract and remove it. At the end of the surgery, an intraocular lens is inserted as a replacement for the opaque lens (cataract). For this procedure, sutures are usually not required.
Photo: "Laser assisted cataract surgery, up close".
In this surgery, a piece of equipment is placed on the eye that perfectly maps out the surface of the eye as well as the characteristics of the anterior part of the eye. This equipment sends this detailed information to a computer that programs the laser to determine the location, size and exact depth of the bladeless incisions in the cornea more safely.
The eye surgeon also uses the laser to create the circular opening in the bag and fracture the cataract into smaller fragments more precisely, which reduces the risks of surgery. Next, an ultrasound probe is used only to remove what is left of the cataract without the need for more complex maneuvers and the surgery is completed by inserting the intraocular lens without the use of any sutures. This surgery lasts about 15 minutes.
Photo: "Laser assisted cataract surgery as seen from the inside"
Photo: "Laser assisted cataract surgery as seen from the inside".
What are the advantages of laser-assisted cataract surgery?
Laser-assisted cataract surgery allows us to make very precise incisions, without using blades or scalpels, in even less time. The laser improves the accuracy of the key steps of surgery, such as opening the bag where the cataract is located which is a step that should be executed perfectly when inserting a premium or multifocal intraocular lens. Compared to conventional cataract surgery, laser-assisted cataract surgery can also offer a greater degree of correction for refractive errors such as astigmatism.
What to expect after cataract surgery?
For some patients, simply removing the cataract, placing a transparent intraocular lens, and using glasses for certain activities is perfect. In these patients, a monofocal lens is placed to help patients see as far as possible. Other patients may want surgery to achieve the best possible vision without having to use glasses for all of their activities. In these patients, a multifocal lens is placed to help patients see objects that are near, intermediate, and far.
Photo: “Intraocular lens after cataract surgery”
Photo: “Trifocal Intraocular lens centered”