Laser cataract surgery is not as scary as it sounds. In fact, it’s only advanced further and further to become the routine procedure it is today. So much so that portions of the surgery that used to use lasers or ultrasound technology can be performed using lasers. But before we go into how lasers have added an extra layer of sophistication to this procedure, let’s talk about how cataract surgery is typically performed.
The Traditional Method
Cataracts are a buildup of protein on the eye’s lens. Since they can’t be broken up with eye drops or medication, surgical intervention is required to remove the lens and insert a new, artificial one.
Your ophthalmologist makes incisions in your cornea, the transparent topmost layer of the eye. Your doctor then injects a glue-like substance into the eye to help it maintain its shape during the surgery. Its thickness prevents the liquid from oozing out during the operation.
The lens is then separated from the lens capsule using a salt solution. Once this has happened, an ultrasound device breaks up the separated lens into small pieces before sucking it out of the eye. This process is known as phacoemulsification.
The new lens is then inserted through the incision where it is able to unfold within the eye.
The Laser Method
Laser cataract surgery has the same outcome as traditional laser cataract surgery. At present, there is not a big enough difference between the two methods to suggest that you are getting a lower quality of care with either, so this is a decision that should be made under advisement from your doctor. Both are safe and effective.
With laser cataract surgery, a laser is used to perform the steps that are usually performed by a blade. A femtosecond laser is used to make the corneal incision. Once the incision has been made, the laser also assists with breaking up the lens, meaning less energy is needed to remove the lens, reducing the amount of possible complications.
As mentioned, both methods are commonly used and have similar success rates. Ultimately, it comes an issue of personal preferences and medical situation. This makes a conversation with an ophthalmologist extremely important. Your ophthalmologist can provide the answers you need to determine how you can undergo laser cataract surgery as comfortably as possible.
Laser cataract surgery has experienced marvelous leaps in precision, patient success outcomes, and specialization over the decades. Barring complications, laser cataract surgery takes about 10 minutes per eye to perform.
Our team at Feinerman Vision Center has been consulting on and performing laser cataract surgery for individuals throughout the Newport Beach area for years. If you think your vision impairment may be due to cataracts, give us a call to book a comprehensive eye exam today. If cataracts do turn out to be the issue, you can speak with one of our laser cataract surgery specialists for a professional consultation and start your journey towards clear vision. Give us a call today!