Laser cataract surgery with LenSX laser is a recently developed approach that yields even more predictable postoperative results from what is already considered one of the safest and most effective operations in surgical eye care. Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut is proud to offer this procedure to our patients suffering from cataracts, the clouding of the eye’s crystalline lens that typically occurs due to advancing age.
During cataract surgery, whether traditional or laser assisted, the eye’s cataract-damaged natural lens is surgically removed from the eye and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens implant (IOL). In laser-assisted cataract surgery, a laser is used for many skill-intensive steps traditionally performed with a handheld device, thereby offering greater precision and control.
How is Laser Cataract Surgery Done?
Laser cataract surgery is performed with a femtosecond laser, which has been used to create blade-free incisions in the eye during all-laser-LASIK surgery for years. When used during cataract surgery, the femtosecond laser, instead of a handheld surgical blade, is used to create the corneal incision as well as the anterior capsulotomy (the opening of the front part of the capsule that contains the eye’s crystalline lens). In addition, the laser is used to perform the lens fragmentation (breaking up of the cataract-diseased lens prior to removal), which is typically done with an ultrasonic probe.
After using the femtosecond laser for the first portion of cataract surgery, our surgeons then use the laser-created incision in the eye to manually insert an IOL for clear postoperative vision. This step is the same as in micro-incision cataract surgery. The incision created in the eye during micro-incision cataract surgery, as well as laser cataract surgery, is self-sealing, meaning no stitches are needed.
What are the Advantages of Laser Cataract Surgery?
When compared to micro-incision cataract surgery, laser cataract surgery offers our patients several unique advantages, including enhanced safety, reduced treatment time and a smoother recovery.
These benefits are possible because our OCC surgeons are able to use the femtosecond laser to:
- Create perfect incisions that seal properly, thereby reducing the risk of complications
- Create a perfectly sized and centered capsulotomy, further enhancing safety and postoperative results
- Liquefy rather than chop the cataract-diseased lens for easy removal
In the near future, the femtosecond laser may also be used to create a limbal relaxing incision (RLI) during cataract surgery for treatment of pre-existing astigmatism. RLI is currently performed with a handheld surgical blade.