Femtosecond Cataract Surgery is a recent advancement.
Of all the types of surgeries performed, cataract surgery is the most common with approximately 19 million people undergoing the operation each year worldwide! In the United States it id the most commonly performed surgical procedure. Femtosecond cataract surgery is an attempt to remove cataracts with more precision making it safer due to the precision of laser technology.
Patients undergoing Femtosecond cataract surgery may have their operation without the need for blades at all. The whole procedure is done through a small incision the size of a pin to remove the cataractous lens restoring vision. The features of femtosecond lasers include:
- Imaging in real time that also has integrated OCT, this will allow for the eye to be seen in 3D throughout the operation.
- Patients can expect a more comfortable experience due to the curved patient interface and performance of the special laser.
- Because every patient is different the touch screen interface allows ease of set up for the user to plan the operation in advance so that the surgery can begin sooner and with greater ease.
- The location, size and even shape of the small incision can be planned beforehand giving greater control over the surgery and of course better results for all patients.
Before Femosecond cataract surgery was offered to the public it first underwent numerous studies. The studies showed the technique to be both safer and more effective than traditional methods. By introducing such precision to the operating room, the success rate has been increased immensely. Even the densest cataracts can be liquefied with little effort and less chance of damage to the eye itself.
As the equipment is able to take and create an image that is 3 dimensional it can give such precise results that it can take as little as few seconds to dissolve the cataract without a single cut . It is the first of its kind and has been deemed to be a safe method of removing cataracts to date.
Advantages of Femtosecond Cataract Surgery
The precision of this innovative technique has many benefits over traditional cataract surgery.
With traditional cataract removal there have been cases where tears have occurred to the anterior capsular which can lead to permanent sight loss or reduced sight. In cases where the cataract has been allowed to get worse over time (especially when waiting on long lists has occurred) it can be difficult to remove the cataract traditionally. Even in cases where the cataract is older and hard, Femtosecond cataract surgery is able to chop it with better results and faster recover time for patients. As the size of the capsulotomy remains consistent there is also a reduced chance of the lens being in the wrong position. Femtosecond lasers are an advantage in traumatic cataracts too.
A word of caution. Recent studies have shown that the laser may not be needed in all situations. In many eyes, experienced surgical hands can give better results. So judgement has to be applied.
As the amount of people being seen with cataracts each year is on the rise the waiting list for surgery and ultimately the waiting time can be shortened significantly.