Laser Cataract Surgery
Thanks to huge medical advances, cataract surgery is one of the safest and most successful procedures performed today. Cataract surgery is generally a simple outpatient procedure with little discomfort. Until now, traditional cataract surgery procedures were performed manually by the surgeon using a blade for all the incisions. With the introduction of LenSx® laser, the first FDA approved laser for use in cataract surgery, the surgeons at Gadsden Eye Associates are the first in Northeast Alabama to have the ability to create incisions and reduce astigmatism without blades. These incisions are proven to be more accurate and precise, thus eliminating some of the variables that have complicated cataract surgery in the past. LenSx® laser cataract surgery revolutionizes today’s cataract procedure and now patients have the option of choosing a bladeless, computer-controlled laser to perform the most critical steps of cataract surgery.
Why Laser Cataract Surgery?
Invented by Charles Kelman, MD, Phacoemulsification cataract surgery has been around since 1967. This technology pioneered the way to small incision surgery that has made cataract surgery one of the safest and most successful procedures in medicine today. Phacoemulsification is still considered the state of the art cataract removal technique, however there are many steps in the cataract procedure that are still performed manually with either a surgical blade, a bent needle or forceps. Surgeons using the femtosecond laser, now perform these steps adding a greater amount of precision and improved visual outcome to the entire cataract procedure.
Laser cataract surgery Gadsden and Etowah, Alabama. Bladeless Cataract Surgery only takes 15 or 20 minutes. In addition to using the femtosecond laser to do many of the surgical steps traditionally performed by hand, we use many of the best innovations in cataract surgery, such as drops only anesthesia (no shots), sutureless incisions through the clear cornea and foldable intraocular lenses. These advances allow us to use the smallest possible incision, approximately 1/18th of an inch.
In addition to using the laser to create a stair-stepped, self-sealing incision to begin the procedure, an opening in the thin membrane that surrounds the natural lens can now be made with the laser. This step, the capsulorhexis, is one of the most delicate steps in cataract surgery and is critical to the efficacy of the procedure. In fact, your replacement Intra-Ocular Lens (IOL) is placed through the capsulorhexis into the membrane and it is critical to a good refractive outcome. The capsulorhexis also provides your surgeon with an opening to begin the removal of the cataract. Once the cataract is removed, the remaining capsular bag serves as a platform to hold the IOL. The round capsulorhexis is usually about 5 millimeters in diameter and will hold a 6 millimeter or larger IOL. If the capsulorhexis not made uniformly it may cause the IOL to tilt or move as the capsular bag contracts around the IOL during the healing process. If the capsulorhexis is torn during the manual process, it could prevent the insertion of certain types of IOLs, thus compromising the desired outcome.
In traditional cataract surgery, once the capsulorhexis is made manually, the lens has to be chopped into manageable pieces with the ultrasonic power of the phacoemulsification instrument. Certain complications could be induced during this step rupturing the posterior of the capsular bag and causing injury to the delicate zonular fibers that hold the capsular bag in place and help the natural lens change its shape. In order for the new technology multifocal and accommodating IOLs to function at peak performance, the integrity of the zonular fibers must not be compromised. In order to prevent injury to the zonular fibers, the femtosecond laser is used to gently break apart and soften the cataractous lens.
To find out if Laser Cataract Surgery is right for you, call our office at (256) 547-8634 to schedule a consultation today.