Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in modern medicine. Over recent years, implementation of microincisions and phacoemulsification allows modern cataract surgeons to perform no-shot, no-stitch, no-patch cataract surgery.
Now, the latest advancement in cataract surgery is here – blade-free, laser-assisted cataract surgery!
Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery
Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery signifies a bold leap forward by removing the ‘human factor’ out of the equation and taking the safety and precision of modern cataract surgery to new heights. Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery is a way of performing cataract surgery without a surgical blade. This laser technology has proven to not only reduce risks associated with traditional cataract surgery, but also to improve accuracy and efficiency of the procedure. Recent studies show that essential steps of the the procedure were several times more accurate than standard techniques.
The FDA approved Femtosecond Laser uses light energy to perform corneal incisions and anterior capsulotomies. Everyone has a unique structure to the eye, and the laser is custom-guided to perform these steps with the most accurate and precise results possible for each individual. Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery brings a greater level of accuracy, consistency, and safety to several critical areas of cataract surgery, including the formation of the capsulorhexis and corneal incision (both the cataract incision and astigmatic keratotomies) and conditioning of the lens prior to its extraction. FDA clinical studies on Femtosecond Laser capsulorhexis showed that the technique is significantly more precise than manual capsulorhexis. The capsulotomy is arguably the most critical step in cataract surgery, and improving the sizing, centration, and consistency of capsulotomy via automation is a great advance in cataract surgery. This procedure can also better manage astigmatism than traditional cataract surgery.
Currently, laser cataract surgery is not covered by insurance, which most often results in out-of-pocket expense for patients electing this procedure. The cost to patients varies according to condition, but is estimated to be between $800-$1000 more per eye. Fortunately, the majority of cataract surgery expenses are still paid for by insurance.