What is Laser Cataract Surgery? What To Expect?
Laser cataract surgery removes a cloudy lens in the eye and the placement of an artificial lens. However, laser surgery is not the only treatment for cataracts. In fact, this treatment is more costly than the traditional method. In any case, the procedure is safe and effective, like cataract surgery from the experts from Armadale Eye Clinic. Let’s find out more information about laser cataract surgery, its indications, surgery procedure, complications, and recovery timeline.
A cataract is a thick, cloudy region that structures in the lens of the eye. It starts when proteins in the eye structure bunches keep the lens from sending clear pictures to the retina. This eye condition frequently occurs with increasing age. However, some factors can increase the probability of cataracts, including smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Cataracts do not generally influence both eyes simultaneously, nor do they progress typically at a similar rate. Nevertheless, cataracts are the absolute most regular reason for vision loss in individuals aged 40 and over. If left untreated, a cataract could make your vision completely blind.
Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery
Laser-assisted cataract surgery or laser cataract surgery is an outpatient surgical procedure. It involves removing a cataract or a cloudy lens in the eye and placing an artificial lens to reestablish clear visual acuity.
There are several procedures in this treatment, and they are entirely performed with a laser gadget:
Incision: A doctor or surgeon will use a femtosecond laser to create an incision in the eye using the help of built-in optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging. This device makes an amplified, high-resolution picture of your eye for a more accurate corneal incision.
Phacoemulsification: Ultrasound vibration conveyed rapidly to dissolve the cataract into tiny pieces that a doctor can tenderly suction out of the eye.
Capsulotomy: It is the removal of the eye lens capsule. So it needs to remain in place to support the new lens that surgeons will insert.
Replacement: An intraocular lens inserted into the current capsule.
Laser-assisted cataract surgery is performed by an eye surgeon or ophthalmologist. During the procedure, they will give you IV sedation and local anesthesia to manage the pain.
Moreover, the doctor or surgeon uses an OTC-equipped laser to make the surgical cut for laser-assisted eye surgery. In contrast, traditional cataract surgery uses a small knife to create an incision in the eye.
Reason for Laser Cataract Surgery
People who have a cataract mostly describe their vision as foggy, cloudy, blurry, or hazy. Eliminating a cataract and supplanting it with an artificial lens can further develop lost vision clarity.
Doctors can diagnose a cataract through an eye examination. You might be a candidate for laser-assisted cataract surgery if your astigmatism needs a correction during the procedures. Also, if you require a unique lens implant, like an intraocular lens (IOL).
The choice to have laser cataract surgery rather than traditional cataract surgery depends on a few factors.
Benefits of Laser Surgery: Traditional Cataract Surgery Vs. Laser Cataract Surgery
Some advantages of laser cataract surgery include:
- Laser incisions can seal better than a cut made with a blade, which has better healing outcomes.
- During laser-assisted cataract surgery, less energy goes into the phacoemulsification process than with traditional procedures.
- This diminishes the danger of complications, such as bleeding, damage to the capsule, or retinal detachment.
- Multifocal lenses may diminish the reliance on corrective glasses after the process.
The selection of a laser strategy rather than a traditional cataract surgery is not generally self-evident. A few studies have not discovered a benefit or drawbacks regarding the complication rate or healing process of a laser cataract surgery contrasted with a traditional method.
There are a few dangers related to this technique. Unfavorable impacts of surgery include swelling, bleeding, infection, or harm to the eye.
Vision can be forever affected if these entanglements are not successfully and promptly addressed. At times, a secondary cataract can form a few months after cataract surgery, possibly requiring treatment.
Furthermore, know that patients cannot get laser-assisted cataract surgery if they had previous glaucoma or corneal surgery. Also, patients cannot have laser cataract surgery if they have issues with their pupils or even scarring in the eyes.
What to Expect
In laser cataract surgery, patients will need to open their eyes during the procedure. To keep it that way, a cataract surgeon will place a small retractor around their eyes.
The surgeon or ophthalmologist will create a small entry point in the periphery of the patients’ cornea using the laser. These incisions should be around 2 to 2.5 millimeters long with a minimal vertical and horizontal part. Afterward:
- Surgeons will use a femtosecond laser to break the lens into tiny pieces.
- While for the capsulotomy, a surgeon will make small incisions into the front part of the natural lens. Most doctors performed capsulotomy in an almost ideal roundabout design because of the OCT integration with the laser. These circular incisions can focus ideally to support the new lens implant setup.
- The subsequent phase in the cataract system is to insert new intraocular lenses to replace the natural lens that a surgeon took out.
- Likewise, the surgeon may make minor cuts with the laser to keep the remaining astigmatism from advancing after the lens is inserted.
- The incision is self-fixing, so stitches are not necessary. You may cover your eye with bandages for protection after the eye surgery.
- Keep in mind that any sedation will be stopped, and you will go to a recovery room.
Generally, recovery after laser eye surgery requires a little while. Yet, a patient might be able to see clearly within a couple of days after the procedure.
The patient will have an appointment to visit a doctor within a week. If the patient received an adjustable IOL, they should see a doctor bout two weeks after the surgery. So that the doctor can evaluate the patient’s vision and apply prescription straightforwardly to the recently implanted lens with an ultrasound light.
Moreover, you can try the following while recovering from the procedure:
- Wear glasses to protect your eyes from sunlight and from brilliant indoor light.
- Avoid getting water chemicals in your eyes, such as house cleaners or hairspray.
- Apply artificial tears for comfort as per your doctor’s directions.
What Are Cataracts?
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT): Principle and Technical Realization.
IOLs: Choosing the best implant for cataract surgery.
May 15, 2020. Phacoemulsification.