Laser cataract surgery

Laser cataract surgery

Laser cataract surgery has been performed for some time now, making the procedure even less invasive than traditional surgery, thus bringing some additional advantages to an already very safe traditional surgery that is among the most frequently performed in the specialty of ophthalmology.

Next, we explain what cataracts are, how traditional cataract surgery differs from laser cataract surgery, and what are the advantages of the latter.

Why do cataracts appear?

The crystalline lens of the eye is a natural lens that allows the eye to focus on objects. It is transparent to allow light to pass to the retina where the light is captured to form images.

Cataracts consist of the opacification and hardening of said crystalline lens of the eye, which gradually makes the vision become more and more cloudy as it worsens.

This inevitably occurs naturally due to ageing, so most people over 65 already have some degree of cataracts, although in some people they may appear earlier.

Therefore, cataract surgery consists of extracting the aged crystalline lens of the eye that is already opacified to a greater or lesser extent, and replacing it with an intraocular lens. Depending on the type of intraocular lens implanted in the surgery, other vision problems, such as presbyopia or tired eyesight, can even be corrected in the same operation.

Differences between laser cataract surgery and traditional surgery

In traditional surgery, also known as phacoemulsification, a small incision is made in the cornea to gain access to the crystalline lens, and then a small, fine surgical tool is inserted through the incision that uses ultrasound waves to break the crystalline lens into smaller pieces, which are then aspirated and extracted out of the eye through the same incision. Finally, once the crystalline lens has been removed, an intraocular lens that replaces the crystalline lens is implanted, again through the same incision.

For laser cataract surgery, the process is similar, but a femtosecond laser is used to:

  • First, the femtosecond laser is used to make the small incision needed to insert the instruments and perform the surgery. In this way, the use of the laser allows to further improve the precision and accuracy of the incision
  • Once the entry incision is made, the laser is also used to soften and fragment the crystalline lens.

From this point, once the crystalline lens has been fragmented into smaller pieces, the extraction of the lens fragments by aspiration and the implantation of the intraocular lens that will replace it is performed in the same way as in traditional surgery.

Advantages of laser cataract surgery

Although conventional cataract surgery is already very safe, laser cataract surgery offers some additional advantages:

  • Greater precision, making more exact and better centered incisions than with the traditional technique. In this way, in some cases the use of lasers can facilitate surgery and reduce the risk of complications during surgery, thus resulting in a surgery that is even safer than conventional surgery.
  • The greater precision of the laser allows the surgeon to better see and map the crystalline lens capsule, helping to more precisely locate the opening. This allows the implanted intraocular lens (IOL) to be better centered, which is important to obtain better vision correction, especially when multifocal intraocular lenses are implanted, or those that correct astigmatism.
  • The incisions made by laser, in addition to being minimal, are self-sealing and do not require sutures.

Laser cataract surgery at Vithas Xanit Internacional

Whether you are looking for a specialist in cataract surgery, either by laser or traditional surgery, or to solve any other vision problem, at Vithas Xanit Internacional we put at your disposal the best ophthalmologists, who through the latest technology and surgical techniques allow us to offer you the best possible results in our treatments. Contact us for more information or make an appointment.