Cataract surgery is a highly successful procedure, whether performed traditionally or with the laser-assisted technique. Laser cataract surgery does have some benefits over the conventional option. Our Toronto eye surgeon, Dr. Raymond Stein, can help determine which cataract surgery is best for you, your vision and your finances.
Laser Cataract Surgery Vs. Traditional Cataract Surgery
Traditional cataract surgery is safe and effective and begins with the surgeon making a tiny incision in the cornea using a scalpel in their hand. An instrument reaches through the opening behind the pupil to the lens capsule. The surgeon creates a second incision in the shape of a circle in the sac to access the cataract. A small probe sends ultrasound energy into the lens capsule to break apart the clouded lens, which is then suctioned out in smaller pieces.
The lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens implant (IOL). IOLs come in many variations that are customized to correct your vision at one or more focal points. The incisions do not typically need sutures because they self-heal.
Laser cataract surgery improves upon the conventional procedure by incorporating laser technology for the incisions instead of a handheld blade. The laser maps the eye’s surface and makes a precise incision at the ideal depth, size and location in the cornea. It is also used to create the circular incision in the lens capsule. Laser heat may soften the cataract, making it easier to break apart with ultrasound waves.
The Benefits of Laser Cataract Surgery
Laser-assisted cataract surgery removes surgical error from the incision portion of the procedure. Where the original method relies on the surgeon’s skill and steadiness to make incisions, the laser makes exact incisions for every procedure accurately and consistently. Laser energy reduces how much ultrasound energy is needed to soften and break up the lens, leading to less corneal swelling and an easier recovery. Laser cataract surgery is especially beneficial if the cataract is too dense, making it challenging to create an opening.
Patients who choose a multifocal lens to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism may have better visual outcomes with laser cataract surgery than with the traditional procedure. The laser may even be used to alter the cornea shape to improve minor astigmatism, which is often done by hand in conventional cataract surgery.
The precision and accuracy of laser cataract surgery make the procedure an excellent option for some cataract patients.
If you struggle with cloudy vision caused by a cataract, contact Dr. Stein in Toronto, Ontario, today to schedule your eye exam. Call (416) 960-2020 for an appointment.