Laser Cataract Surgery
The age-old myth about cataract surgery is no longer the case. Cataract surgery CAN be done by laser! Or at least several critical steps in the procedure can be performed by laser.
Refractive laser assisted cataract surgery (ReLACS™) is a major step forward in the way cataract surgery is performed that brings an unprecedented level of precision and safety to a surgery that is traditionally performed by hand and with ultrasound energy. UltraView ReLACS™ is the U Eye Laser Cosmetic mantra to state of the art laser cataract surgery customized for your eye.
With the laser approach to cataract surgery, a 3-D image of the operated eye is first acquired using an OCT (optical coherence tomography). This image is then used to guide the femtosecond laser to make precise, surgeon-programmed incisions in the eye to enhance or replace several critical steps performed during cataract surgery.
The Cataract Incision
In traditional cataract surgery, the eye surgeon uses a hand-held blade to create an incision on the edge of the cornea that allows the wound to self-seal after surgery without any stitches. During an UltraView ReLACS™ procedure, the laser creates an incision with a specific location, depth and length in all planes reproducibly. This is important not only for accuracy but also for increasing the likelihood that the incision will be self-sealing at the end of the procedure, thus reducing the risk of infection.
The eye’s natural lens is surrounded by a capsule that is very thin and very clear. In traditional cataract surgery, the surgeon creates an opening in the capsule with a small needle and uses that same needle or forceps to tear the capsule in a circular fashion. The ideal capsulotomy should be 5-6 mm in diameter, and well-centred for optimal lens implant fit. It is important that this capsule not be damaged during cataract surgery because it must hold the artificial lens implant in place for the rest of the patient’s life.
The UltraView ReLACS™ approach uses the femtosecond laser to create an opening in the capsule with incredible speed, predictability, and accuracy. This reduces the risk of an irregular capsular opening by the traditional manual approach. Studies have shown that laser capsulotomies enable better centration of the intraocular lens (IOL), which is a significant factor in determining final visual outcomes.
Removal Of The Cataract
Another step in the UltraView ReLACS™ procedure involves the laser being applied to the substance of the cataract to soften it. This allows the cataract to be removed with more ease, reducing (or eliminating in some cases) the amount of ultrasound energy applied inside the eye. As a result, there is less chance of breaking the capsule, corneal wound burn from heat generated by the ultrasound, and swelling of the cornea from internal damage caused by ultrasound.
Astigmatism Correction at the Time of Cataract Surgery
One of the approaches to reducing astigmatism at the time of surgery is to make additional incisions on the side of the cornea to turn an oval shaped cornea into a more rounded shape. Traditional surgery involves surgeons making these incisions free-hand with a blade. During UltraView ReLACS™, the OCT image can be used to plan these incisions in a very precise location, length and depth, allowing the laser to accurately create them. Since the laser minimizes the variables involved, the same procedure performed by laser is ultimately customized for your eye.
Cataract surgeons who use lasers say that their advantages are especially evident when it comes to high-tech, premium implants such as astigmatism and presbyopia-correcting multifocal IOLs. The advantages can include better lens placement, and ultimately, superior visual outcomes.
Keep in mind that even though the early results of laser cataract eye surgery are promising, this is newer technology that deserves in-depth research and discussion with your surgeon or surgical counsellor so that you can make the best possible decision for your situation. UltraView ReLACS™ is now available at U Eye Laser Cosmetic.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cataract Eye Surgery
What Does Laser Cataract Surgery Entail?
Lasers have made cataract surgery quick, more efficient, and hassle-free. Our surgeons will use a laser to create a precise incision. The laser is then used to soften the cataract and make it easier to remove. The treatment is guided by an imaging system that helps customize the procedure to your optical conditions and unique needs.
Does the Cataract Have to be Ripe Before the Surgery?
With advances in laser surgery, the cataract doesn’t need to be ripe or mature. Our surgeons can detect an early cataract that interferes with your vision and correct it by scheduling cataract treatment in our Toronto office at your convenience.
What are the Benefits of Cataract Surgery?
Cataract eye surgeries using a laser are increasingly more popular than the traditional method. This is because of the increased precision a laser offers, resulting in the accurate reduction of astigmatism and self-sealing incisions. They also increase the likelihood of having clearer vision after the procedure and ensure better quality night vision.
Does OHIP Cover Cataract Surgery?
OHIP covers surgeon fees, the cost of testing using an ultrasound, and the standard lens implant for cataract eye surgery. There are specialized diagnostics, additional procedures, special feature implants, and specific lasers listed under the non-insured services. Our staff can help you understand the details so you can make an informed decision accordingly.
Is Laser Cataract Surgery Safe?
Laser surgery for cataract treatment is one of the most successful procedures. We have skilled, experienced surgeons who know how to use advanced technology and ensure you receive the desired outcome.