Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery: The future has arrived!
Written by: Frank Rosenbaum MD
Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the world, with an estimated 19 million operations performed annually, nearly 3 million of which are performed in the United States. The World Health Organization estimates this number will increase to 32 million by the year 2020 as the over- 65 population doubles worldwide. Femtosecond “bladeless laser technology, introduced clinically for ophthalmic surgery in 2001 as a new technique for creating lamellar flaps in laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), has recently been developed and FDA-approved as a tool for cataract surgery. At Rosenbaum Eye & Laser we are proud to help deliver the first femtosecond “bladeless” cataract laser to the Lansing area, obtaining the LenSx laser manufactured by Alcon laboratories in May 2016.
Long gone are the two-week hospital stays for cataract patients. Today, cataract surgery is performed in less than 15 minutes in many cases. Patients, whose eyes have been dilated prior to surgery, leave wearing simply a pair of dark glasses. Within 48 hours, patients return to most routine activities with minimal restrictions. Now, bladeless laser cataract surgery is revolutionizing the entire procedure and providing patients with unparalleled visual results.Manual cataract surgery requires handheld surgical instruments to make incisions; the bladeless LenSx Laser provides image-guided control for increased accuracy, safety and predictability. This laser allows for customization, enabling surgeons to precisely program the size, shape and location of the incision of the anterior lens surface (anterior lens capsule) for each patient. The LenSx Laser also softens the lens to reduce the amount of energy and fluid needed to remove the cataract, resulting in less trauma to the eye and faster recovery time.
Over the past several years, two premium intraocular lenses have been developed, now being described as “improved life-style lenses”. These lenses are the Toric (astigmatism correcting) IOL’s and the Multifocal (presbyopic correcting) IOL’s. With the multifocal lens, most patients are enjoying the freedom to do such visual tasks such as reading, using their cell phone or iPad, or playing golf and driving without the need for glasses.
Additionally, Astigmatism (abnormal corneal shape) must be eliminated for patients to gain successful outcomes with the presbyopic IOL’s. The LenSx Laser can correct for this low astigmatism by creating limbal relaxing incisions, allowing more patients to be candidates for these Multifocal IOL’s. For patients with moderate to high astigmatism, the Toric lens delivers clear distance vision with less dependence on prescription glasses; near and intermediate vision will still require glasses. Accurate positioning of these Toric IOL’s for optimal visual performance has been aided by perfecting all aspects of the circular opening made with the LenSx Laser.
Leading cataract surgeons around the country consider bladeless laser cataract surgery to be state of the art treatment. It has added the same increased accuracy and safety to the cataract surgical procedure as it did with the LASIK procedure. With patients appreciating the ability to customize their vision, experiencing gentle procedures, faster recovery periods, and enabling them to enjoy the vision they had in their 20s, it is no surprise that this innovative procedure is rapidly becoming the preferred choice for cataract surgery.
We are happy to be able to offer our patients this state of the art technology and look forward to using this laser to improve patient visual outcomes and satisfaction.
*Results may vary as with any surgical procedure there are risks.*
For more information about the LenSx Laser Click here