Cataract surgery: When is the laser method a good idea?
Answer From Amir R. Khan, M.D.
Your doctor may suggest removing your cataract using a laser-assisted approach in certain situations. The laser may be useful when correcting for astigmatism, aligning an astigmatism-correcting intraocular lens, or softening a dense cataract.
During laser-assisted cataract surgery, your doctor typically uses the laser to make all incisions and to soften the cataract for removal by ultrasound (phacoemulsification).
Traditionally, phacoemulsification breaks up and removes the cloudy lens. In certain situations, either traditional or laser-assisted surgery may be the preferred option. The jury is still out on the benefits of laser-assisted cataract surgery. Talk with your surgeon about the best approach for you.
Feb. 25, 2020
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- Arons CB, et al. The eye and ocular adnexa. In: Current Diagnosis and Treatment: Surgery. 14th ed. McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed Feb. 6, 2020.
- Zhu DC, et al. Outcomes of conventional phacoemulsification versus femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery in eyes with Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy. Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. 2018; doi:10.1016/j.jcrs.2018.03.023.
- Ty Ang RE, et al. Comparison of clinical outcomes between femtosecond laser-assisted versus conventional phacoemulsification. Eye and Vision. 2018; doi:10.1186/s40662-018-0102-5.
- Jacobs DS. Cataract in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Feb. 10, 2020.
- Khan AR (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. Feb. 2, 2020.