Cataract surgery: When is the laser method a good idea?

Answer From Jay C. Erie, M.D.

Your doctor may suggest removing your cataract using a new laser-assisted approach in certain situations, such as when correcting for astigmatism or when using a multifocal or extended-range intraocular lens (IOL).

During laser-assisted cataract surgery, your doctor uses the laser to make all incisions and to soften the cataract for removal by ultrasound (phacoemulsification). Then he or she may use the laser to correct any astigmatism and to accurately align the new astigmatism-correcting IOL (toric IOL) or other special lens.

Traditionally, phacoemulsification breaks up and removes the cloudy lens. In certain situations, either traditional or laser-assisted surgery may be the safer, preferred option. Talk with your surgeon about the best approach for you, and ask if he or she is experienced in laser-assisted cataract surgery.


Jay C. Erie, M.D.

April 05, 2017 See more Expert Answers