The lens in your eye behaves much like the lens of a camera. It takes in light, focuses images, it can suffer from wear and tear and ultimately, it can be replaced. Cataract surgery removes a clouded lens and replaces it with a new, synthetic lens, improving both the quality of your vision and the quality of your life.
Cataract surgery has come a long way since the first artificial lens was implanted during the 1940’s. What used to require an overnight hospital stay and a lengthy recovery can now be one of the simplest surgeries performed. While the same basic technique of removing the natural lens and replacing it with an artificial lens remains the same, surgical methods have kept pace with advances in technology.
Laser Cataract Surgery
The steady hand of a surgeon is still the most common method of extracting a clouded lens; however, many surgeons have put down their scalpels in favor of even more precise equipment: femtosecond lasers. Femtosecond lasers have been in use by LASIK surgeons since the 2002. So while they are new to cataract surgery, they are a proven technology.
To remove the cataract, doctors must make small incisions along the cornea. This was once performed by making small incisions with a sharp blade, but can now be performed with the highest level of precision by using a laser.
Phacoemulsification is the term used to describe the most common form of cataract surgery. Once incisions are made and the lens is accessible, the doctor can use equipment that breaks up the affected lens and then removes it entirely. The traditional method was to insert a small device that uses ultrasonic energy to break up the lens before it was removed. This method, however, came with some increased risk to the patient’s vision. With new technology, a laser can be used to both soften and break up the cataracts. Since the laser is both more precise and requires less energy to use than the ultrasonic device, this procedure reduces the risk of certain complications.
Once the clouded lens is removed, an artificial lens is implanted (known as an Intraocular Lens, or IOL) in its place. The incisions, being so small, and your eyes, being so efficient, heal quickly without the need for sutures. The doctor will bandage the eye temporarily and there will be a resting period of 15 to 30 minutes, but all together the whole procedure can be completed in less than an hour!
Am I a Candidate for Laser Cataract Surgery?
If your ophthalmologist has recommended you for cataract surgery, then the short answer is: yes! Whether the procedure is performed in the traditional manner or with more modern equipment, if your ophthalmologist has given you the okay for the procedure, your choices will not be limited. Generally, those who have has previous eye injuries, diseases or surgeries may not be candidates for cataract surgery. The only way to know for sure is to schedule a consultation with us!
If you are interested in laser cataract surgery, be sure to contact Eye Surgeons and Consultants of Hollywood, FL today! We look forward to hearing from you.