Difference between Laser Cataract Surgery and traditional cataract surgery

Laser cataract surgery, as the name suggests uses a laser called Femtosecond laser in some steps. But important for you to understand…and this is very important, that the laser does not remove the cataract!!!

People believe that a laser “zaps” their cataract, making it seem far more simple than any other procedure.

I would refrain from using the word “traditional” where Phacoemulsification is used, which is the step or method to “remove” the cataract regardless of any surgery and remains in the forefront of modern cataract surgery.

So, even when a laser is used in a cataract surgery, it at most just makes incisions and may make cuts in the cataract. However, removal will still need the “Phaco” or Phacoemulsification step!

Therefore the steps that are replaced by the laser are not significant to your cataract outcome, as they are very simple and easily done without the laser and using other instruments. But you end up paying as much for them as the cost of the lens implant!

The most important steps in cataract are one- using the “phaco”, which is still needed in a laser cataract and secondly what lens is being implanted, because at the end of the day, your sight, vision also comes from what you have used.

So, whenever a surgeon recommends  laser cataract surgery, to make it clear for you, ask the question “will you remove the cataract with the laser?”, if he/ she says “yes”, then ask, “so no phaco is used?”…this answer can never be “no” (unless the really older method of manual removal as done in some rural places/ simple eye hospitals/ eye camps etc.

If a phaco is used, it is simply to remove the cataract!

So, please do NOT get fooled by the use of the term “laser cataract surgery”!!!!

If you still want it fully knowing what it does, then it is fine, but do not be under the impression that a laser has removed your cataract, the laser has only made cuts.

It is imperative for you to know that any complications in cataract, never arise from the steps that the laser substitutes (extremely rare with poor skills). It may have value in some rare conditions inside the lens. But for most, it is not necessary. I suggest that you do pay more attention to the lens being implanted and spend on a better lens implant rather than the surgical steps.

Write to us at info@shroffeye.org for more information on cataract. Although we have a Femtosecond laser, we use it for LASIK, or laser eye surgery to remove spectacle powers, where it definitely has benefits.

You may also see website www.shroffeye.org or call +91 9821163901

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