Laser Cataract Surgery

Understanding Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. For people who have cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses is a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Eyeglasses or contact lenses usually can correct slight refractive errors caused by early cataracts, but they cannot sharpen your vision if a more advanced cataract is present. The most common cause of cataract is aging. Other causes include trauma, medications such as steroids, systemic diseases such as diabetes, and prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light. Occasionally, babies are born with a cataract.

Cataract Surgery

When your vision begins to impact your ability to drive or perform routine activities, cataract surgery should be considered. Surgery has a high success rate and is the only effective cataract treatment.

Modern day cataract surgery offers several benefits, including:

  • No hospitalization: Each outpatient procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes, and you can go home within hours after surgery.
  • No general anesthesia: Typically, anesthetic eye drops are used to numb the eye. Only a microscopic incision is made, and it usually heals without stitches.
  • Vision correction: Your old lens (the cloudy cataract) is replaced with a new implantable lens, which will have the strength needed to correct your vision.

If you have been diagnosed with a cataract and need surgical treatment, you may choose from two types of surgery, laser cataract surgery or traditional cataract surgery.

What is laser cataract surgery?

Laser-assisted cataract surgery, more commonly known as laser cataract surgery, uses an image-guided system to enhance the customization and precision of cataract treatment. Dr. Rolain performs laser cataract surgery using the LenSx® system, the first laser approved for use in cataract surgery.

How does laser cataract treatment differ from traditional cataract surgery?

Both types of surgery follow the same basic steps:

  • Capsulotomy: A small, circular incision is made in the front of your eye’s capsule.
  • Lens fragmentation: The cataract is softened and broken up.
  • Lens replacement: Your old lens is removed and a new intraocular lens is implanted in your eye.

However, laser cataract surgery automates several of these steps and offers several other features, including:

  • Enhanced customization: The laser system uses an advanced visualization technology to make a high-resolution, 3-D map of your eye, improving accuracy in the surgical plan.
  • Improved precision: In traditional cataract surgery, all eye incisions are made manually. Making incisions with the laser can help to ensure a greater level of precision, which may improve visual outcomes.
  • Less ultrasound energy: By using the laser to fragment the cataract, ultrasound is required for less time than during traditional cataract treatment. This can reduce the heat build-up in the eye, which may decrease the risk of complications.
  • Refractive prescription: During traditional cataract surgery, surgeons measure visual acuity through preoperative exams and use this information to determine the replacement lens prescription. During laser cataract surgery, however, Dr. Rolain will use an intraoperative device known as the ORA System®. With ORA, Dr. Rolain can verify the correct prescription for your replacement lens during surgery, and this tool may also be used to help control astigmatism. Ultimately, this may reduce the likelihood of needing glasses after surgery.

Premium Lens Options

Dr. Rolain is excited to offer premium intraocular lens options to help correct your vision after cataract surgery. The AcrySof® IQ ReStor® +2.5 lens is designed to lessen your dependence on glasses. It corrects distance vision while also improving intermediate and near range of focus. AcrySof® IQ Toric lenses provide cataract treatment and astigmatism correction in a single procedure. It will give you crisper, clearer distance vision minimizing the need for distance glasses after cataract surgery. During your eye exam, Dr. Rolain will help you select the best type of intraocular lens for your lifestyle needs.

Schedule a consultation today!