In the UK, since the mid-1990s, phacoemulsification cataract surgery (using a small ultrasonic probe introduced into the eye through a small incision) has been the gold standard both for cataract surgery and clear lens surgery.
Many patients have often assumed that cataract surgery involved the use of a laser. This is entirely understandable as patients are aware of the ultra-precision offered by surgical techniques using a laser. The current surgical techniques need a blade to create the corneal incisions and either small forceps or a bent needle tip to create the opening in the membrane (or capsule) at the front of the cataract or lens (referred to as an anterior capsulorrhexis).
The need for these manual techniques can now be eliminated by using the far more accurate Femtosecond laser. This laser creates customised, bladeless self-sealing corneal incisions. This advanced form of incision construction minimises the chance of leaking wounds, which may require sutures (stitches), and thereby minimises the risk of infection. The Femtosecond laser can also be used to make precise additional relaxing corneal incisions in order to reduce astigmatism and further improve the optical result.
The Femtosecond laser has an integrated real-time OCT scanner. This means that the surgeon can precisely visualise the structures of the front of the eye, including the cornea and the lens. This microscopic visualisation enables a much greater degree of accuracy when carrying out these steps of the surgery than previously possible. The cataract (or clear lens) can be fragmented or liquefied to a pre-determined degree. Breaking up the cataract in this way allows subsequent removal of the lens matter with a minimal degree of ultrasonic power when performing the phacoemulsification step, thereby minimising trauma to the cornea and minimising any postoperative inflammation.
Clinical studies using the Femtosecond laser, have categorically proven that there is a much greater predictability in incision and capsulorrhexis construction and a significant reduction in the amount of ultrasonic power needed during cataract or clear lens removal.
If you have been affected by any of the symptoms mentioned above, please don't hesitate to give us a call.
We have a team of experts on stand-by who are ready to take your call at our Manchester (0161 907 2685) Clinic or our Blackpool (01253 308 031) Clinic.