Cataracts develop generally as part of the ageing process—a ‘cloud’ forms in the lens of the eye, causing blurry or double vision and increased sensitivity to light.
Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly-performed procedures around the world today where a surgeon makes an incision, removes the defective lens and then replaces it with a new intraocular lens (IOL) to restore vision.
There are currently a number of IOLs available, including multifocal options. Your doctor will advise you of the best option for you depending on your individual requirements and lifestyle.
Laser Cataract Surgery
Femtosecond laser technology has been used by LASIK eye surgeons for over 10 years to correct refractive vision problems. Now, bladeless laser cataract surgery can offer cataract patients the same precision and safety of laser technology.
This new femtosecond laser procedure replaces the initial key steps of cataract surgery that were previously performed using a blade. Using the femtosecond laser offers a range of benefits over standard cataract treatment, including:
- The procedure is less dependent on surgical skill and provides a more accurate incision and greater consistency.
- The laser cuts the required circles with 12 times more precision than those produced by traditional surgical methods.
- Reduced stress on the tissue of the eye by using laser technology to replace the traditional blade. This makes the incision cleaner which in turn improves healing.
- The edges in the remaining capsule, which serves as a pocket for the plastic IOL, are left twice as strong as with conventional techniques.
- Better healing comfort, e.g. any incisions to reduce astigmatism are made within the cornea so there are no open cuts on the surface of the eye.
- Greater predictability of the outcome due to the accuracy of the laser.
- Faster procedure time.
- Maximises the IOL.
- Optimises the visual performance of the IOL.
Am I suitable for Laser Cataract Surgery?
Not everyone will be suitable for the laser cataract procedure, you may have other conditions or your cataracts may be at a stage that indicates standard laser cataract surgery would be more appropriate.
personalEYES has utilised two systems available to perform the laser cataract surgery.
- Alcon Lab Inc, LenSX Laser
- Technolas, CustomLens
After a thorough examination of your eye and your general health, your surgeon will determine which treatment is most appropriate you your eyes.
Call personalEYES today on 1300 683 937 to see if you are a suitable candidate.
- A beam passes through the outer tissue without the eye needing to be open.
- A hole is cut in the capsule and the cataract is sliced up in the laser treatment room then may move into another operating theatre.
- The lens is accurately sliced up by the laser.
- The lens is removed by suction via the incision, Phacoemulsification.
- The replacement Intraocular Lens (IOL) is inserted into the pocket.
- In some cases to lessen astigmatism, incisions are made within the cornea, i.e. no open cut on the surface of the eye.
- As the incision is so clean it will rarely require stitches.
After the Procedure
- You will be able to go home a few hours after the procedure with an eye shield to protect your eye.
- You should rest for 24 hours, with no straining or heavy lifting for two weeks.
- Within 24 hours of the procedure, you will have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon.
- The day after operation you will be able to see reasonably well, with some distortion. Over the next week, your vision will significantly improve with full vision returning over a two to four week period.
- You must not rub your eyes for at least two weeks after the procedure and will be advised to wear your eye shield at night for a week or two to stop you doing this accidentally in your sleep.
- Your eye may appear red or discoloured, similar to a bloodshot eye, however, this will disappear over the next two weeks as it heals.
- You will need to use eye drops for up to four weeks after the procedure to reduce the possibility of infection and to assist any dry eye symptoms.
What is the difference between traditional cataract surgery and bladeless laser cataract surgery?
For bladeless laser cataract surgery, instead of using a blade to make the incision to remove the lens, the surgeon can now make more precise incisions using a computer-guided femtosecond laser, which is usually not possible with hands. This technology ensures better accuracy and vision quality.
Can both eyes be done at the same time?
We will usually treat the second eye one week after the first procedure. This generally makes it a more comfortable process for the patient.
Are there any risks?
No cataract surgery is risk-free; however, the experience to date with bladeless laser cataract surgery is that it reduces the risks by providing a higher level of precision and safety. Your surgeon will thoroughly discuss the risks of any procedure with you.
Will my health insurance cover laser cataract surgery?
Depending on your level of cover your health fund will cover the majority of the costs however there may be some out of pocket. You should contact your health fund to determine your level of cover.
What does laser cataract surgery cost?
The cost will be slightly more than standard cataract surgery.
When can I return to normal activities?
You will generally be able to read comfortably within 24 hours though full clarity will not be achieved for another week or two. You will generally be able to drive after 1–2 weeks, some patients sooner.