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When I used to do cataract surgery, patients would frequently ask me if there would be a laser involved in the surgery. The answer would always be, “unfortunately, no. But, we WILL be using ultrasound to break up the cloudy lens in your eye and remove it.” Apparently, some people believed that lasers were used in cataract surgery.
Until recently, my answer was correct and lasers were NOT used in cataract surgery. This month, however, OptiMedica announced full FDA approval of their Catalys LASER cataract surgery system. You can see a video of it in action here. Alcon has also released their LensX laser for cataract surgery.
This amazing new technology uses laser energy to break up the cataract while it is still in the eye. Then all the surgeon has to do is go in and suck out the already broken up pieces. The result is a more precise surgery that is safer and faster.
This technology is brand new and ophthalmologists are still trying to figure out how to incorporate it into their surgical practices (and pay for the new equipment). However, the future is here and lasers are now an option for cataract surgery.
Thoughts or questions? Please leave a comment below.
(Note: I have no financial relationship to OptiMedica or Alcon)