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Cataract Surgery Vision Correction
This animation depicts modern cataract surgery with phacoemulsificaiton of the lens and IOL implantation.
That said, recently, laser cataract surgery was approved by the FDA. This vision correction procedure does not actually use a laser to remove the cataract but many of the traditional steps in cataract surgery are performed with a femtosecond laser.
Cataracts are the leading cause of visual loss in adults age 55 and older and the leading cause of blindness worldwide. By age 65, most people will develop a cataract. Cataracts are very successfully treated in the United States and through advances in both cataract surgery and intraocular lenses (IOLs), more people are gaining back useful vision through cataract surgery.
Femtosecond laser cataract surgery.
Recent advances in laser technology have led to the development of a new laser surgery technique for treating cataracts known as femtosecond laser surgery.
What is a cataract?
A cataract affects the lens of the eye. The lens is normally clear, but with age and certain eye conditions, a cataract can develop, causing the eyesight to become blurry, as light cannot pass through the lens correctly. Cataracts can develop in one or both eyes. The cloudier the lens, the worse the vision and the greater the need for cataract surgery.
In traditional cataract surgery, an incision is made with a steel blade or a diamond knife. The pieces of lens are then removed. Afterwards a new lens (intraocular lens) is put in to replace the old. Cataract surgery is one of the safest surgeries to be sure, but the precision at which it can be done depends on the surgeon’s skill.
Removing the cataract involves creating an opening in the extremely thin membrane (capsule) that covers the natural lens of the eye. Traditional methods using handheld surgical tools are generally safe but the new femtosecond laserprocess has been shown to be more accurate by far in over 90% of all cases studied.