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Cataract Surgery Vision Correction
This animation depicts modern cataract surgery with phacoemulsificaiton of the lens and IOL implantation.
Laser cataract surgery is an FDA-approved procedure. This vision correction procedure does not actually use a laser to remove the cataract but femtosecond laser performs many of the traditional steps in cataract surgery.
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 develop cataracts. In the United States, cataract surgery is very successful. In fact, through advances in both cataract surgery and intraocular lenses (IOLs), more people gain back useful vision through this modern lens surgery.
Femtosecond laser cataract surgery
Recently, advances in laser technology have led to the development of a new laser surgery technique for treating cataracts. This new technique is 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 the surgery.
In traditional cataract removal surgery, an incision is made with a steel blade or a diamond knife. The surgeon then removes the broken up pieces of the natural lens. Afterwards, the surgeon positions a new lens (intraocular lens) in the eye to replace the old. Cataract extraction is one of the safest surgeries to be sure. However, its quality and precision 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 laser process has been shown to be more accurate by far in over 90% of all cases studied.