Laser Cataract Surgery, Why You Don’t Want It
Why You Don’t Want Laser Cataract Surgery
You’ve probably seen advertisements for or perhaps have been advised to have “laser cataract surgery.” It’s been touted as “better”, more precise”, with the ability to provide greater range of vision after cataract surgery, and more. If you’ve got cataracts, why wouldn’t you want something like that?
We’ll get to that, but first,…
What, Exactly, Is Laser Cataract Surgery?
Although it is advertised as “Laser Cataract Surgery,” cataract surgery is still primarily done with an ultrasound handpiece. When lasers are used, they are in addition to (not in place of) the ultrasound. Thus, it is more accurate to use the term “Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery” (but marketers seldom care about accuracy and “Laser” sounds so much more enticing than “Laser-Assisted” so many ads drop “-Assisted”).
The type of laser used in cataract surgery is call the “Femto” laser. Thus you may hear the term “Femto Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery” (or “FLACS”) used from time to time.
Femto laser technology was originally used by eye surgeons to create the flap in LASIK surgery. The Femto laser has the ability to create microscopic spaces in clear tissue (such as the cornea or lens inside the eye).
What Can the Laser Do?
“It can cut a slice of bread so thin you can almost see through it! It cuts meat better than an electric knife and goes through frozen food as if it were melted butter…” Oh, wait, that’s the script from the (in)famous Ginsu knife commercial. We’re talking about laser cataract surgery here, not some overhyped “as seen on TV” product that no one actually believes works as advertised.
Or are we? Let’s take a look at the features of Femto Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery…