Did you know that more than 2.5 million Canadians have cataracts? A cataract is an eye condition where the lens becomes cloudy and hard, preventing light from reaching the retina clearly. Cataracts become more likely with age and they’re treated by removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial prescription lens. Traditional methods use needles and a blade, but newer, state-of-the-art techniques, are using advanced technology to perform a bladeless kind of cataract surgery: the UltraView ReLACS, also known as laser-assisted cataract surgery.
What’s Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery
Rather than use a physical blade, laser-assisted cataract devices like UltraView ReLACS use automated laser energy to perform the more challenging parts of cataract surgery. To perform laser-assisted cataract surgery, a 3D map of the eye is taken by a tomography imaging device. The image of the eye is then used by the laser to create precise incisions at specific depths and positions.
By using precise laser technology, laser-assisted cataract surgery can create a more reliable, predicable treatment, thus decreasing the risk of certain complications. It can also lower dependence on phacoemulsification, the method by which the cataract is physically broken down and removed from the eye.
How Laser Cataract Surgery is Performed
First, local anesthesia is applied to the eye to prevent the patient from feeling any discomfort. Then, the laser creates incisions in the cornea. After that, an incision is created on the front part of the capsule, the clear membrane that contains the cataract. Once the front of the capsule is removed and the cataract is exposed, laser energy is used to break up the cataract. The cataract is further broken down and suctioned out through phacoemulsification. Then, a new prescription artificial lens is placed on the remaining capsule. No stitches are needed after laser cataract surgery because the different incisions allow the cornea to reseal.
Why Laser Cataract Surgery is Safer
Because of its remarkable precision, the UltraView ReLACS is safer, more reliable, and more comfortable than traditional cataract surgery. In fact, all incisions made with laser energy are made based on data from the tomography device, so each treatment is fully customized for the patient’s unique eye.
And by reducing reliance on phacoemulsification, laser-assisted cataract surgery can limit the risk of the capsule being damaged after the procedure. By protecting the surrounding tissues and allowing for a more predictable treatment, laser-assisted cataract surgery offers a quicker recovery and a higher likelihood that the patient achieves clear vision after the surgery.
Don’t let the automation fool you, laser cataract surgery still needs to be performed by a skilled, experienced eye surgeon. If you’d like your laser-assisted cataract surgery performed by renowned, respected ophthalmologists, contact Uptown Eye now, for a consultation.