Traditional vs Advanced Cataract Surgery

Cataract SurgeryOphthalmology, and eye surgery in particular has been revolutionized by lasers. In 1995, the FDA approved excimer lasers for vision correction with LASIK, which has helped millions achieve great vision without glasses. Dr. Speaker performed early clinical research demonstrating the usefulness of ultrafast lasers in eye surgery, and in 2001 the FDA approved the Intralase, an ultrafast femtosecond laser for making more precise LASIK flaps. The femtosecond laser has been adopted by LASIK surgeons worldwide because it has dramatically improved the safety of the procedure. Dr. Speaker and the surgeons at Laser and Corneal Surgery Associates have performed over 40,000 femtosecond laser procedures over the last 10 years, and are some of the most experienced femtosecond laser surgeons in the country. This same proven femtosecond laser technology is now available for cataract surgery.

Dr. Speaker has carefully followed the development of femtosecond laser systems for cataract surgery over the last few years, and identified the Optimedica Catalys system as the one with the best technology. While other systems are based on technology developed for LASIK surgery, Optimedica took extra time to design the Catalys system from the ground up, with the result being the only system that is uniquely suited to cataract surgery. The state-of-the-art femtosecond laser is guided by advanced 3D Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging, sophisticated software controls, and a unique Liquid Optics interface that delivers a level of precision and control that has been unimaginable until now. Using Catalys, we can access and remove the cataract-affected lens with accuracy in the range of microns (for reference, the width of a human hair is 85 microns). This new level of accuracy will allow surgeons to better position the artificial replacement lens which promises better visual outcomes. This is especially true for premium intra-ocular lenses (IOLs), which include near vision-correcting multi-focal and accommodating IOLs and astigmatism-correcting toric IOLs. The painless Catalys laser cataract procedure results in an exceptional after-surgery experience for patients in an exclusive privately-owned surgical center on the upper East Side of Manhattan. We are pleased to be the first eye surgeons to bring this technological advance in cataract surgery to the New York metropolitan area.

To learn more about the laser cataract surgery we offer at Laser and Corneal Surgery Associates, one of the nation’s premiere eye care centers, contact our friendly staff to make an appointment. Our doctors and staff will be more than happy to work with you to determine whether you qualify for this technological advance in cataract and lens implant surgery.

Benefits of the Femtosecond Laser in Cataract Surgery

Cataract SurgeryThis new treatment automates a number of the critical steps in the cataract surgery procedure. These steps, performed with hand-held blades, and ultrasound or phaco probes in the traditional procedure, are performed by a fast but gentle, extremely accurate, OCT-guided femtosecond laser. The steps of a cataract procedure and how they have been made safer and more precise by the Catalys laser are summarized below.

Important Elements of the Cataract Procedure

• Incisions: The first step in cataract surgery is to make small incisions into the eye. In laser cataract surgery, these incisions are created by the laser rather than hand-held blades in the traditional phacoemulsification procedure. Astigmatism Correction: If the patient has any pre-existing astigmatism, the laser can now be used to correct it with precise laser incisions that replace traditional ones made with a blade.

• Capsulorhexis: The natural lens looks like an M&M candy with a clear shell and cloudy material inside. The lens capsule or shell must be opened to remove the cloudy material, which is called capsulorhexis. Normally this is performed by hand, but it can now be performed by the Catalys™ Precision Laser System to improve centration, size, and shape, which it is believed leads to improved stability and predictability of the implant lens, potentially improving its performance.

• Lens Fragmentation or Phacoemulsification: To facilitate removal of the lens it is broken up into smaller, more easily extractable pieces. In the traditional procedure this step is performed with metal "choppers" and an ultrasonic probe, but with the Catalys™ Precision Laser System, the cataract is gently broken up into pieces by the laser. The use of the laser to break up the cataract dramatically reduces the amount of ultrasound required to remove the cataract, resulting in most cases with less postoperative inflammation and swelling, and a quicker recovery. This can be particularly important for patients with weakened corneas or loose zonules, for whom the gentleness of the laser cataract procedure can be an important advantage.

Intraocular Lens Implant Insertion: As in traditional cataract surgery, there are multiple lens implant options to choose from, including multifocal and accommodating lenses that can help you see both near and far.

• Refractive Cataract Surgery: Prior to surgery, measurements of numerous parameters are obtained and calculations are performed to arrive at the optimal implant power to meet the patient’s distance, intermediate, and near vision needs. In some cases, the power of the cornea needs to be adjusted after cataract surgery to fine-tune the distance or near vision. This is usually done with Laser Vision Correction, and is an area of expertise of the surgeons at Laser and Corneal Surgery Associates. We have performed over 70,000 Laser Vision Correction procedures, unlike most cataract surgeons, we have the equipment, expertise, and experience to provide this last step when needed in achieving your vision goals.

Learn More about Laser Cataract Surgery

When it comes to advanced eye care, Laser & Corneal Surgery Associates has always been committed to providing the latest in technological advancement. The use of the femtosecond laser in cataract surgery is ushering in a new era of improved precision and safety, which promises better surgical outcomes for patients. Our surgeons are among the leaders in bringing advanced laser technology to refractive and cataract surgery, so you can rest assured knowing your eyesight is in the hands of some of the most experienced surgeons in the country. Find out the whether you are a candidate for this exciting vision correction technology. Schedule a consultation to be evaluated for laser cataract surgery by contacting us today.