About Laser Refractive Cataract Surgery
The development of cataracts is one of the most common conditions affecting people over the age of 40. By the age of 80. Cataract surgery is the most effective way to eliminate the debilitating effects on vision that cataracts can cause, and a technology now offers a way to perform customized cataract surgery without a surgical blade. The LenSx® Femtosecond Laser is only available in a handful of vision care practices nationwide.
The LenSx® Femtosecond Laser for Cataract Removal
The LenSx® Femtosecond Laser is a way of performing cataract surgery without a surgical blade. This laser technology has proven to not only reduce risks associated with traditional cataract surgery, but also to improve accuracy and efficiency of the procedure. In fact, recent studies show that some steps of the treatment were several times more accurate than standard techniques.
The LenSx® Femtosecond Laser uses light energy to perform corneal incisions and anterior capsulotomies. Everyone has a unique structure to the eye, and the laser is custom-guided to perform these steps with the most accurate and precise results possible for each individual. Using a state-of-the-art computer guidance system, our cataract surgeons can combine their experience and skills performing traditional cataract surgery with the advanced LenSx® Femtosecond Laser technology to give you exceptional results. This procedure can also better manage astigmatism than traditional cataract surgery.
Once the laser has made the necessary incisions, the cataract is removed and a standard or refractive lens is often placed to improve your vision after the procedure.
The LenSx® Femtosecond Laser for Presbyopia Treatment
Presbyopia is another very common vision condition that often affects people once they have reached middle-age. This hardening of the eye’s natural lens causes diminished focus on up-close objects, and often results in the necessity for reading glasses. Presbyopia can become debilitating and severe if left untreated. In addition to cataract surgery, the LenSx® Femtosecond Laser can be used in Refractive Lens Exchange procedures – treatments designed to improve the effects of presbyopia and other conditions. RLE involves the placement of an intraocular lens implant to replace the eye’s natural lens. With RLE, you may never have to wear glasses or contacts again, and the procedure can now be performed with the LenSx® Femtosecond Laser.
For individuals over 40 years of age, the focusing mechanism of the eye weakens. The focusing change (called accommodation) helps the eye adjust from distant to near vision. As one ages and this accommodative process deteriorates, the eye loses the ability to focus from clear distance vision to reading vision. This aging process is called presbyopia.
In the past all intraocular lenses, or IOL’s, were spherical monofocal. This means that the lens corrects most of your hyperopia or myopia, but does not correct for astigmatism or presbyopia. After surgery with a spherical monofocal lens it is necessary to still wear spectacles for most visual activities. This is still an excellent choice for patients who prefer to wear spectacles most of the time. The advent of newer and better IOL’s has allowed cataract surgery to develop into refractive cataract surgery.
Refractive Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery has progressed from a procedure that removes your cloudy lens to a procedure that makes your vision more functional by decreasing your dependency on spectacles or contact lenses. This drastic improvement in the outcome of the procedure is due to newer and better lenses. There are now many new lens options.
Toric (astigmatism correcting) Lens
The toric lens corrects for astigmatism and allows for improved vision for any patient with significant astigmatism.
The Crystalens is an accommodative lens and is designed to help solve the problems of presbyopia. The lens is placed in the eye to give the best distance vision possible. When the patient looks at a near object the lens moves forward in the eye to focus on that object. When the patient looks off in the distance again the lens moves back to focus at the distance. This is a wonderful lens for distance and intermediate vision, such as computer. It also works fairly well at near for reading.
There are two great multifocal lenses, the ReStor and the Tecnis Multifocal. Both of these lenses have concentric rings on them that take the incoming light and split it between distance and near as a means of helping to correct presbyopia. This gives very good distance and reading vision. The best reading is with good lighting. The intermediate vision is good but not quite as sharp as the near and distance.
his is another means of addressing presbyopia. It can be done with the toric lenses for patients with significant astigmatism. For those patients without significant astigmatism it is performed utilizing a very thin lens, allowing for some movement within the eye. The lens is put in the dominant eye for very sharp distance vision. The nondominant eye has the lens place for intermediate distance. Due to the flexibility of this lens it allows for a blend of vision at all distances.