If you have parents or grandparents who underwent cataract surgery years ago, chances are their surgeries were conducted with techniques that called for ultrasound machines and scalpels. Today, however, many cataract surgeries are performed using lasers. Why have laser-based cataract surgeries become so common in the industry? As it turns out, laser-based methods have some key advantages over their predecessors.
Less Pressure on the Eyes
Today, with the most modern methods, a laser is used to break up the cataract so that the pieces can then be removed from the eye. Previously, this was done using ultrasound waves. The ultrasound waves worked, but they did put a considerable amount of pressure on the eye, which would slow down the healing process and possibly lead to more discomfort after surgery. Lasers that are used to break up the cataracts can do so with far less pressure. This means that those who undergo laser-based cataract removal surgery typically heal faster and have less pain in their eyes as they heal.
The best eye surgeons are really good at making sure they cut accurately with a scalpel. But they are still human, and humans can only be so precise. Lasers that are powered by computers are capable of being a lot more precise. This means that cataract surgeries that are conducted with lasers tend to be performed more precisely. This can, again, lead to better healing, and it can also help the patient enjoy even better vision after surgery.
Some patients who have cataracts also have other eye problems, such as astigmatism or myopia. In the past, these patients would have to go in for two separate surgeries — one to address the cataracts, and the other to address other issues. Today, with laser-based methods, it is often possible for such patients to have both surgeries performed during the same session.
Shorter Surgical Sessions
Most people are awake during cataract surgery. And even though numbing agents keep them from feeling anything, having their eyes operated on is not exactly enjoyable. The sooner it is over, the better! Laser-based cataract surgeries are often over faster than others, which makes them easier on the patient.
If you need cataract surgery, don't be worried if your eye doctor recommends a laser-based approach. As discussed above, laser cataract surgeries have a lot of advantages over other methods, which is likely why this approach is being recommended to you.