Advanced laser cataract surgery uses the LenSx laser from Alcon, the latest technology in ocular imaging, to guide a specialized laser in delivering the most precise surgical results. This laser is a computer-controlled femtosecond laser which assists the surgeon in performing the most delicate parts of the cataract procedure. High-definition imaging helps the surgeon customize each patient’s surgical treatment to their eye’s unique anatomy. Femtosecond lasers are a proven technology, having been used for over a decade in corneal eye surgery like LASIK. Advances in imaging and computer technology have increased its precision and accuracy and have allowed for its expanded use in cataract surgery.
Although cataracts are most prevalent the older one gets, age isn’t the sole factor in developing cataracts. Many people can develop cataracts earlier in life when exposed to cataract causing factors. In fact, some babies can be born with cataracts.
Patients who choose laser cataract surgery have a higher instance of being independent from glasses, at least part-time, over those who have traditional cataract surgery. The laser can correct astigmatism within a certain range, and may be paired with a lifestyle/premium lens to achieve such independence.
Anyone that has a visually significant cataract and wants the latest technology to provide the most complete correction of their vision should consider laser cataract surgery. It provides high-definition imaging to the surgeon not available during traditional surgery. Combining these live images and preoperative measurements, the laser cataract surgeon designs an individualized treatment. The computer generated treatment is performed using the precision of a specialized laser. This particularly benefits people wanting partial or complete freedom from glasses.
Prior to laser cataract surgery being recommended, patients will go through a candidacy process during their cataract evaluation – this process is made up of 3 ancillary tests. If the testing reveals conditions that can compromise vision, reveals the pupils do not dilate adequately, or if the cornea has significant opacities, laser cataract surgery may be contraindicated.
Prior to cataract surgery, the patient will have an extensive consultation with their surgeon, then the surgery coordinator. The surgery coordinator will provide verbal and written instructions detailing preparation; some of these instructions include: importance of beginning and continuing eye drops, discontinuing certain medications prior to treatment, and proper grooming the day of the surgery.
Cataract surgery in general has a very low incidence of discomfort and/or pain. With laser cataract surgery the eye is numbed topically (with eye drops). Often patients will only report instances of a “pressure-like” feeling – this feeling is caused by the device used to keep the eye open, as well as the irrigating solution used to pressurize the eye.
As with any surgery, cataract surgery poses some side effects/risks including bleeding, infection, and loss of vision – being the most severe. More commonly patients may experience redness, irritation, foggy vision temporarily, floaters, and tearing. To reduce such risks the surgeon may have patients stop certain medications, begin a series of drops before surgery, and continue drops for a time period after surgery.
Patients that have traditional cataract surgery with a monofocal lens will most likely need glasses at least part-time after cataract surgery. Patients that have LenSx Laser cataract surgery combined with a premium lens designed to give a more full range of vision have the best chance of being independent of glasses.
Once the cataract has been surgically removed, it will not return. Therefore, patients that have cataract surgery will only need a single treatment per eye. However, cataract surgery does not prevent the onset of other eye diseases or conditions that could limit vision.
With modern cataract surgery (including LenSx Laser cataract surgery) there are few restrictions. We ask that patients do not rub their eye and avoid getting anything into their eye other than the indicated eye drops. Because of the few restrictions, patients can usually get back to their normal activities within the first 48 hours after surgery.
In February 2013, Darrell Pickard, MD was the first surgeon to perform laser cataract surgery in Oklahoma City. As of December 2014, he has provided over 600 patients with advanced laser cataract surgery using the LenSx laser. Dr. Pickard and Dr. Jackson perform eye surgery in our Midwest City and the Oklahoma City locations. “I’ve performed over 12,000 traditional cataract surgeries using a blade to manually make the small incisions” says Dr. Pickard. “After investigating this technology, I’m in agreement with other thought leaders in Ophthalmology that LenSx offers patients the most advanced treatment for cataracts. As a refractive cataract surgeon, I not only want to safely eliminate the cataract but to also deliver the best vision possible to my patients after cataract surgery.”
If you are considering laser cataract surgery, contact our Midwest City office today! Call (405) 733-4545 to schedule a consultation now!