Our surgeons at OCL perform femtosecond laser cataract surgery with the use of a bladeless, femtosecond laser (the latest advance in cataract surgery), which offers a new level of precision to traditional cataract surgery. Our surgeons are the earliest adopters of this technology in the UK, and it is currently only available in a limited number of UK clinics.
Femtosecond laser cataract surgery is the latest advance in cataract surgery.
This new generation of cataract surgery uses a special type of laser to precisely create incisions and break up the cataract without the use of traditional blades or scalpels. The laser, known as a femtosecond laser, is programmed to make a precise incision in exactly the right place within the cornea and lens.
Allon Barsam of OCL was the first British surgeon in the world to carry out the femtosecond laser technique in April 2011. He appeared in an interview with BBC radio to explain how femtosecond cataract laser surgery works.
Femtosecond laser cataract surgery achieves the same results as traditional, manual cataract surgery using state-of-the-art, ultra-precise laser technology. It is a simple procedure to remove cataracts – a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye – and insert an artificial lens to correct the patient’s vision.
As with traditional cataract surgery, an incision is made in the cornea; however, in femtosecond laser cataract surgery the cut is made using a special laser rather than a surgical knife. The laser is programmed with the exact depth and size of the incision, so the procedure is extremely precise.
The laser then makes an opening in the capsule bag (known as a capsulotomy) that surrounds the lens allowing access to the cloudy lens protein which forms the cataract. In manual cataract surgery, this is done with a needle but in femtosecond laser cataract surgery the laser is used, for a more accurate result.
Finally, the cataract is fragmented using the femtosecond laser instead of an old style ultrasonic device with final removal performed by the surgeon
Femtosecond laser cataract surgery has introduced a new level of precision to the cataract procedure. Some of the benefits over traditional cataract surgery may include:
Femtosecond laser surgery enables surgeons to pre-plan the exact locations of their incisions down to micron level, dramatically improving accuracy and reducing the risk of error.
Laser cataract surgery reduces the need for multiple instrumentation during the cataract procedure and eliminates the need for blades.
Using a femtosecond laser minimises the ultrasound energy required in the removal of the cataractous lens.
Laser surgery increases the stability of the replacement lens (due to the precision of the laser in making the hole in the capsule bag).
Using a laser for extra precision means that the cut made in the cornea is may be more likely to be self-sealing after the operation. Healing is also likely to be stronger.
Premium intra-ocular lenses implanted during surgery are now extremely effective. Femtosecond laser cataract surgery allows the visual benefits of these newer lenses to be realised fully.
Femtosecond laser surgery is a new procedure that is currently only available in a limited number of centres in the UK, including OCL.
If you would like to know more about femtosecond laser cataract surgery and whether it is the right option for you, contact us on 0203 369 2020 to arrange an appointment.