When you have cataracts, the only way that you can remove them and improve your ability to see is to undergo surgery. The procedure for removing cataracts is quick and safe, and recovering from the surgery is typically easy. A new innovation in cataract surgery that makes it even quicker is to use a laser to assist in removing the cataract. With laser-assisted surgery, a laser is used instead of a scalpel to make the incision into your lens capsule to allow your cataract to be removed. To learn three benefits of this procedure compared to traditional cataract removal, read on.
1. Corrects Astigmatism While Removing Your Cataracts
The biggest benefit of laser-assisted eye cataract surgery is that it can easily correct astigmatism during the procedure. Astigmatism occurs when your lens doesn't have a normal, smooth curve. The abnormal curvature causes light to bend as it enters your eye, which makes your vision blurry. During laser-assisted cataract surgery, the laser can be used to reshape your lens and give it a normal curve, improving your vision.
2. Softens Your Cataracts Before Breaking Them Apart
Another benefit of laser-assisted cataract surgery is that the laser softens the cataract before it's removed. During both traditional cataract surgery and laser-assisted surgery, an ultrasonic probe is used to break the cataract into pieces before it's suctioned out of your lens capsule.
By softening the cataract with the laser before using the ultrasonic probe to break it apart, less ultrasonic energy is needed to break it into pieces that are small enough to be suctioned out of the lens capsule. Ultrasonic energy is absorbed by surrounding tissues, including your cornea, which heats them up. Reducing the amount of ultrasonic energy used to break up the cataract will also reduce the amount that they heat up, which helps to prevent damage to your eye.
Softening your cataracts is especially useful if you've had cataracts for a long time. They become harder over time, which makes them more difficult to break apart using the ultrasonic probe. Softening them beforehand will make them much easier to successfully remove.
3. Increases Precision of the Incision
The device used for laser-assisted eye cataract surgery is computerized, making it very precise. Before making an incision into your lens capsule, it will scan your capsule using the laser in order to make a very accurate picture of the way it's shaped. Based on the layout of your lens capsule, it will determine the best place to make the incision using the laser. This significantly reduces the possibility of human error during the procedure since the incision doesn't need to be made by hand with a scalpel.
Overall, the increased precision of laser-assisted eye cataract surgery and its ability to limit the amount of ultrasonic energy needed to break apart your cataract make it the least invasive option for removing your cataracts. If you also have astigmatism, it's also capable of easily correcting it at the same time your cataracts are removed. If you think that laser-assisted cataract surgery is the right choice for you, find an eye doctor in your area — such as Sabates Eye Centers — who has the equipment necessary to perform this procedure and schedule a consultation.