Laser cataract surgery – better technology for painless, precise and accurate results
For those affected with cataract problem, generally it has been the phacoemulsification which they usually undergo. However with the advancement in medical technology cataract surgery is now done with laser having robotic precision. This new and better technology entails precision, sharpness, accuracy, painless and safety as against the traditional cataract surgeries.
When one gets cataract problem they have symptoms like clouding of the natural lens, which prevents light rays from reaching the retina which progressively affects vision, till finally, only the perception of light remains. With normal cataract surgery or what is also known as phacoemulsification (which at present is universally accepted as the standard of care for cataract surgery), the surgeons generally use a hand-held metal or diamond blade to create an incision in the area where the sclera meets the cornea in order to get deeper into the eye. The circular opening in the lens capsule from which to remove the cataract and place an artificial lens is made using a sharp bent needle. The surgeon then divides the lens manually to aid its removal after emulsification with ultrasound energy. Then an intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted and implanted, to replace the cloudy natural lens.
As against the traditional cataract surgeries, with the laser approach to cataract surgery, the entire process are automated using the machine’s integrated OCT (optical coherence tomography) guided imaging system. Since the surgery is done with laser, the incisions are more precise and the capsular opening is perfectly centred and round. This allows for exact placement of the artificial lens implant optimizing visual outcomes. Moreover, as the laser divides the lens into small fragments, the amount of ultrasound energy used to remove the cataract is greatly reduced, which in turn helps in early visual recovery and also increasing the likelihood that the incision will be self-sealing at the end of the procedure, which thereby reduces the risk of infection. When it is made with a human hand guiding a blade, there are limitations but a laser can make a perfect incision that interlocks precisely and improves the chance of self-sealing, and this is an advancement over traditional manual technology.
Speaking to Techspirit, Dr K Bhujang Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Nethralaya said: “When cataract surgery is done we need to make a small opening in the bag that holds the natural eye lens to dwell inside. Earlier this opening or incision was done manually but with laser cataract surgeries it is done with lasers. Once the data is entered into the laser it is programmed automatically and this gives 100% sharp, precise, accurate, painless and safe results.”
For the past four to five years this laser cataract surgery is being used in India and very few centers have been using this technology. Compared to the normal surgery, the laser cataract surgery is little expensive. At Narayana Nethralaya we have this technology and the feedbacks from patients undergoing this procedure is excellent, he further added.