Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery

Allon Barsam was the first British surgeon in the world to carry out the femtosecond laser technique in April 2011.

Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery (laser supported cataract surgery) is the latest advance in cataract surgery. This new generation of cataract surgery uses a special type of laser to help remove the cataract, without the need for blades. The laser, known as a femtosecond laser, is programmed to make a precise incision in exactly the right place within the cornea and lens.

Procedure

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.

  1. 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.
  1. The surgeon then makes a hole in the capsule bag (known as a capsulotomy). In manual cataract surgery, this is done with a needle but in femtosecond laser cataract surgery the same laser is used, for a more accurate result.
  1. Finally, the cataract is broken up using the femtosecond laser instead of an old style ultrasonic device.

Benefits of Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery

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:

  • Safe and precise. 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.
  • Blade and needle free. Laser cataract surgery reduces the need for multiple instrumentation during the cataract procedure and eliminates the need for blades.
  • More efficient. Using a femtosecond laser minimises the ultrasound energy required in the removal of the crystalline lens.
  • More effective. Laser surgery increases the stability of the replacement lens (due to the precision of the laser in making the hole in the capsule bag).
  • Reduced risk of infection. 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 – reducing the risk of infection.
  • Optimised visual results for patients. 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.

 

Background

Allon Barsam was the first British surgeon in the world to carry out the femtosecond laser technique in April 2011.

The video below contains an interview with Mr Barsam, explaining how femtosecond cataract laser surgery works.

Find out more

Femtosecond laser surgery is a new procedure that is currently only available in a limited number of centres in the UK, including Allon Barsam’s practice.

If you would like to know more about femtosecond laser cataract surgery and whether it is the right option for you, contact us on 0808 133 2020 to arrange an appointment.