If you’re a cataract surgeon, chances are you’re very good at what you do. According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, millions of Americans undergo cataract surgery each year with a success rate of 98 percent or higher.
Given the surgery’s impressive success rate, some surgeons might scoff at the notion of bringing femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (also known as LACS, FLACS, or femto) to their practice.
“Prior to adopting FLACS, I considered myself a good surgeon and did not think that I needed the laser to achieve great outcomes. After all, I was already obtaining excellent outcomes,” said Eva Liang, MD, in an editorial she contributed to Ophthalmology Management. “However, once I actually started using FLACS, I immediately saw and appreciated the benefits.”
Unparalleled capsulotomy precision
Even the most practiced hands can only be so precise. “There is no doubt there will be ultrastructural differences if the capsulotomy is created either manually or with the laser,” said Tim Roberts, MBBS, MMed, FRANZCO, FRACS, GAICD, in an interview with Ophthalmology Times.
Dr. Roberts was the lead author of a recent, long-term study on the laser’s impact on anterior capsule integrity. In this study, the researchers examined the results of 3,842 consecutive laser-assisted cataract procedures.
Across these procedures, the anterior capsule tear rate was remarkably low – 0.68 percent with the rigid curved interface and 0.08 percent with the SoftFit PI. The rates were even lower than published rates for manual techniques.
In other words, the precision associated with laser-assisted cataract surgery may limit the risk of capsulotomy complications.
A reduced risk of anterior capsule tears isn’t the only advantage associated with laser-assisted cataract surgery.
- Laser-assisted cataract surgery results in more consistent and reliable corneal incisions than those created by human hands. This added precision may reduce the risk of postoperative endophthalmitis.
- The laser allows surgeons to remove the lens with significantly less phacoemulsification power, reducing the eye’s overall ultrasound exposure.
- It can be offered to most patients regardless of cataract severity, age and physiological characteristics, expanding a surgeon’s patient pool.
In the end, laser-assisted cataract surgery is a valuable tool for all cataracts surgeons, regardless of expertise. If you’re considering adding this procedure to your offerings, we would love to talk to talk to you about bringing our mobile femto service, MoFe, to your practice!