It’s that time of year again! ASCRS has released its annual clinical survey focusing on current trends and technologies in the ophthalmology field. This year, more than 1,100 ASCRS members answered key questions about cataract surgery, astigmatism management, presbyopia correction, ocular surface diseases, and other ophthalmic topics. Here at Sightpath, we’re particularly interested in what ophthalmologists have to say about laser-assisted cataract surgery. While many doctors have sung the praises of femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery, others hesitate to bring it to their practice. What does the fifth annual ASCRS clinical survey say about femto?
Over half of all respondents don’t use femto…yet.
According to the survey, 62 percent of surgeons do not use laser-assisted cataract surgery, although between 10 and 20 percent of these respondents hope to begin offering it within the next year.
Most respondents believe that femto makes cataract surgery better.
Even though most clinicians don’t yet offer femto cataract surgery, they believe the procedure provides significant benefits in capsulorhexis creation (74 percent), making arcuate incisions (68 percent), and lens fragmentation (60 percent). Other respondents reported improved effective lens position, less risk of surgical complications, and improved refractive outcomes.
The average number of reported benefits per respondent was three. Less than ten percent of respondents believe that femto provided no benefits.
People hesitate to offer femto for several different reasons.
More than half of all respondents (60 percent) cited economic viability as the main reason they don’t currently offer laser-assisted cataract surgery. Other reasons included lack of data supporting clinical benefits (36 percent), and issues with time, efficiency, and patient flow (24 percent). In conclusion, surgeons have an overwhelmingly positive opinion of laser-assisted cataract surgery, yet still avoid adding it to their practice, largely due to economic concerns.