Cataract Surgery

Phacoemulsification is a modern cataract surgery in which the eye’s internal lens is emulsified with an ultrasonic hand piece and aspirated from the eye. Aspirated fluids are replaced with irrigation of balanced salt solution to maintain the anterior chamber.

Femto Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery

Modern cataract surgery is fast becoming a refractive surgical procedure. Despite the excellent results obtained with the current technology, perfection is demanded by patients and surgeons alike. Existing procedures, although safe and efficient, are considered to depend greatly on the skill and experience of the surgeon. Femtosecond laser assisted cataract surgery has been commercially available since 2011 and has revolutionized the way cataract surgery is performed across the world. But as with the introduction of any new technique and technology, there has been a hesitation in adopting this over the more popular and universal phaco-emulsification technique of cataract surgery. This article would describe the technology available, surgical technique, discuss the potential benefits and challenges involved, and newer developments in this exciting new treatment modality.

The femtosecond laser is useful in ocular surgeries due to its ultra fast pulses in the range of 10 seconds 15, and its decreased energy requirements for tissue destruction, reducing unintended damage to surrounding tissues. The currently available femtosecond laser devices use a neodymium:glass, near infrared laser with a wavelength of about 1053nm. This highly coherent beam of laser is focused at 3 m spot size with accuracy of within 5 µm in the anterior segment. Unique, ultra-short duration laser pulses (10 seconds)15 allows its use as a “laser blade” in a process called photodisruption or photodissection allowing for reduced unintended destruction of surrounding tissues.

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