Cataracts are one of the most common causes of vision loss as a patient ages. This condition, which describes a clouding of a patient’s natural lens, affects the majority of patients aged 60 years or older. Cataracts result in a general blurriness of vision that can initially be addressed through a stronger vision prescription, but, eventually, surgical treatment will be required to restore clear eyesight. Traditional cataract surgery has been performed for many years and has a reputation for being a safe and effective treatment. However, at North County Laser Eye Associates, we can now enhance the safety, precision, and effectiveness of cataract surgery even further through the use of laser technology. Our doctors will discuss laser cataract surgery vs. traditional cataract surgery with our San Diego, CA patients so that they can choose the surgical technique that best meets their individual needs and desires.
The primary difference between laser cataract surgery and traditional cataract surgery is that the laser procedure allows surgeons to remove cataracts without the use of a blade. During traditional cataract surgery, the surgeon uses a handheld blade to make an incision in the cornea in order to gain access to the cataract. A handheld surgical instrument is then used to make a circular opening in the lens capsule so that the cataract can be removed. It takes a great deal of skill and experience to ensure that these incisions are made accurately, are sized correctly, and placed in the right location to ensure the ease of the cataract removal.
Laser cataract surgery eliminates the need for a blade or handheld surgical tools. During a laser cataract surgery procedure, a laser is used to make the incision in the cornea, as well as the opening in the lens capsule. The laser is then used to break up and soften the cataract so that it can be more easily removed from this opening. Overall, laser cataract surgery allows for a greater degree of control and precision, as there is little room for human error.
Benefits of Laser Cataract Surgery
Although traditional cataract surgery has proven safe and effective for an overwhelming number of patients, there are many benefits of laser cataract surgery that appeal to our patients. Below are some of the advantages that the laser technique offers over traditional cataract surgery:
- Clinical studies show that the lens capsule opening is ten times more accurate when created with a laser than when created by hand
- Because the surgical laser can be used to break up the cataract, less ultrasound energy is needed for laser cataract surgery and patients may achieve visual recovery faster
- The precision of the laser further minimizes the risks of cataract surgery, making for a safer treatment option
If you are no longer able to control cataracts through stronger vision prescriptions, it is time to consider cataract surgery to restore clear vision. At North County Laser Eye Associates, our experienced doctors can walk you through this procedure and help you decide whether traditional or laser cataract surgery is right for you. To learn more, contact us at your earliest convenience.