The technology used for creating the corneal flap during iLASIK (femto-Lasik) surgery is now being used to aid cataract surgery in the United States.
Using an FDA approved device, known as the Femtosecond Laser, surgeons are able to make use of laser technology to help with the removal of cataracts. The machine uses the same laser technology that is used to cut the corneal flap in preparation for laser eye surgery, and assists in performing some of the initial steps involved in cataract surgery. It is used to create the surgical incision in the cornea, to perform the capsulorexus and to break up the natural lens of the eye before removal. Femtosecond laser technology is already being used to treat corneal astigmatism, and Femtosecond-assisted astigmatic keratotomy will be possible to perform during cataract surgery.
Millions of people need cataract surgery each year and the new technology has given doctors a new way to perform the procedure. A computer-guided laser is programmed by a surgeon to provide high resolution imagery which helps in the process of removing cataracts. Laser pulses causing energy bursts move rapidly at one millionth of one billionth of a second and aid with performing an immensely safe, accurate and predictable procedure.
During cataract surgery, the eye’s naturally aged and cloudy lens is removed and an artificial replacement lens is then positioned by a surgeon using traditional techniques. Although the technique is still quite new, doctors have been giving it high praise for the potential it has to progress. Similarly to iLASIK (femto-Lasik) surgery, anyone that wishes to undergo cataract surgery using the Femtosecond Laser needs to speak to their specialist in order to determine if they are a suitable candidate.
Watch this space so we can keep you updated on this technology as well as when you can expect to see it being used in South Africa.