Breakthrough cataract surgery technology enables our surgeons to remove cataracts with greater precision, customization and accuracy than ever before. We use the state-of-the-art LenSx femtosecond laser platform, which has helped our surgeons improve cataract surgery outcomes.
Traditional vs. Laser Cataract Surgery
Traditional cataract surgery involves using standard surgical instruments to perform the critical steps of the procedure. During this type of surgery we use a surgical blade to create the initial corneal incisions; this allows us to gain access to the interior of the eye, and to create an opening in the capsule that holds the lens. We use ultrasound energy to break up the cloudy lens before removing the pieces from the eye.
With laser cataract surgery, we use an advanced laser (in lieu of the instruments used in traditional cataract surgery) for greater predictability and reproducibility at each step. Prior to surgery, we use a sophisticated three-dimensional imaging system called optical coherence tomography to help us plan out the initial corneal incisions. Not only does this take some of the guesswork out of the incisions, it also increases the chances that the incision will seal itself at the end of surgery without stitches or sutures.
After the bladeless, computer-controlled LenSx laser creates the corneal incisions, it makes a tiny opening in the capsule holding the eye’s lens. It is important to create as accurate an opening as possible to keep the lens capsule intact so it can later hold the IOL that is implanted into the eye.
Once we have gained access to the lens, we use laser energy to gently soften and break up the cloudy lens. Ultrasound energy can lead to heat buildup in the incision, which can raise the risk of complications or subpar visual outcomes. But using the laser to soften and break up the lens into smaller pieces requires less energy, so there is less risk of burning, corneal swelling and other complications.
Clear Lens Extraction
Clear lens exchange, also known as refractive lens exchange, is very similar to cataract surgery in that it replaces the eye’s natural lens with an artificial lens to achieve clearer vision. However, unlike cataract surgery, the lens being replaced is not cloudy; it is clear. CLE or RLE is performed on people with presbyopia or high farsightedness as a solution to minimize dependence on glasses.
Limbal Relaxing Incisions
Limbal relaxing incisions are incisions made in the cornea to reduce or eliminate pre-existing astigmatism. By strategically placing these incisions in the limbus, or the junction between the cornea and sclera, our doctors can help give the cornea a rounder shape so it can properly bend or refract light onto the retina. Limbal relaxing incisions can be easily incorporated into cataract surgery or clear lens exchange. They are virtually painless.
Contact Eye Care of San Diego
If you would like more information about laser cataract surgery, clear lens exchange or limbal relaxing incisions, our team would be happy to speak with you during an in-person consultation. Please contact us today to request an appointment.