Cataracts affect more than 24.4 million Americans over 40 according to the National Eye Institute. It’s expected to reach almost 40 million by 2030. The millions of Americans diagnosed with cataracts usually first notice it when they experience cloudy vision while doing everyday activities.
Fortunately, cataract procedures are very common with more than 4 million occurring every year. They’re helping patients return to their favorite activities.
What Is a Cataract Procedure?
The goal of cataract procedures is to restore vision to remove the cloudiness. They’re often performed on an outpatient basis. The surgeon removes the cloudy lens and replaces the natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).
In the past, surgeons removed and replaced the lens by making small incisions with a surgical knife. Today, patients have a choice. One is manual surgery and now there are bladeless procedures that use advanced laser technology. One option for a bladeless procedure is LenSx Laser.
How Does LenSx Work for Cataracts?
LenSx allows the surgeon to remove cataracts with greater precision and accuracy. This procedure uses a laser known as a femtosecond laser. A little fact: femtosecond is one quadrillionth of a second. The surgeon uses the LenSx laser to break the cataract and make the incisions to remove it. This whole process occurs without the use of a surgical knife.
The bladeless, computer-controlled laser gives the surgeon a high-resolution image or a map of the eye. Before the procedure, the surgeon will create a map of the eye. The map aids the surgeon by providing the exact specification for planning the procedure.
During the procedure, the LenSx allows the surgeon to automate and execute the most complex steps of traditional cataract surgery. After removing the clouded lens, the surgeon inserts the IOL implant. It’s possible it could reduce the chances of needing glasses or contacts. Additionally, this same procedure can help astigmatism.
What Are the Benefits of LenSx Laser?
A big benefit of using LenSx is that the patient may experience little to no discomfort during treatment. It’s a much more precise treatment than the traditional method. Think of it as a customized treatment because it maps the patient’s eye in precise detail.
Patients opting for LenSx tend to recover faster and experience less inflammation than with the traditional method. Their vision often improves after two weeks and they reach optimal vision between two and four months after the LenSx procedure.
Most patients with cataracts qualify for this procedure. Possible exceptions include specific corneal diseases, some forms of glaucoma, and small pupils.