Laser Cataract Surgery
If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, you might be confused about two different surgery options available. One utilizes ultrasound technology (phacoemulsification), and the other combines the use of a laser with ultrasound.
Types of Cataract Surgery
Traditional Cataract Surgery
Traditional phacoemulsification cataract surgery uses a small ultrasonic probe that dissolves the lens with sound waves so it can be gently washed away. The procedure is patient-friendly and cost-efficient.
Laser-Based Cataract Surgery
Alternatively, laser-based cataract surgery uses femtosecond laser technology to create an incision, remove the front portion of the lens capsule and soften the clouded lens. After that step is completed, the traditional phacoemulsification device is still needed to complete the removal of the cataract in most cases.
Laser Cataract Surgery vs. Traditional Phacoemulsification
Dr. Lipstock is known as a leading authority worldwide in his research related to laser cataract surgery versus traditional cataract surgery and was featured in the July 2014 issue of EyeWorld, the monthly newsmagazine of the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), for his review of laser-based cataract surgery studies. Dr. Lipstock has concluded that the laser technique takes longer, costs considerably more, and does not add to the safety or accuracy of the procedure. Considering the sophisticated and comprehensive nature of his review Dr. Lipstock has made many in the international ophthalmic community rethink jumping on this particular cataract technology bandwagon. This research was validated again in 2017 at the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) meeting by a French government study which determined that laser cataract surgery offered no advantage to traditional phacoemulsification.
For a full overview of cataract formation, surgery options, and recovery, watch this detailed video from Dr. Lipstock.