Laser Cataract Surgery
Femtosecond Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery
Patients undergoing cataract surgery, may have a choice between traditional cataract surgery, where the surgeon performs 100% of the procedure by hand, and Femtosecond Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery (FLACS). If a patient chooses laser cataract surgery approximately 80% of the procedure will be performed using a machine. The benefits of laser cataract surgery are that the surgery is considered to be safer, more customizable, and more precise as utilizing the machine removes the subjective factor of the surgery.
The CATALYS Precision Laser System
Dr. Nichols and the TLC Team were the first in London to offer Laser Cataract Surgery with the CATALYS® Precision Laser System. The blade free technology is considered to be one of the most significant advancements in cataract surgery in more than 50 years.
The CATALYS® Precision Laser System is indicated for use in patients undergoing cataract surgery for removal of the crystalline lens. Intended uses in cataract surgery include anterior capsulotomy, phacofragmentation, and the creation of single plane and multi-plane arc cuts/incisions in the cornea, each of which may be performed either individually or consecutively during the same procedure.
Femtosecond laser assisted cataract surgery offers a reproducible, noninvasive technique to replace the least predictable and most technically demanding steps of conventional cataract procedures.
Customization with 3D Imaging
Like a fingerprint, every eye has a unique size and shape. Prior to treatment, the CATALYS System images your eye andmakes precise 3D maps of relevant structures. This enables your surgeon to create a tailored treatment plan that is uniquely customized for your eye.
Your surgeon can use the CATALYS System to create laser precise incisions, including a circular opening in the lens capsule to access and remove the cataract. This precise incision helps your surgeon place the new artificial lens where intended.
Dr. Nichols can use the laser to soften the hard cataract. Softening the lens with the CATALYS System enables your surgeon to remove the cataract gently. If you desire to see well without glasses or contacts after surgery, your surgeon may recommend a tailored treatment that could include Catalys System incisions in the cornea and a specific lens implant type.
If you are a candidate, and if you are a patient having cataract surgery at TLC, you may have a choice between traditional cataract surgery and laser cataract surgery. There is an additional charge above what is covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), for advanced technology implants, as well as for astigmatism management.
Benefits of Laser Cataract Surgery
Clearer vision sooner
Utilizing the femtosecond laser technology allows your surgeon to use up to 95% less energy when fragmenting the cataract lens, less energy absorbed by the surrounding structures of you eye results in less swelling and edema. Reduced energy is considered safer, and may lead to clearer vision immediately after surgery.
Accurate reduction of Astigmatism
Laser incisions can be made to reduce astigmatism. The incisions are made at precise lengths and depths based on intraoperative imaging. Utilizing optical coherence tomography (OCT), which provides higher resolution than an MRI, incisions can be made at specific locations below the corneal epithelium. This provides more comfort than traditional limbal relaxing incisions which are made with a hand-held blade.
Potentially better vision quality
The accuracy of the laser allows for a more precise final resting position for the intraocular lens implant. The laser creates a perfectly round opening in the capsule, this opening is a specific size to match perfectly with the new lens. A more precise capsule opening reduces the risk of the lens implant being positioned too far forward, too far backward, or tilted. This has been shown to provide a better quality of vision, and a reduction in higher order abberations. The laser will also center the capsule opening directly over the visual axis, providing perfect centration of the intraocular lens.
More precise incisions with less risk of leakage
The precision of the laser can be utilized to make all the necessary incisions in the cornea. Unlike the incisions made by the handheld blade, the tri-planar incisions produced by the laser provide a better seal, with less chance of leakage.
For those who qualify, the Femtosecond Catalys Precision Laser System can be utilized with any of the surgical options available to patients undergoing cataract surgery at TLC London. Cataract and IOL insertion surgery is an insured physician service when provided by any method. OHIP coverage includes the medically necessary tests and assessments, and the common and specific elements of these insured services. Many of the functions performed by the laser are considered elements of the provincially funded services. The Femtosecond laser is used to mark the eye and very specifically determine the placement of one or more incisions of specific depth and length, in a predetermined location in the cornea, for purposes of astigmatism correction. This includes optical imaging for the purposes of refractive planning.