Cataract is an eye condition that develops with age. The condition is not preventive in nature once it has developed and keeps on deteriorating with time. In early stages of cataract, it is not difficult to read, drive and see objects. However, in mature stages it requires surgical intervention. Once you experience cloudiness and difficulty with vision, it is time to undergo a surgery.
What is Traditional Cataract Surgery?
Phacoemulsification or traditional cataract surgery is a surgical procedure that restores vision in people who have cloudy vision due to mature stages of cataracts. Commonly referred to as phaco, it was founded in the late 1960s.
Over the years, experts and doctors have refined this procedure to make it more safer and successful. The whole procedure is completed within 20 minutes. Depending on the cataract’s density and size, the doctors decide the technique to be used.
What is Laser-assisted Cataract Surgery?
Medically known as Refractive Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery (ReLACS)- is the most advanced technique for cataract surgery. In this type of surgery, the doctor uses femtosecond laser technology that ensures consistency and accuracy in every step of the procedure. There are three steps of this procedure-
- Corneal incision
- Anterior capsulotomy
- Lens and cataract fragmentation
Some of the common laser cataract surgeries are-
- Femto LDV
Procedure of Traditional Cataract Surgery
The traditional cataract surgery is medically known as phacoemulsification. The following steps are involved in the traditional technique of cataract surgery-
- With the help of scalpel, the doctor makes a small incision in the cornea.
- After making the incision, the doctor inserts a small instrument through this to reach behind the pupil where the lens sits in a capsule.
- The surgeon then creates an opening inside the capsule through which they insert a pen-shaped probe that can emit ultrasound waves.
- The doctor then emits these ultrasound pulses that break the cloudy lenses.
- Next, the surgeon sucks out the broken pieces with a second probe.
- At last, the doctor implants an intraocular lens in place of the natural lens. Generally, there is no need for stitches.
Procedure of laser cataract surgery
Generally, the following steps are involved in the–
- The doctor places a camera or ultrasound device over the eye that navigates the eye. The main function of the equipment is to take information about the lens.
- The information gathered is sent to a computer that is connected to the laser.
- The laser can mark the exact location, size and the extent of the incisions that are needed.
- Similar to the traditional method, the doctor makes several incisions with the help of a laser instead of a scalpel.
- The energy from the laser probe softens the cloudy lens.
- A pen-shaped probe that emits ultrasound waves is inserted.
- The doctor emits ultrasonic waves from the probe and breaks the lens into pieces.
- The broken pieces are then taken out.
- Finally, the artificial lens is then implanted into the location of the natural lens.
Differences between traditional and laser cataract surgery
Here are some of the primary differentiating points between the traditional and latest laser technique for cataract surgery.
|Serial No.||Traditional Cataract Surgery||Laser Cataract Surgery|
|The doctors had to make several incisions on the eye before the surgery.||This is a non-invasive procedure that doesn’t include any cuts nor any incisions.|
|The results are not so accurate and consistent as expected in laser eye surgery.||The laser surgery for cataract guarantees accuracy and consistency. Also, it can offer more corrections.|
|The possibility of any severe complication occurring is extremely high.||Studies confirm that the laser treatment guarantees fewer complications.|
|As incisions are made, the eye takes almost two-three weeks to heal.||The wounds heal within a couple of hours of the surgery.|
|Traditional surgery takes a little more than an hour to complete.||It takes around 20 minutes for laser cataract surgery to complete.|
|Almost became extinct in several countries.||Has been used for decades to remove cataract.|
|Unable to treat any additional eye problem.||Treats astigmatism that improves vision.|
|Common side effects such as blurred vision, itchy eyes, sticky eyes are likely to occur.||The risk of these side effects is almost minimal.|
|People may complain of pain and discomfort during the recovery.||As there is minimum trauma to the eye, there is no pain|
|Doctors rely on a vibrating needle to break the cataracts or opaque lenses.||Doctors rely on a hand held laser blade to break the cataracts.|
Recovery after traditional or laser cataract surgery
It is common to have cloudy, blurry vision once the eye patch is removed. The eye takes some time to adjust to the surroundings once the cataract is removed. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind for a few days and weeks after the surgery-
- Put the eye drops timely. If possible, prepare a timetable to ensure that you don’t skin on any dosage of eye drops after the surgery.
- Wear sunglasses after the surgery to protect the eyes from extreme heat, dust or light.
- Do not put pressure on the eyes in any way. Therefore, speak to the doctor about the amount of exercise you can do safely.
- While sleeping, cover the eye with an eye patch that works as a shield.
- Do not put any water or soap by mistake inside the eye.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects or activities such as jogging that can dislodge the newly implanted lens.
Benefits of Laser Cataract Surgery
The laser cataract surgery is available in several clinics in Delhi such as Pristyn Care. The success of laser surgery is largely dependent on the skills of the surgeon and their specialization. The laser surgery is the most preferred way of rectifying the lens over the traditional method for the several advantages it guarantees. Some of them are discussed below-
- The surgical incision is a lot more accurate as it is performed by a computer-guided lens as compared to the incision made by hand.
- The procedure requires half the ultrasonic energy to break the lens.
- After the laser-assisted cataract surgery, the recovery is much hassle-free as it doesn’t involve any cuts or incisions.
- There are no side effects that are likely to occur after the laser-assisted cataract surgery.
- It can also treat astigmatism by reshaping the curved cornea.
Which one is right for you?
The doctor is the only person who can guide you through the appropriate choice. To decide which of the best options is correct for you, consult with a cataract specialist in clinics of India who can provide information about the same after a proper consultation and diagnosis. Each of the techniques has its own benefits which the ophthalmologist guides accordingly. Another thing to consider is the total expense of the cataract surgery you want to spend. You should ask the cost of laser-assisted surgery during the diagnosis in detail.
To sum it up, there are several advantages of undergoing a laser-assisted cataract surgery over the traditional method. Over the years, it has become a favorable choice for people looking to treat cataract surgery. In case of any confusion, get all your queries resolved from an eye specialist without any delay.