Laser-Guided Cataract Surgery

Dr. Schaible and Dr. Spadafora conducted research with a form of YAG laser in human cataract surgery more than a decade ago for the FDA. They found the technology interesting, but cumbersome and, at times, bearing an unnecessary cost.

Femtosecond laser (very fast) is now FDA approved for use in humans to facilitate incision creation in cataract procedures. Medicare declined to cover the technology because it does not improve safety or efficiency of certain surgical procedures, therefore the cost of this technology is passed on to the patient.

Laser Cataract Surgery is being treated as “bladeless” which is very misleading for patients because a blade is still used to finish the incision and the rest of the surgery is the same as it always has been.

At Community Eye Center/St. Lucy’s Eye Surgery Center, the eye surgeons routinely use lasers during cataract removal to improve the accuracy of lens power selection for implantation to reduce a patient’s need for glasses. Traditionally, all measurements for cataract surgery were done preoperatively, while the cataract is still in the eye. With ORA guided (laser) lens selection, the measurements are double and triple checked in the middle of the procedure after the cataract has been removed for greater accuracy.

Multitudes of studies have shown this method to be a more precise way to select a lens implant power to neutralize the prescription, manage astigmatism and provide patients a greater ability to focus naturally without glasses.

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