Traditional vs. Laser Cataract Surgery

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If the lens inside your eye has become cloudy, you may want to consider cataract surgery. During cataract surgery in Tidewater Eye, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens (called an intraocular lens, or IOL) to restore clear vision. The procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis and does not require an overnight stay in a hospital or other care facility. When considering cataract surgery, there are two main options to consider: traditional and laser:

Traditional Cataract Surgery – The traditional approach to cataract surgery requires the surgeon to make a tiny incision on the side of the eye’s cornea with a small scalpel to remove the cloudy lens. A small probe is inserted in the eye that breaks the lens into pieces using ultrasonic energy and a second probe sucks out the pieces. Through the incision, an artificial lens is inserted and moved into place,  stitches may be used to close the cut.

Laser Cataract Surgery – Laser cataract surgery uses the precision and accuracy of an image-guided femtosecond laser versus relying on the eye surgeon’s steadiness of hand. Special software is used to create 3-D images of the eye, precisely mapping the location, length and depth of the cataract. Stitches are not required with laser cataract surgery.

Benefits of Laser Surgery – Compared to traditional cataract surgery, the laser approach offers several advantages. First, the use of a computer-guided laser means the surgical incision is up to 10 times more accurate than a corneal incision done by hand. Recovery is also smoother after laser cataract surgery. With traditional surgery, common side effects include discomfort in and around the eye for several days afterward, along with blurred vision and the feeling of an itchy, sticky or gritty eye. After laser surgery, no pain is usually felt since less trauma has been dealt to the eye.

Cataracts will not go away on their own, and eventually may require surgery to restore your vision to normal. However, cataract surgeries are the most commonly performed procedure in the world, and have a high success rate with few complications. To learn more about cataract treatments including these cataract surgery procedures, contact Tidewater Eye at 757-483-0400 or Cheasapeke, Virginia Beach.

The doctors at Tidewater Eye Centers have either authored or reviewed the content on this site.

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