Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery

Type of Cataract Surgery – Traditional vs. Laser

Traditional Cataract Surgery

Traditional cataract surgery has been used successfully for years and involves using a manual metal or diamond blade for incisions into the eye and lens followed by removal of the cloudy natural lens with an ultrasound device. Traditional cataract surgery is covered by your medical insurance.

Laser-assisted cataract surgery involves the use of a femtosecond laser (Ziemer Femto Z8) to assist in making incisions during the cataract surgery. These incisions are more precise than manual incisions. As a result of the laser dissecting the natural lens, less ultrasound power is used for its removal, resulting in a faster recovery of vision than traditional cataract surgery.

While laser-assisted surgery offers benefit for any patient, it may be even more useful in patients with certain medical conditions of the eye including dense cataracts, traumatic cataracts, Fuch’s dystrophy (an inherited condition of the eye that can lead to significant corneal swelling after surgery) and pseudoexfoliation (a disease of the eye of unknown origin where whitish material is deposited in the front of the eye that causes small pupils and weak zonules – the delicate strings that attach the natural lens to the eye).

In Dr. Dougherty’s hands, laser-assisted is slightly safer than traditional treatments and multiple studies have demonstrated increased precision of the vision correction outcome with laser-assisted surgery. The downside of laser-assisted cataract surgery is that it is not covered by any insurance and is an out-of-pocket expense as part of a vision correction package.

Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery
Cataract Self-Test


Dougherty Laser Vision is the first Ophthalmologist on the West Coast to use the FEMTO LDV Z8 laser.

The Ziemer Femto LDV Z8 for Cataract Procedures

Ziemer’s Femto LDV Z8 laser is Swiss-engineered and FDA-approved. The Z8 technology provides precision in the cornea and power in the lens with fragmentation. In traditional cataract surgery, these incisions are performed manually, with a blade, in a linear fashion. Ziemer’s laser technology, however, allows for the incision to be made in a variety of patterns with an incredibly fast sequence of low-energy laser pulses, lending procedures consistently optimal results.

Read Frequently Asked Questions About The FEMTO LDV Z8

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