Traditional vs. Laser Cataract Surgery: The Difference Explained

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Close-up of female eye. Concepts of laser eye surgery or visual acuity check-up
by Dougherty Laser Vision

Modern cataract surgery is one of the most common and safest procedures performed today. Both the technology and methodology continue to improve with each new advancement. However, as eye technology, techniques, and practices advance, it can be hard to know the difference between the different types of cataract surgery available to patients today.

Traditional Cataract Surgery

A traditional cataract surgery procedure involves making a very small incision on the side of the cornea in order to remove the cataract-clouded lens. A phacoemulsification laser then breaks up the cataract in order for it to be suctioned out and removed.

After the cataract is removed, an intraocular lens will be inserted in order to replace the natural lens. The cut eye tissue at the site of the original incision heals itself without the need for any sutures.

One of the main differences between traditional and laser cataract surgery is in the technology used. Traditional cataract surgery uses handheld instruments like a blade and forceps to cut the incisions and remove the lens.

So, traditional cataract surgery vs. laser cataract surgery—which is better?

Laser Cataract Surgery

One of the latest advancements in cataract surgery combines 3D imaging and laser technology to more precisely remove the cataract.

First, the surgeon will create a customized surgical plan with 3D imaging of your eye. This 3D imaging allows the surgeon to precisely map out the unique characteristics of your eye and cataract. Your surgeon will then use a femtosecond laser to create an opening in the front layer of the lens. Instead of using manual instruments, your surgeon will use the laser to break up the cloudy lens. The lens is then suctioned out via small incisions in your cornea. Your surgeon will replace the lens with an intraocular lens appropriate to your needs.

Laser or advanced cataract surgery will provide the same outcome as traditional cataract surgery but the difference is in the tools used and overall method. Laser-Assisted Blade-Free Cataract Surgery both reduces the number of instruments used and increases the precision of the procedure.

Since no manual or blade instruments are used during an advanced cataract surgery procedure, some of the traditionally challenging steps of cataract surgery are now computer-controlled and automated, adding to the overall safety of the procedure. The laser can also allow for more precise capsulotomies and incisions from which the lens is removed.

The Dougherty Laser Vision Difference

Advanced Femtosecond Laser (Ziemer Femto Z8)

Dougherty Laser Vision is not just a pioneer in eye care. We are also pioneers in eye surgery technology. When it comes to eye surgery, we invest in the latest and best equipment. Take our Femtosecond Laser (Ziemer Femto Z8), for example. Dougherty Laser Vision  is the first ophthalmologist on the west coast to use the FEMTO LDV (Laser Doppler Velocimetry) Z8 laser.

No. That’s not to brag. It’s just our way of showing our customers that we care about them. We care enough to invest in top-of-the-line equipment that results in them getting the best treatment. A few advantages of the Z8 laser include:

Enhanced Precision

Get better results from the enhanced precision that comes with the Ziemer Femto Z8. The enhanced precision in surgical incisions also leads to higher safety during surgery and improves recovery times as compared to manual cataract surgery.

Less Damage to Surrounding Tissue

The Ziemer Femto Z8 laser uses the lowest energy of any laser and very short pulses of high frequency. As a result, the tissue surrounding the dead cataract doesn’t get damaged as much as it would with other types of lasers.

Improved Surgeon Mobility

Another advantage of the Femto LDV Z8 is that it has an integrated imaging system and a TopView camera that provides 3-D images of the eye. This setup provides the surgeon with a visual check during the entire surgery. This improves the surgeon’s mobility, resulting in reduced patient movement. Add to that the fact that it’s the only mobile Femto laser in the world, and your surgery will definitely be a good experience.

cataract surgery

Traditional vs. Laser Cataract Surgery

Whether traditional or the more advanced laser-assisted cataract surgery is right for you depends on many factors. These are factors which can only be assessed by your laser eye surgeon. Both procedures are extremely safe and common and have a high success rate. Scheduling a complimentary consultation at Dougherty Laser Vision can help you take the first step toward expert cataract removal. If you would like to further learn about any of our cataract surgery procedures, contact the trusted experts at Dougherty Laser Vision today.