If you’ve got cataracts, and cataract surgery has been recommended, you may be wondering about your available treatment options. Typically, there are two available options: traditional cataract surgery or laser cataract surgery. Your eye doctor will make a recommendation about which is best for your case, but here are some of the differences he will look at to determine this.
When Would You Have Cataract Surgery?
The lens inside your eye has become so cloudy that it obscures your vision. In order to remedy that problem, an artificial lens is put in place. Cataract surgery is actually one of the most commonly and successfully performed procedures in the United States, with millions of these procedures being conducted each year.
Traditional Cataract Surgery
In the traditional cataract surgery procedure, your eye doctor makes a small incision in the side of the cornea. This is done by hand. A small instrument is placed inside, behind the pupil, to make a small opening.
A tiny probe is then placed into that opening. The probe produces sound waves that will break up the cloudiness in the lens. Once the lens is broken down, those tiny pieces are suctioned away. A new, clean, artificial lens replaces the damaged one. No stitches are required, as the incision made is self-healing.
Laser Cataract Surgery
With laser cataract surgery, you’ll be positioned beneath a femtosecond laser equipped with a microscope that helps your doctor map out your eye, providing the exact information as to where they should make incisions. Instead of using a scalpel to make the incisions as is done in traditional surgery, the doctor will use a precise laser beam to make the incisions on the eye. The force of the laser may be enough to break up the cloudy lens. If not, a probe with radio waves will be inserted in much the same way as it is with traditional cataract surgery. A new lens is inserted, and the stitches aren’t required.
How Do You Choose?
There are a couple of additional cases where your doctor may prefer laser cataract surgery over traditional:
1. If you have astigmatism, this condition can be corrected during laser surgery, in addition to having your cataracts removed. The laser makes precise incisions during the procedure, which allows the simultaneous correction of any astigmatism that is present.
2. If you are electing to have a toric lens or a multifocal lens. The recovery time from both types of surgery is similar. Patients may return to normal activities the next day, and vision continues to improve over the next week. Although your vision may be clear after a week, it actually takes up to three months for your vision to fully recover.
Both types of surgery are very effective at treating cataracts. Your eye doctor will make a recommended decision on the best course of action for your cataract surgery, but you can be informed and prepared for either procedure.
Contact us online today at New Vision Eye Center or give us a call at 877-257-8700 for more information or to schedule a consultation with our world class eye care specialists.