The use of lasers in cataract surgery is the most recent major advancement in cataract surgery. Laser cataract surgery offers optimal visual outcomes, minimizes risks, and shortens the recovery period after cataract surgery. For these reasons, we typically recommend laser cataract surgery over traditional cataract surgery at Beach Eye Medical Group.
A common vision problem, cataracts have affected humans throughout recorded history. Due to their prevalence, it is not surprising that doctors and healers in ancient times sought ways to restore vision by removing cataracts from their patients’ eyes. The first documented cataract removal occurred sometime in the fifth century BCE – over 2500 years ago! These doctors knew that the lens of the eye needed to be removed once it had become clouded with cataracts. Removal was primitive and involved hitting the affected eye with a blunt object so that the lens of the eye would dislocate. Once the lens was removed, the patient would sometimes be able to see again, but their vision would always be severely impaired.
In 1748, a doctor in Paris performed the first surgical removal of a lens affected with cataracts. The surgery was performed by making an incision halfway around the cornea to allow for removal of the lens of the eye. By this time, doctors recognized that it was dangerous for the lens to break apart and migrate into the vitreous cavity, so the surgery was only performed in instances where cataracts had advanced to a stage that caused the lens to become hardened. In the 20th century, surgeons developed a technique that allowed for more precise and careful removal of the lens through a tiny incision. In 1987, phacoemulsification surgery was developed, which used ultrasound energy to break the lens into tiny fragments that could be safely suctioned from its capsule. The introduction of phacoemulsification marked the advent of modern cataract surgery and has helped it become the safe and effective surgery it is today.
While the methods for cataract removal advanced over the centuries, patients were reliant on thick glasses to see clearly after the surgery. It wasn’t until the development of artificial lens implants, known as intraocular lenses (IOLs), that cataract surgery could provide patients with improved vision without special eyeglasses. Today cataract surgery involves both the safe removal of the damaged lens and its replacement with an IOL to restore vision.
At Beach Eye, we use lasers to assist us in performing the majority of our cataract surgeries. Laser cataract surgery utilizes the same basic process as traditional cataract surgery but involves the use of a laser to enhance the surgery and improve outcomes. This is how we perform laser cataract surgery:
Since its introduction, laser cataract surgery has greatly improved the outcome and reliability of cataract surgery. We have seen the ways in which cataract surgery has evolved and improved over the years and are eager to see what comes next. Rest assured, whatever may come next, Beach Eye Medical promises to be at the forefront of the latest, cutting-edge technology in cataract surgery.
|Recommended IOL||Toric lenses||Multifocal IOL or Accommodating IOL|
|Revisions during surgery||Limbal relaxation incisions may be made alone or combined with implantation of Toric lenses||No additional revisions required|
|Glasses after surgery?||Reading glasses may still be required||Many patients will no longer require prescription lenses|