Laser Cataract Patient Education
Laser Cataract Frequently Answered Questions
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a common condition in which the normally clear lens of the eye becomes progressively cloudy. When light passes through a clear lens, the light can focus to a point, creating a clear view. When light passes through a cataract, the light gets distorted, creating a blurred view. Compared to vision with a clear lens, your vision with a cataract may look fuzzy, and colors might be muted. These visual disturbances from cataracts are progressive, and when they become bothersome or limit your daily activities, it’s time to consider treatment.
Depending on your pre-operative vision and desired visual result, your doctor may recommend a tailored treatment plan that could include creating ultra-precise laser incisions in the cornea and a specific lens implant type. This tailored treatment may reduce your need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery.
Most cataract patients are candidates for laser cataract surgery.
Can you tell me more about laser-assisted cataract surgery?
Traditional cataract surgery involves using handheld instruments to remove the cataract and replace it with a clear artificial lens. Laser cataract surgery replaces many key steps traditionally performed with handheld instruments, which may result in increased accuracy and safety.
What are the benefits of laser-assisted cataract surgery?
- A technologically advanced procedure using 3D imaging
- A treatment with potentially little or no discomfort
- A more precise treatment
- Gentler and easier cataract removal
- More personalized treatment that may reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery.
Laser cataract surgery replaces many key steps traditionally performed with hand held instruments, which may result in increased accuracy and safety.
Am I a suitable candidate for laser-assisted cataract surgery?
Most cataract patients are candidates for laser cataract surgery. During your consultation, it is important to discuss your treatment options and visual expectations after cataract surgery with your doctor.
What is a femtosecond cataract laser?
The femtosecond cataract laser is a specialized device that uses advanced technology to precisely deliver its gentle energy to perform crucial aspects of the cataract procedure. Femtosecond refers to the laser’s pulse duration, which is equivalent to one millionth of one billionth of a second. This ultrafast speed, along with the advanced guidance and imaging that the laser platform uses during the procedure, is precise, predictable and reproducible.
How does the femtosecond cataract laser work?
The laser performs the most challenging steps of a traditional or manual cataract surgery. Historically, a cataract procedure involved creating small incisions made manually with a blade. Using sophisticated 3D imaging, the laser will create safe and precise incisions.
The laser aids the surgeon in performing:
- Anterior capsulotomy – A capsulotomy is the opening in the clear, cellophane-like capsule that wraps the natural lens of the eye.
- Lens fragmentation – Softening and breaking up of the cataract, which allows for easier removal.
- Corneal incisions – Allows insertion of the instruments and the replacement lens.
nJoy Vision is dedicated to offering patients and providers with access to the most advanced and safest technology available.
Why does nJoy Vision utilize the femtosecond cataract laser?
Today, cataract surgery is refractive surgery. nJoy Vision is dedicated to offering patients and providers with access to the most advanced and safest technology available. The use of the femtosecond laser to assist in the crucial steps in a cataract surgery offers a safe procedure and excellent visual outcomes.
Will laser-assisted cataract surgery be covered by my insurance?
According to the CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), a cataract removal and the insertion of a conventional implant will be covered regardless of whether the procedure is performed using the femtosecond cataract laser or conventional surgery. However, physicians will be allowed to charge for non-covered vision correcting services when implanting a presbyopia or astigmatism-correcting lens, and/or utilizing numerous technologies to aid in vision correction options.
Will standard (manual) cataract surgery be obsolete in the future?
The laser-assisted cataract procedure will still require some manual aspects, including removal of the cataract and insertion of the implant.
Even if you have undergone previous eye surgery such as LASIK, you may still be a good candidate for laser cataract surgery.
What if I have already had LASIK, RK, or another eye surgery?
Even if you have had another eye surgery such as LASIK, you may still be a good candidate for laser cataract surgery.
Will I still need glasses after cataract surgery?
Today, cataract surgeons can provide you options to REDUCE your dependence on glasses or contact lenses, not eliminate altogether. Depending on the freedom you desire, technology is available to allow you to perform most daily activities without corrective lenses. The most common circumstances where corrective lenses were required after surgery are night driving, reading in low-light situations, and reading very fine print.