Advantages of Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery


In recent years, patients suffering from cataracts have become aware of the benefits when they have had an Premium intraocular lens implanted. Today’s challenge is to make them understand the importance of not only the lens they will have in their eye definitively, but also the technique with which this surgery will be performed.

The cataract operation with femtosecond laser (or femto-phaco) is a cutting-edge technique which is being used increasingly in ophthalmology centres and is starting to replace the traditional form of surgery.  The problem is that in many cases, if patients are not well informed, they fail to fully understand why the expense incurred in this technique is justifiable.

What is a femtosecond laser?

The femtosecond laser can be compared to a scalpel, but which acts in an invisible and mechanised way.  The wavelength that this type of light emits is beyond the scope of the spectrum visible to man, so we cannot see it being applied and can only perceive the end results.  The femtosecond laser produces a concentration of energy in the space and applies very quick shots to a specific area, one after another, to achieve a cut in the corneal tissue.

There are several advantages for which femto-phaco surgery should be considered:

  • It is a safer and more precise operation. The first step of the operation is performed mechanically. The corneal cuts are made by laser, a step which was previously performed manually by the surgeon. Due to this new method, it is possible to exactly calculate the type, position and size of the incisions.

  • Capsulorhexis (opening of the lens capsule) is also performed by laser. This is one of the most important steps as it determines the positioning of the intraocular lens to be implanted. By laser, it is possible to choose the desired position and diameter of capsulorhexis exactly to obtain optimum results.

  • There are many techniques for removing the cataract available to the surgeon. Depending on whether or not it is a mature cataract, more or less force must be applied to extract it. Due to the laser, we can exactly choose how we want to break up the nucleus of the cataract to apply the minimum energy possible with ultrasounds and thereby avoid damaging the other ocular structures.

In short, the three main advantages of femto-phaco surgery are that the laser makes very precise incisions, opens the lens capsule and removes the cataract according to its degree of maturity.

Ophthalmologists are very keen to introduce the femtosecond laser in their daily work.  It is incredible to see how this vital part of the surgery can be performed in a matter of seconds.  Weighing up all these advantages in comparison to the conventional surgery without laser, it is worth giving this new technique the recognition it deserves together with the implant of a Premium lens.  It constitutes an excellent combination for achieving optimum results in every sense.


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