Femtosecond cataract surgery: transitioning to laser cataract

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The introduction of the femtosecond laser to the field of cataract surgery offers many potential benefits. The femtosecond laser is able to perform three important steps in cataract surgery: capsulotomy, lens fragmentation and corneal incisions. Although evidence in support of its efficacy is accumulating, there is a surgical learning curve that needs to be addressed. This review outlines key issues to consider when contemplating the transition to laser cataract surgery in clinical practice.

Recent findings

Laser cataract surgery has been shown to be associated with an initial learning curve. Femtosecond lasers produce a more accurate and precise anterior capsulotomy, improve intraocular lens centration and reduce intraocular lens tilt. Visual and refractive outcomes, although in a limited number of studies, have been shown to be at least as good as those of conventional phacoemulsification. The impact of reduced phacoemulsification energy on the corneal endothelium is still being investigated.

Summary

The automation of key steps by the use of femtosecond lasers in cataract surgery has several potential advantages. Emerging literature supports the transition from conventional phacoemulsification to the laser cataract surgery.

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