Can My Cataract Be Removed With a Laser?

Reviewed by: Jason Jacobs, M.D. and Leslie Doctor, M.D.

At this point in time Cataracts are not typically removed with a laser. Modern Cataract Surgery is performed using a technique called “phacoemulsification” whereby the cloudy Crystalline Lens is “chopped up” and suctioned with a microscopic ultrasonic instrument through a tiny incision. Several companies have developed specialized lasers for performing several steps in the Cataract Surgery procedure so that a procedure called Femtosecond Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery may emerge in the future as an important technological advance. However, for now, what is called Laser Cataract Surgery refers to the fact that sometimes, the membrane-called the lens capsule-that is left in place to support the placement of the Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL) to correct your vision may become cloudy. In this case a laser is in fact used to create an opening in the membrane so that you can have clear vision. This is called a YAG Laser Capsulotomy which is a quick pain free procedure.

The information that has been provided here is intended to give patients a basic understanding of how a laser can be used to treat a Cataract and how a laser is used in Cataract Surgery. It is possible that your individual experience might be different. None of the information provided here is meant to be a substitute for or replace your eye doctor's consultation nor does it replace the need for you to consult with your Cataract Surgeon about specific details of Cataract Surgery and Intraocular Lens (IOL) Implantation.

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cataracts, cataract, cataract surgery, cataract patients

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