Since 2015, we have been using the LenSx femtosecond laser to assist with cataract surgery. This laser offers three primary advantages:
- Astigmatism control – The femtosecond laser can make laser arcuate incisions during cataract surgery to reduce up to 1 diopter of astigmatism. Patients who have more than 1 diopter of astigmatism should get a Toric IOL to reduce astigmatism. Reducing the amount of astigmatism post-operatively should yield sharper vision.
2. Decreased phacoemulsification energy discharge inside the eye – Using the femtosecond laser has been shown to reduce the energy needed to break down the cataract. As a result, there is less trauma to the surrounding structures, namely the corneal epithelium. This results in faster recovery and less corneal swelling after surgery. This is particularly helpful in patients with dense cataracts or have other co-existing eye conditions such as pseudoexfoliation.
3. Centration of the IOL – The femtosecond laser creates a centered 5.5mm opening in the capsule which ensures centralized placement of the IOL. Centration of the IOL is essential for the optics of the lens, particularly multifocal IOLs.
At this time, the use of the femtosecond laser is not covered by insurance and costs $2000 per eye. If someone opts for a Toric or Multifocal IOL, there is no extra cost for using the laser.