Laser Eye Surgery
Laser Eye Surgery
For many years, cataract surgeries have been performed using the Phacoemulsification (Phaco) method. This is a safe and painless surgery which restores full vision to the eye.
Before the surgery, the patient’s is anaesthetised and a small incision (2.2-2.4mm) is made in the eye. During the procedure, the surgeon will enter the eye through this incision. A piece of the membrane surrounding the lens is removed. The lens is then divided into small pieces using a Phaco device and ultrasonic sound waves. An artificial intraocular lens designed specifically for the patient’s eye is placed in the membrane. At the end of the procedure, antibiotics are injected into the eye and the incision is closed seamlessly.
Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery
In recent years, Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery has become available as a safe and effective option. In the laser method, the patient’s eye is anaesthetised using drops. An incision is created and the lens is using with a computer-controlled laser. This process is completed in less than a minute and the patient cannot feel anything. An artificial intraocular lens is later inserted through the incision. Antibiotics are injected into the eye and the incision is closed seamlessly.
What are cataracts?
Cataracts are cloudy patches that form on the lens of the eye, reducing vision and impacting overall quality of life. They can have various causes and often grow over time. In order for the eye maintain normal vision, cataracts must be removed. This is often done by replacing the effected lens with an artificial one.
Are cataracts causes by ageing?
Cataracts can affect people of all ages, but they do often increase with age. Most people will develop some level of cataract density by the time they reach old age, but not necessarily to a level that will have any significant impact on their vision.
Causes of cataracts
The most common cause of cataracts is changes in the lens that occur through ageing. However, they may also arise in children through metabolic diseases, conditions in the womb, microbial conditions or other causes. Trauma to the eye, diabetes, intraocular inflammation, glaucoma, high blood pressure and kidney disease may also cause cataracts.
Can cataracts be treated with medication?
Cataracts can only be treated with surgery. Some drugs are currently being tested, however no successful results have yet been reported.
Symptoms of cataracts
There are many symptoms associated with cataracts. Some of the most common include:
- Increasingly blurred vision
- Reduced sensitivity to light
- Frequent change of lens prescription for glasses
- Need to wipe glasses frequently
- Difficulty while driving
- Reduced night vision and scattering of lights
- Needing stronger light for reading
- Double vision in one eye
- Colours fading or yellowing
You may also experience other symptoms. If you notice any significant changes in your vision or ocular condition, consult a physician as soon as possible.
Who should get cataract surgery?
Surgery is recommended if the patient is faced with any of the following conditions:
- The patient struggles with functions such as driving, reading or working
- The patient’s independence is significantly reduced
- Cataracts create uncomfortable conditions such as eye inflammation
- A patient needs their eye pressure increased
What are the Advantages of Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery?
Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery has a number of distinct advantages.
- It does not require blade incision (the incision is opened with a laser)
- It is performed under computer control so the margin for error is near zero
- The laser cuts the membrane very smoothly, so the new lens can be placed very securely within it
- During surgery, the eye is only entered very briefly so its tissues are preserved
- Due to the laser opening of the membrane in front of the cataract lens, the risk of tearing is eliminated
- The cataract lenses can be divided into small pieces by the laser in seconds, preventing damage to the surrounding tissues
- The opening of the incision and dividing of the lens can be done within seconds without damaging the eye.
- Femtosecond lasers ensure maximum performance from the new lenses, particularly for patients using multifocal, trifocal, or toric intraocular lenses and who do not want to use glasses at all.
What are intraocular lenses?
Intraocular lenses are artificial lenses that are implanted in the eye to replace lenses that have become damaged by cataracts or other conditions. They are usually single-focus lenses. Patients may need to wear glasses or contact lenses after having intraocular lenses implanted. Multi-focal lenses have recently been introduced to the market and may be suitable for some patients. Patients can discuss their options with their medical staff in advance of the procedure.
What is the pre-operative process?
Before beginning any treatment process, the patient will discuss their treatment options and plans with our experienced medical staff. A thorough consultation and assessment will be carried out. The surgeon will assess various factors, such as the age and general health of the patient, any medications being used, and the most appropriate form of surgery. It is essential to inform the physician about any medications being taken and to follow any instructions provided in preparation for surgery. Medications may also be prescribed to be taken in advance of the procedure. Patients also should not eat or drink anything for at least six hours before surgery. Some drops will be inserted into the eyes, so the pupil may be enlarged and the eye may be reddened in the immediate aftermath of the procedure. This is entirely normal and will fade quickly.
Is anaesthesia used in Laser Eye Surgery?
Generally, a topical drops are used to anaesthetise the eye before surgery. It is also possible to apply local anaesthetic around by injection around the eye. General anaesthetic is sometimes used for children undergoing laser eye surgery.
How is cataract surgery performed?
After the eye is anesthetized for surgery, the anterior membrane of the lens is opened first by entering the eye according to the method chosen, and the cataract part is removed either as a whole or by breaking it up. Only the membrane of the lens is left inside. Again, lens placement can be performed according to the age of the patient, the condition of the eye and the type of surgery.
In some cases (such as children under 1 year old) the lens may not be placed. Sometimes, the lens may not be placed due to the course of the surgery and the condition of the eye, or it may be delayed until a second operation. In some cases, it may be necessary to use different types of lenses (requiring stitching on the eye wall, attached to the coloured part) other than the planned type. When these situations occur, the physician performing the operation will decide according to the most suitable option for you.
What is the post-operative process?
After the operation, the eye is usually covered with a bandage. This bandage should remain on the eye for as long as the doctor recommends. You should not put pressure on or rub the eyes after the surgery. The medical staff will let you know whether you need to remain in hospital. If you are discharged, you will not be in a condition to drive. Medical staff will also advise you in medicine and food intake. Your physician will also advise you on any activities that may affect the eye. They may also prescribe medication or eye drops. It is important to follow any medical advice carefully. Do not stop taking or reduce medication without consulting your doctor. Medical checks will be carried out after your procedure and any necessary medication or advice will be provided.
Does reading after surgery harm the eye?
Reading after surgery does not harm the eyes. You can still use your old glasses if they are available and help you to read. There may be eye discomfort and fatigue immediately after surgery. This is normal. Watching TV is usually less tiring and is not harmful to the eyes. Your glasses will be adjusted after the operation at a time deemed appropriate by your physician.
What will be different after surgery?
Laser eye surgery has many significant influences on an individual’s life. Overall quality of life will improve. The comfort and stamina of the eyes will improve. Everyday activities like reading, working and watching television will be easier. People who obtain the vision specified by law can also receive or adapt a driver’s license. People whose vision has been severely reduced will also gain significantly more independence.
Can cataracts recur?
Cataracts do not grow back after cataract surgery. It is possible for the membrane in which the news lens is placed to become denser or more cloudy over time, but this is not a reemergence of the cataracts. If this becomes a problem, it can generally be treated easily with laser. With children or in rare instances where the membrane becomes very dense, it may be necessary to clean the membrane surgically.
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