What is laser-assisted cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed eye surgeries worldwide to help regain vision due to the ageing of our eye’s natural lens. With advancement in technology, there is now the option to consider laser-assisted cataract surgery, which uses a femtosecond laser (similar to the one used in LASIK to create a corneal flap) during the procedure. The femtosecond technology is bladeless, aims to provide precision and uses less ultrasound energy compared to conventional cataract surgery.
Laser-assisted cataract surgery first uses a devised software to map out the eye surface, locating the length and depth of the cataract. Thereafter, the femtosecond laser is used to make a corneal incision and a centred circular shape opening in the lens capsule. The same laser is used to fragment the cataract for extraction by phacoemulsification. Thereafter, an intraocular lens (artificial lens) would be implanted to replace the natural lens. It aims to provide a smoother recovery and minimises discomfort, the risk of injury and intraoperative complications compared to conventional cataract surgery.
Using the femtosecond technology allows a denser cataract to be removed with lesser complications and provides real time information to the eye surgeon during the entire surgery; this creates an added level of safety for patients. In addition, since less ultrasound energy is used, the integrity of the lens capsule is stronger compared to conventional cataract surgery, thus potentially reducing the risk of capsular tear and intraoperative complications.
At Atlas Eye Specialist Centre, we provide a comprehensive cataract assessment to evaluate your eyes. We offer 2 different types of cataract surgery:
1. Micro-incision phacoemulsification:
Uses ultrasound energy to liquefy the cataract. Thereafter, the eye surgeon creates a small 2 to 3mm incision and the emulsified cataract is removed. The incision will heal on its own without the need of sutures, hence allowing a quicker recovery and provides comfort post-surgery.
2. Laser-assisted cataract surgery:
A minimally-invasive cataract surgery which uses laser energy to automate more challenging surgical steps. However, apart from certain conditions that may benefit from this procedure, there may not be added benefits over micro-incision phacoemulsification surgery to warrant the increased cost.
Cataract surgery is claimable through insurance. The amount claimable is dependent on the policy coverage.
For Singaporeans, there is also the option to claim Medisave, up to $2,450 per eye. Medisave can be claimed from either your own, spouse’s or child’s account.