What is a Femtosecond Laser?
A femtosecond laser is a laser (focused beam of light of one wavelength) that has light pulses which are of very short duration in the range of 10?¹?s. This type of laser is very precise in how it cuts tissue without any collateral damage. They were first used in vision correcting LASIK surgery to create the flap during the LASIK surgery.
LenSx® Laser Imaging System for Cataract Surgery
The LenSx® laser system uses real-time OCT imaging to precisely measure the eye anatomy in order to place the laser spots in the proper location inside the eye.
The LenSx® Laser System Performs Three different Portions of the Cataract Surgery
Usually two incisions are made in the cornea near the sclera (white portion of the eye) to allow instruments entry inside the anterior portion of the eye. These incisions are made with a variety of blades. The LenSx® laser computer system is able to make these incisions in a very precise manner.
The lens which has become cloudy (cataract) is surrounded by a thin membrane or capsule (similar in texture to cellophane) which is held in place by ligaments attached to the capsule. A forcep or needle is inserted through the incision and a five to six millimeter round opening is cut and/or torn in the anterior capsule. This allows access the lens material for its removal. This part of cataract surgery is very delicate and if not completed in a proper manner leads to complications. The LenSx® laser is also able to accurately place the capsulorrhexis centrally with a predetermined size and shape.
Phacofragmentation of the Lens Tissue
Phacoemulsification with ultrasound tips are the present manner in which the denser nucleus portion of the lens is dissolved or emulsified which is then aspirated from the eye. The LenSx® laser is able to make cuts in the nucleus which allows for easier removal of the lens material. The LenSx® can also place laser spots into the core of the nucleus to make it softer which means less effort in removing the lens material. The more ultrasound energy needed to remove the lens material can results in more damage to the tissues inside the eye.
Summary of the LenSx® Laser System for Cataract Surgery
The LenSx® laser will perform the corneal incisions in a precise location, size, and shape.
The LenSx® laser is able to perform the capsulorrhexis in a highly controlled manner resulting in accurate centration, shape, and size. This will assist in more consistent results which will aid accuracy which is especially important in the newer premium intraocular lenses. Also the laser will decrease complications related to the capsulorrhexis.
The LenSx® laser will cut, divide, and soften the lens material. This will allow easier removal of the lens material with no ultrasound energy used or much less energy.
A new era in cataract surgery is beginning with laser assisted cataract procedures.