Nearly 10 million cataract surgeries are done all over the world in a year. As technology is growing at a rapid pace day by day surgeons are undertaking laser assisted surgery procedures. It may be bit expensive at times, but it is available to the larger public.
The path to laser assisted surgery was laid by Charles Kelman in 1960s. phacoemulsification was the biggest invention before the invention of laser assisted surgery. It reduced potential complications developed by cataract surgery and long hospital stays. The use of laser technology in the field of ophthalmology began in 1970s. As the instruments required for surgery has improved, the time taken for a surgery and complication rates have decreased. Femtosecond laser assisted cataract surgery (FLACS) is a technological evolution in the field of laser.
There are various benefits of femtosecond laser. One of the main differences between FLACS and phacoemulsification is the precision with which it is done. Access to latest technology is always a boost. It has an increased market reach and has the tendency to attract various patients and surgeons can also upsell premium quality IOLs.
The arcuate incisions done are more accurate as it provides 90 percent optimum incision depth which in turn provides maximum correction. It also has the ability to center the capsulorhexis perfectly and also make the cut a perfect circle in capsular bag, which is not possible by a human. They also provide accuracy higher than manual laser cutters. It also allows customizable incisions. This allows less wound leakage.
It also reduces the amount of phaco energy used and also lowers the trauma caused to eyes during surgery.
As there are various benefits, there are various drawbacks too. You have to decide in less time where to keep the machine and learn about it quickly. It will also take time to teach your support staff of its working. There are also logistical hitches involved in moving the instrument. The startup cost is also high. The case time also increases as one has to keep the laser machine separately to start cataract surgery. When the machine is under repair or maintenance, surgeons fear that they have to perform in a high level as it is not there for help. Finally they will be left to perform manually.