Monday, July 25, 2011

Laser Cataract Surgery & Retinal Detachment

Question: I have extremely high myopia in my only working right eye -19 D. I function with my right eye only. My left eye is not really functioning after a retinal detachment many years ago. I am 53 years old and have a Cataract in my only working eye. I understand that there is a significant risk of retina detachment after Cataract Surgery in my right eye considering the degree of myopia and history of detachment in the other eye. I learned that recently the FDA approved a new laser based Cataract Surgery technology. Could it be less risky in my case?

Answer: Laser Cataract Surgery may prove to offer some benefits to patients in that under the direction of the Cataract Surgeon it applies femtosecond laser technology to increase the precision and reproducibility of a number of traditionally manual skill based steps. These steps include the placement of the initial tiny incision, opening the anterior lens capsule called capsulorhexsis, fragmenting or softening the cloudy lens material and placing fine incisions to correct astigmatism. Laser Cataract Surgery may offer greater precision for these steps but at the moment it is not clear that it actually does.In your instance, due to the high risk of retinal detachment, it is important to determine whether this technology might offer you a lower risk profile for Cataract Surgery. At the moment there is no clinical reason, experience or even theoretical reason why Laser Cataract Surgery would offer a lower risk profile in your case. One could theoretically "stretch" and argue that Laser Cataract Surgery is more gentle or perhaps lowers the necessary power settings and times necessary for the phacoemulsification procedure in the surgery-which is NOT performed with a laser-and perhaps this might decrease the risk profile. But at the moment there is no clinical evidence to support a superior risk profile for retinal detachment in your situation.

Important Note: The information presented on the About Cataract Surgery Blog or provided in response to a request for information in the Ask Cataract Surgeons section on is not intended to diagnose or treat eye problems, eye conditions or eye diseases including appropriateness of treatment, risks, complications or side effects as related to Cataracts, Cataract Surgery of Lens Implants. In particular a response to an inquiry made on the Ask Cataract Surgeons section of is not meant to take the place of the professional medical care provided by your eye doctor, ophthalmologist and Cataract Surgeon. Contacting us via e-mail or any other means is not a substitute for medical care.

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