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Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery

LenSx is a technologically advanced procedure utilizing the femtosecond laser to aid in the surgical removal of cataracts. A femtosecond laser derives its name by the fact that it can emit pulses with durations between femtoseconds and hundreds of femtoseconds.

This type of laser has been used in the United States for approximately a decade by surgeons in LASIK surgery. Femtosecond laser is a cool laser, which disrupts and cuts tissue, as apposed to a hot laser, which burns tissue. A cool laser is used instead of a blade for more precise and predictable incisions.

A cataract is when the normal clear, crystalline lens of the eye becomes cloudy. A cataract develops for various reasons such as the aging process, as a side effect of certain medications, trauma, or even from certain medical conditions. Surgery to remove a cataract is recommended when the vision is compromised as a result of the extreme clouding of the lens. The surgery consists of 4 basic steps:

1. Corneal Incisions - Small cuts placed in the clear outer surface of the eye so the surgeon may access the cataract
2. Anterior Capsulotomy - A circular incision that opens the outer, cellophane-like covering of the lens
3. Lens Fragmentation - Softening and breaking up of the cataract using phacoemulsification, a type of ultrasound
4. Insertion of the lens implant - This artificial lens replaces the cloudy lens (cataract) which has been removed

Each eye is unique in terms of its size, depth, curvature of the cornea, as well as the pupil size, therefore, each eye must be measured and mapped prior to surgery. Although this mapping ability was available prior to the LenSx technology, accurate adjustments for these measurements at the time of surgery are more challenging and less accurate when done by hand and with a blade. 

The femtosecond laser with its computer-controlled software is able to make the necessary adjustments to corneal curvature and anterior capsulotomy size with the assistance of the surgeon at the time of surgery. The LenSx makes accurate, customized corneal incisions based on the curvature of the cornea. The laser is also able to perform part of the cataract fragmentation. Although additional long term studies are still necessary, early results suggests that the precision, accuracy and safety of cataract surgery with the LenSx may be greater than traditional surgery. Used in conjunction with an upgraded lens implant, the patient may also experience a greatly reduced need for glasses and contact lenses after surgery.

Cataract surgery is typically paid for by Medicare and many insurance companies. Individuals must check with their respective carriers for specific eligibility and coverage benefits. LenSx is an upgraded, enhanced procedure that requires an out of pocket fee from the patient.  Patients will receive specific information on the cost of their procedure during the consultation process. Financing options through Care Credit are available. Your surgeon will decide on the best technology for your surgery based on your specific condition. In some cases, traditional cataract surgery may be the best option.

Horizon Eye Care has been a leader in cataract and refractive surgery in the Charlotte area since 1998. The surgeons at Horizon Eye Care pride themselves in being able to offer the most advanced technologies to their patients. We are very excited to be one of the first surgeons to be certified to use the LenSx technology in the Charlotte area. Horizon Eye Care will be offering the LenSx laser at Presbyterian Hospital’s brand new, state of the art outpatient eye surgery center.

For more information on the LenSx laser visit the below links.