Difference Between Traditional and Laser Cataract Surgery
A cataract is a vision disorder caused due to the formation of a dense, cloudy area in the lens of the eye. This prevents the lens from sending clear images to the retina. Cataract develops slowly and before it starts to interfere with your vision it needs to be treated.
In India there are primarily two methods of removing a cataract which are as follows:
- Traditional cataract surgery
- Laser cataract surgery
Among these types of cataract surgery, laser cataract surgery is considered to be the safest method than the other.
Traditional Cataract Surgery:
The medical terminology used for Traditional eye cataract surgery is phacoemulsification. In traditional eye cataract surgery an incision is made manually with a scalpel on the eye and a vibrating needle is used to break the opaque lens in order to remove the cataract. This cataract removal technique has been the most popular technique over the last couple of decades. Although this surgery is safe and effective there are some chances of human errors as it is performed manually.
Laser Cataract Surgery:
The medical terminology used for laser cataract surgery is Refractive Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery (ReLACS). In laser cataract surgery a laser is used instead of a hand-held scalpel to break up the cloudy lens in order to remove cataracts. This cataract surgery uses a femtosecond laser technique which gives accurate and precise results.
Procedure of traditional and laser cataract surgery:
Traditional eye cataract surgery:
In this surgery doctors use anesthetic eye drops to numb the eye and an incision are made by using a scalpel. A small apparatus is inserted into the eye that reaches the lens. After performing this procedure the surgeon creates an aperture using a probe that emits ultrasound waves. These waves break the lens and the fragments of the lens are removed using another probe. A new lens is implanted in place of the old natural lens.
Laser Cataract Surgery:
Before performing this surgery a special instrument is used to access the eye, including the location of the lens and depth of the cornea, etc. A laser probe that is used in the surgery marks the location to make an incision. The energy released through the laser softens the cloudy lens and ultimately breaks it. The surgeons remove these fragments of the broken lens and replace them with a new lens.
Which one is better – Traditional or Laser cataract surgery?
The surgeons at Yashoda Hospital and Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad use laser-assisted technology to perform cataract surgery. Laser-assisted cataract surgery shows several benefits over traditional methods which are as follows:
- The surgical incision made during laser-assisted cataract surgery is far more precise and accurate as compared to the incision made manually during the traditional method.
- The energy required to break the lens in laser-assisted cataract surgery is almost half the energy used in the traditional method.
- The rate of recovery is much faster and hassle-free in laser-assisted cataract surgery than in traditional methods.
- Laser-assisted cataract surgery shows almost no side effects.
- Laser-assisted cataract surgery can also be used to treat astigmatism as it can be used to reshape the curved cornea.
Some major differences between traditional and laser cataract surgery:
Here are some distinguishing points of difference between traditional and laser-assisted cataract surgery:
Traditional cataract surgery:
- In this surgery, several incisions and cuts are made on the cornea of the eye.
- This surgery does not guarantee accurate and precise results as it is performed by the doctors manually.
- The eye may take almost two to three weeks to heal due to cuts and incisions.
- There is a high chance of any severe complications such as the occurrence of lens displacement during or post-surgery.
- This surgery can only be used to treat cataracts.
- The traditional surgical method may take an hour or more to complete.
- Blurred vision and itchy and sticky eyes are some of the side effects that are likely to occur post-surgery.
- Doctors use vibrating needles in the surgery to break the cataract.
- Traditional surgical method can treat cataract only when it is at their maturation stage.
- Restoration of the vision might take a longer period of time.
Laser cataract surgery:
- Laser cataract treatment is a non-invasive treatment.
- Laser treatment guarantees accurate and precise outcomes as surgery is performed on the basis of computer-collected data.
- Research shows that there are only a few risks involved in this type of surgery.
- The eye may take a couple of hours to heal as no cut or incision is made during the surgery.
- Laser treatment not only treats cataracts but can also be used to treat vision problems like astigmatism.
- No side effects are observed post-laser surgery in patients.
- Doctors use a handheld laser blade to break the cataract.
- Laser surgery can cure cataracts at all stages like early, immature, mature, and hyper mature successfully.
- It may take four weeks or less to restore the vision.
Laser cataract surgery offers several benefits over traditional cataract surgery so we can easily conclude that the laser technique can serve you with a better option for cataract surgery over traditional surgery. It is always advisable to consult a good ophthalmologist before making a final decision. If you are unable to make a decision you can book an appointment with the best ophthalmologist at YASHODA HOSPITAL AND RESEARCH CENTRE, NEHRU NAGAR, GHAZIABAD. They can guide you through both the procedures of the cataract surgeries and assist you in arriving at a decision.
Dr. Arpit Pavaiya is one of the best ophthalmologists in Delhi NCR and currently leads the ophthalmology division at Yashoda Hospital and Research Centre as a Senior Consultant. Dr. Pavaiya has an experience of more than 5 years in treating and diagnosing various rare disorders of the eye. Dr. Pavaiya has a specialization in treating medical conditions like glaucoma and cataract and has performed over 6000 cataract surgeries and helped people in restoring their vision.