Femtosecond Laser

Vincenzo Maurino is one of the most experienced cataract surgeons at Moorfields Eye Hospital with more than twenty thousand cataract  procedures performedHe has embraced the latest femtosecond laser assisted cataract removal surgery. This is a newer technology to treat cataract and refractive lens exchange patients to further ameliorate the surgery outcomes.

Femtosecond laser assisted cataract surgery offers a reproducible, non-invasive technique to replace the least predictable and most technically demanding steps of conventional cataract procedures. Mr Maurino uses the Catalys Precision Femtosend Laser for cataract surgery. This has been shown to deliver dramatic improvement in the precision, effectiveness and ease of performing cataract surgery. The femtosecond laser is an infrared laser with a spot diameter of a hundredth of a millimetre, which can make more precise cuts than any microsurgery blade or scalpel. The energy of the laser beam is released in a few hundred femtoseconds (1 femtosecond = 0,000.000.000.000.001s). The eye tissue can thus be incised with extreme precision and at the same time very gently, while practically no heat energy is generated. The crystalline capsule can thus better resist ruptures than with conventional techniques and is more precisely shaped making the insertion on the artificial lenses very accurate. The ultrasound energy that may still be required (to remove the crystalline by suction) is also markedly decreased. During the Femtosecond laser cataract surgery procedure the corneal incisions, the capsulotomy (precise opening of the capsule) and the lens fragmentation/softening are performed with a closed eye in the femtosecond laser room and only after the patient is taken to the operating room where Mr Maurino will complete the cataract procedure removing the softened cataract and implanting the artificial lens. During the  laser procedure the eye is constantly monitored by “optical coherence tomography” (OCT) that is an imaging technique with which high resolution images of the cornea and the inside of the eye such as the iris and the crystalline lens, are made possible. The measuring principle is similar to the ultrasonic procedure, but with OCT a 40 times superior measurement precision can be attained, because contrary to the ultrasonic technique the measurement is based on light of a single wavelength. Thus even the finest structures of the eye can be represented with micrometer resolution.

The greatest advantages of femtosecond laser assisted cataract surgery are:

  • Super precise corneal incisions to help in maximising astigmatism reduction and increase spectacles independence.
  • Unprecedented higher precision in construction of the capsulotomy (the opening the human lens at the front surface).
  • Reduced intraocular delivery of energy to liquefy and remove the human lens/cataract.

All of the above translate in better outcomes for  patients especially when premium multifocal and/or toric lenses are used to maximize spectacles independence.