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Health Team

Laser surgery offers alternative for those with cataracts

Posted May 30, 2014
Updated June 2, 2014

Last year, 70-year-old Phyllis Jackson thought something was wrong with her glasses prescription.

Her eye doctor said the problem was cataracts – clouding that occurs in the lens of the eye. Typically, a tiny handheld blade makes the incisions to remove the cataracts.

Jackson's ophthalmologist, Dr. Patrick Laber, offered her a new option using a special laser.

“I couldn't see,” Jackson said. “So, I couldn't wait to get it done, to tell you the truth.”

Laber says the Lens-X Laser offers many advantages to the standard procedure. The incisions are customized to the patient's eye and are done with more precision.

“Those incisions are stronger, less likely to leak,” he said.

There’s also less chance of infection, and there’s no need for stitches because the incision is self-healing.

The precision makes the eventual vision correction more predictable. With standard surgery, an ultrasonic pulse breaks up the cataract into tiny pieces, which are later removed.

The laser breaks down the cataract into more precise segments, using 43 percent less energy and in half the time.

“By using less energy, there's less collateral damage to the eye, and we get quicker recovery,” Laber said.

When the laser work is done, the patient goes to another room where the cataract is removed and a new lens is inserted.

Jackson's had the work done in both eyes with no pain - and great gain.

“I've worn glasses since I was in the second grade, and have never been able to see this well,” she said.

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