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New Laser Revolutionizes Cataract Surgery

Dylan Roche
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February 5, 2013

By Allan Rutzen, M.D.

It is a fact of life that as we get older our vision worsens, with loss of sharpness and reduction in color perception. This can affect our ability to enjoy outdoor activities, drive, read, work and much more. Cataracts are the most common cause of impaired vision as we get older.

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside your eye that leads to a decrease in vision. We all get cataracts if we live long enough. When they are mild, no treatment is necessary, but when they begin to impair your ability to do the things you like to do, you may consider cataract surgery.

A new method of cataract surgery called bladeless laser cataract surgery is revolutionizing how surgeons perform cataract surgery. Using the FDA-approved femtosecond laser, cataract surgeons perform several of the key steps of the surgery with more precision and less risk of complications.

The surgeon uses the laser system to create a 3D map of the patient’s eye. This image is then used to direct a small laser beam to create precise incisions that would normally be made with a scalpel. The laser can also be used to correct astigmatism and improve vision after surgery. This can reduce a patient’s need for glasses after surgery.

The laser is also used to break up the cataract so it can be aspirated through an incision smaller than one-tenth of an inch. By breaking up the cataract with the laser, the surgery is safer with fewer traumas, less risk of swelling and faster recovery.

Insurance companies and Medicare cover regular cataract surgery with a standard lens. For patients who desire advanced options beyond basic cataract surgery, there are additional out-of-pocket expenses. These options include bladeless laser cataract surgery as well as the use of special lenses that correct for higher degrees of astigmatism and lenses that provide both distance and near vision (multifocal lenses).

If you are considering cataract surgery, call Rutzen Eye Specialists & Laser Center at 410-975-0090 to make an appointment to speak with Dr. Allan Rutzen or Dr. Sachin Kalyani. Their office is located in Severna Park at 489 Ritchie Highway, Suite 200. Visit them online at www.RutzenEye.com for more information about cataract surgery and the new bladeless laser cataract surgery.


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