Blade-Free: An Exciting Evolution in the Cataract Landscape

Vision correction technology now allows for blade-free cataract surgery in most surgical cases, with the latest evolution in Femtosecond lasers. Cataract surgery underwent a phase of innovative evolution that produced a dominant standard of care that has been used to deliver excellent results for over two decades. This technology has enabled surgeons to make cataract surgery a very safe and effective procedure. So where is there room for improvement?

The room for improvement is in integrating existing technology to enhance a skilled surgeon’s ability to perform the manual steps involved in cataract surgery in order to create blade-free incisions. The latest algorithms also integrate optical coherence tomography (OCT) to improve accuracy. Traditional cataract surgery involves two key manual steps: a micro-incision is made using a blade to expose the cataract and the cataract is then meticulously broken apart and replaced with an artificial lens. We now have the ability to perform laser, blade-free micro-incisions, which improves the accuracy and the architecture of the corneal incisions.

3-D OCT imaging can now provide a representation of each patient’s corneal and visual architecture by identifying physiologic landmarks. It can help improve the refractive accuracy of surgery when used in combination with optimized algorithms. This superior level of integrated diagnostic information and control allows the surgeon to perform cataract surgery in an even more exact and predictable manner.

Beginning in Boston in 2001, when it was first FDA-approved for clinical use, Dr. Ma has performed thousands of procedures using Femtosecond Laser technology. Therefore, it is especially exciting for us to know that we can further build on providing the best post-operative vision by using the integration of these two existing technologies to improve our accuracy and potentially safety of surgery for all of our patients.