Is a laser used during cataract surgery?

Dr. David R. Demartini, MD
Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist)

Lasers are high powered lights that can be used to either cut or burn tissue.They have been used for more than thirty years in ophthalmology mostly for diabetes retina therapy, glaucoma, and after cataract membrane discission. Because they use light, they do not require an incision (hole) to cut or burn tissue inside the eye. This means there is less risk of infection or bleeding. Lasers also can be finely controlled by computers and thus allow more precision. 

Modern cataract surgery is done by ultrsound and not laser. Cataract surgery involves not only removing an opaque cataract but also replacing it with an implant lens. Hence, the eyes must be opened to allow the placement of this lens. Laser devices are being developed to improve cataract surgery currently (2011) but they are not used by most ophthalmologists. Look for this in the near future.

Continue Learning about Cataracts

Unexpected Impact of Cataract Surgery on Car-Related Injuries
Unexpected Impact of Cataract Surgery on Car-Related Injuries
Cleopatra and her crew, floating on her royal barge down the Nile from Aswan to Khartoum, had to watch out for the six cataracts that could damage the...
Read More
What are cortical cataracts?
Wayne BizerWayne Bizer
Cortical cataracts are one of several types of cataracts. These defects in the focusing lens of ...
More Answers
What is gutatta of the eyes?
Lee R. Duffner, MDLee R. Duffner, MD
Guttata (more correctly "guttae") is a Latin word meaning droplets. The word describes microscopic t...
More Answers
What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts?
What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.