Has anyone had laser surgery?

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I was sold on laser surgery after reading this-

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/laser-cataract-surgery.htm

However I asked my dr’s office if they did it and received this answer -

“The laser cataract surgery is not something we typically do here .  Dr Xxx has been trained on the equipment however he does not use it currently.  I asked him about it and he said that laser cataract has a higher complication rate without any additional benefit to outcomes in his cases.  Because of this, he doesn't recommend laser cataract for his patients.”

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    I had laser on both eyes when I had my cataracts removed.

    I was terribly fearful the first time, shaking and shivering from fear and from not having eaten in 12 hours in preparation for the surgery which had been delayed that day. But it was quick, easy, with zero pain.  It was remarkable.

    After the first experience, at the second surgery I was totally calm. It was again quick and easy. 

    If you want laser surgery, I think you should go to a surgeon who is completely comfortable with it and performs it on a regular basis. 

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    • Posted

      msailing, so following the surgery, did you have to apply steroid and anti-inflammatory eyedrops and for how long?

      I also wonder about the pros and cons of laser as well. The article Susan cited claims advantages in recovery, accuracy, and astigmatism correction. I wonder how true are the claims. I had my both eyes done recently via the traditional surgery. On recovery, I had to apply steroid and anti-inflammatory drops for 5 weeks following surgery. On accuracy, my both eyes were off target by 0.25D in spite of ORA used to aid surgery accuracy. And my astigmatism was left uncorrected, although mine is only 0.50 cylinder.

      My surgeries were done in a hospital with 17 eye doctors. My guess is the whole hospital collectively decide not to adopt the laser technology. Another smaller but still quite large eye clinic does offer this technology included in a package deal if you choose specialty lens but only as an option if monofocal.

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    • Posted

      Yes I had to use the drops for 4 weeks. I have a symfony toric in my right eye and a toric monofocal for distance in left eye. My astigmatism has been corrected. I now have 20-15 in both eyes. I use readers of 150 in situations of low light or very small print (e.g.labels of ingredients on food). I find I have days when I never put on the readers.   I have had no problems whatsoever resulting from the surgeries which took place in October and November 2017. My only complaint is the existence of starbursts and cobwebs around bright lights at night because of the symfony but these are somewhat tempered by the monofocal in the left eye.

       

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    • Posted

      My guess is that you can attribute the almost never needing glasses to the Symfony.  I have 2 Symfony lenses and it is rare I use glasses.  As long as light is good I can read fine print.   It is the low light conditions where I need readers.

      Yes I have the concentric circles but I don’t have much glare and starbursts (those diminished after s couple of months).  I am pleased with the result.

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  • Posted

    You’ll likely get various opinions on this but my own research and what I read online is that it doesn’t provide any added benefit however if it is something you want you should find another surgeon who regularly uses a laser.  Doesn’t sound like yours is and obviously upfront with it as he mentions adding additional complications (which I haven’t read it does).

    I live in Canada where cataract surgery is paid for under Medicare and procedure is done in a hospital.  Not many of our hospitals have the laser equipment.  This usually adds to the cost in USA so my own opinion why pay more if it doesn’t add any additional benefit.

    Most procedures are done using Phacoemulsification.  That’s how mine was done.

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  • Posted

    A surgeon can use a knife or a laser to create a small circular opening for accessing and removing the natural lens  with the cataract (after breaking it in smaller pieces with photo-emulsification). A laser is claimed to (and probably does) make a more precise incision than can be done with a knife, but a more precisely-cut hole in itself is not that important in the overall results obtained by a cataract surgery. The choice between the two incision options depends mainly on the preference of the cataract surgeon.

    In my part of USA, there is no difference in the cataract surgeries cost based on the incision method used.

    Please note that lasers are also used for other eye procedures, such as removing PCO film or for LASIK enhancement, but those are completely different applications.

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  • Posted

    I had laser surgery 5 weeks ago. Like others have said, research is mixed, but it seems unlikely to me that it would be worse than traditional methods. A good surgeon is a good surgeon and will achieve excellent results with either method. Laser surgery tends to be sold as an upgrade, sometimes as part of a package with ORA and other added cost items and I'm dubious it's worth the added cost.

    One possible exception I think about is a very smart, experienced surgeon who's getting on in years (that describes my surgeon). I wonder if using the computer and laser to create the incisions and emulsify the cataract might extend the career of someone who's mind is still perfect but whose hands aren't up to the task of creating so many perfect incisions each day. 

    My surgeon's opinion was that he prefers to use laser surgery when he's installing multifocal or other premium lenses that require more care in positioning and he'll usually not use it for traditional monofocal IOL's. 

    The laser portion of the surgery is pretty much painless, but you will have to keep still for about a minute while the laser does its work. If your surgeon uses IV sedation, you won't get it until after the laser portion is done. If you are very claustrophobic or can't keep still for a minute, laser surgery probably isn't for you. I'm very fidgety and if it was 4 or 5 minutes that I needed to be perfectly still I wouldn't have done it, but I figured one minute wouldn't be too tough.

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    • Posted

      I didn’t realize one couldn’t be sedated till after the laser portion was done.  

      Also guess future surgeons will rely more and more on technology than acquiring of skill through ‘hands in’ experience.  Interesting comments - thanks.

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