No-Blade Cataract Surgery

No-Blade Cataract Surgery

Ophthalmology Services

What is no blade cataract surgery?

In traditional manual phaco-emulsification cataract surgery, incisions and openings were made with knives and sharp instruments. Ultrasonic energy is then used to remove the cataract. The surgery process has largely remained the same over the last few decades and it allows room for human error that can lead to vision loss.

Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS) or no blade/blade-free cataract surgery uses a powerful light beam (femtosecond laser) to replace the use of a handmade incision. The laser fires at an ultrarapid rate that creates ultrashort pulses of a femtosecond (1/1,000,000,000,000,000 of a second) in duration.

While it incurs additional costs as opposed to traditional surgeries, it is now the preferred method of surgery as it has the potential of yielding better results and less inflammation that the traditional procedure.

Besides making the incision and breaking up the cataract in a shorter amount of time, FLACS is able to provide greater accuracy, meaning a more precise visual outcome. It also enables the surgeon to have a greater degree of customisation when it comes to making incisions and depth of removal in different cases.

The surgery enables patients to be less dependent on spectacles or may even have 20/20 vision after surgery.

It is important to note that most patients are eligible for no-blade cataract surgery, except patients with specific cornea disease, poor dilating pupils, glaucoma or those who cannot tolerate the suction used to stabilise the eye.

Why and how is no-blade cataract surgery done?

No-blade cataract surgery is among the most frequently performed procedures worldwide. It requires 3 quick steps:

  • access – where a few small incisions are made in the cornea and in the lens capsule
  • removal – where a clouded lens is gently broken up and removed
  • replacement – where a new, clear intraocular lens is fitted

Access – Surgeons who are performing FLACS create a specific surgical plan with a 3D image of the patient’s eye called optical coherence tomography (OCT). The surgeon is able to calculate the location, depth and length in all planes, which leads to ensuring perfect incisions and perfectly circular and centralised openings.

Removal – The next step involves removing part of the thin capsular membrane surrounding your natural lens. It is crucial for the remaining lens capsule to stay intact and undamaged to hold the artificial lens in place.

Low ultrasonic energy is then used to break up the cataract and vacuumed away. In traditional surgeries, the longer exposure to ultrasonic energy could lead to heat buildup, which can burn the incision and induce astigmatism. Sutures may also be needed to close up the larger incision. With FLACS, there is less chance of burning and distortion of the incision.

Replacement – The new artificial lens is then inserted with an injector. Patients have choices in the type of lens needed:

  • Monofocal lens – correcting distance vision and astigmatism (toric lens)
  • Multifocal lens – correcting distance, near vision and astigmatism (toric lens)
  • Trifocal lens – correcting distance, intermediate, near vision and astigmatism (toric lens)

The aid of computer-guided precision is also beneficial in treating more complicated cases like mature cataracts or posterior polar cataracts as well as in patients with compromised corneas (with low endothelial counts).

Is there a difference during post-surgery?

Among the key advantages of FLACS is that there is faster post-op visual recovery as compared to traditional cataract surgeries. This is because less ultrasound energy is used during cataract removal. In terms of side effects, the eyes may look a little red after surgery due to the suction that was done. This subconjunctival haemorrhage, however, usually goes away in a few days with no additional treatment necessary.

A good eye specialist or ophthalmologist will take the effort to understand your needs and lifestyle before explaining the various options available to you. The eye doctor will then run through a thorough examination of your eye condition before providing a recommended treatment that meets the latest safety requirements.

There are many experienced eye surgeons at EYECENTRIC Bukit Tinggi Medical Centre (BTMC) you can visit for regular eye check-ups to help maintain good vision and healthy eyes always.

Get In Touch With Our Qualified Doctors

Dr M Narendran
Designation
Ophthalmologist & Vitreoretinal surgeon
Specialty
Ophthalmology
 


Dr Chandramalar T. Santhirathelagan
Designation
Ophthalmologist
Specialty
Ophthalmology
 


Dr Suppiah Karuppiah
Designation
Ophthalmologist
Specialty
Ophthalmology