FEB 21, 2014
This article reviews the benefits and challenges of and latest technologies for femstosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery.
The authors describe the evolution of femtosecond laser technology for use in cataract surgery and note that while this technology has the potential to improve safety, accuracy and clinical outcomes, its introduction has brought with it new clinical, logistical and financial challenges for surgeons.
Over the past two years, four unique laser platforms have been introduced into the marketplace: Catalys (Optimedica), Lensx (Alcon Laboratories, Inc.), Lensar (Lensar, Inc.) and Victus (Technolas). The authors review these laser platforms and discuss the necessary modifications for cataract surgery technique. They also review how to deal with complications and challenging cases.
They note the changes in operating room flow, staffing and timing that switching to femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery brings.
They write that there is no doubt that this technology has added costs that will ultimately be borne by the patients. However, they add that patients will likely be willing to pay extra if they perceive that they will achieve better results with laser-assisted cataract surgery.
They say that patients often will not understand what “laser cataract surgery” is and what benefits it may provide them, and cataract surgeons must guide them with proper informed consent and appropriate information to allow them to make the best decision for their particular situation. The authors say this a tremendous responsibility that brings with it technical, ethical and financial challenges.