Laser cataract surgery is a day procedure, and will be performed at a Vision Eye Institute day surgery.
During your initial consultation for laser cataract surgery, your surgeon will outline the choice of intraocular lenses available to you, and the different refractive outcomes they can provide. You can then decide which lens is best suited to your lifestyle.
You will be been given fasting instructions during your pre-operative consultation, as well as instructions on the use of your regular medications. Please refer to these a few days before your laser cataract surgery has been scheduled.
When you arrive at the day surgery, your pupil will be dilated with eye drops and the area around your eye sterilised. You may also be given a mild sedative.
Once you enter the laser suite, you will be given a drop of anaesthetic to numb the eye. Laser cataract surgery begins in the laser suite, where your surgeon will use the LenSx® system to perform the first three steps of laser cataract surgery. A high-resolution video and OCT imaging will be used to carefully map out your treatment. Your surgeon will then make a series of final checks before activating the laser.
The actual laser operation takes less than 60 seconds. During this first phase of laser cataract surgery, you are likely to be in the laser suite for 5 to 10 minutes. During the laser-assisted portion of the procedure, you will feel a slight pressure on your eye (this is a suction contact lens which docks the laser to the eye) and see a light from the laser. Your eye will be held open by an eyelid speculum during the procedure, which will overcome any blinking. Whilst the suction is applied you will be asked to remain still and not to speak. There will be no sensation of the laser as it is completely painless.
Next, you will be moved to the operating room, where the final steps of cataract surgery will be performed. Using the phacoemulsification ultrasound probe, your surgeon will remove the fragments of the lens through the tiny incision the laser has made. Finally, your surgeon will insert the intraocular lens through a tiny tube –the lens will unfold inside the lens capsule and be secured in place. A shield will be placed over your eye, and you will be able to leave surgery.
Once the laser cataract surgery procedure is over, you will be taken into the recovery area, where you will be offered something to eat and drink. Once you have had a rest, you will be able to go home – although you will not be allowed to drive or take public transport (it is best to have a friend or family member pick you up and take you home). You will be given a series of eye drops with instructions to take with you.
Once you get home, you will most likely have a sleep and relax for the rest of the day. A follow-up appointment will have already been scheduled, usually within the next 48 hours. You will also be given instructions on how to use your regular medicine, and how to clean around the eye.
It is normal for the eye to experience some discomfort, including itching, sensitivity to light and a slight discharge. It is likely that your operated eye will now have better vision than the other eye. You may need to discuss your spectacle needs and scheduling of your second eye for surgery if necessary.