As the most common surgical procedure in the Western world, laser cataract surgery is considered to be a relatively straight-forward process, with a 99% success rate and long-term satisfaction in patients.
We’re lucky in Australia because there are still many places where advanced surgery is simply unavailable and where cataracts continue to cause blindness. So, for those in third world countries that have no access to ophthalmic surgeons, this condition can still be devastating. I have actually worked in Burma performing cataract surgery on people who didn’t even realise that it was possible to restore their sight. Their gratitude was overwhelming when they discovered they could see again after being treated.
Most people know what a cataract is – the lens of the eye hardens and opacifies, mainly with age, which makes it more difficult to see in a progressive deterioration of sight with age. Occasionally it can be genetic (children can be born with cataracts), or occasionally it can occur as the result of an eye trauma.
I’ve been very fortunate to be one of the first surgeons in the Southern Hemisphere to perform cataract surgery using laser technology. Here at Vision Eye Institute, Chatswood, we were the first in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere to install the femtosecond laser required to perform this operation.
The laser replaces the first three manual steps of cataract surgery, steps that previously would have required a metal or diamond blade. This allows laser cataract surgery to be performed ‘blade free’. It also allows for precision and accuracy that, in my opinion, is superior and has a higher success rate than the manual method.
As Professor of Corneal and Refractive Surgery, I believe that laser cataract surgery will, in future, be the method with which cataract surgery will be performed. We are very experienced with this technology here at Vision Eye Institute in Chatswood and are proud of the fact that we have performed more laser cataract procedures than any other clinic in the world with a fantastic track record, reputation and success rate.
A lens that has been removed due to a cataract, or simply for a refractive outcome (see Refractive lens exchange), is replaced with an artificial lens, which we call an intraocular lens (IOL for short). The intraocular lens replaces the lens and performs the function of a clearer, optimum performing lens in the place of the old, natural lens that has been diminished by cataracts.
Intraocular lenses provide a better outcome for the patient and have a very high success rate after surgery.
The advances in this area in recent years mean better outcomes and success rate, both for the surgeon and the patient. By booking a consultation with Vision Eye Institute in Chatswood, you’ll be given a thorough assessment and options and solutions will be provided to you in order rectify your vision query.