Femtosecond Laser Technology Applied to Lens-Based Surgery

Louis Nichamin, MD


June 22, 2010

In This Article

Innovation in Cataract Surgery

Arguably the last global milestone within the field of cataract surgery was the introduction of phacoemulsification by Kelman.[1] Through his pioneering work, phacoemulsification -- a means by which surgeons could break up the cataractous lens and remove it through a small incision -- became a reality.

Over the ensuing 40 years, further refinements in surgical technology and technique yielded additional reduction in incision size, sutureless wound closure, the development of ophthalmic viscoelastic agents, and intraocular lenses that now achieve unprecedented levels of visual function. The introduction of phacoemulsification affected every aspect of cataract surgery and led to the present-day standard of care.

An emerging technology appears to represent a similar paradigm shift in the world of refractive cataract surgery: ultra-short-pulse (femtosecond) lasers.