COMMENTARY

Femtosecond Laser: Why We Need It for Cataract Surgery

American Academy of Ophthalmology 2013

Roger F. Steinert, MD; H. Burkhard Dick, MD, PhD

Disclosures

November 22, 2013

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In This Article

Talking Femto at the AAO

Roger F. Steinert, MD: Hello. I am Dr. Roger Steinert, Director of the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute and Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology at the University of California Irvine. Welcome to Medscape Ophthalmology Insights, coming from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) meeting in New Orleans. Joining me today is Dr. Burkhard Dick. Dr. Dick is Professor and Chairman at the Center for Vision Science, Ruhr University Eye Hospital, in Bochum, Germany.

H. Burkhard Dick, MD, PhD: Happy to be here.

Dr. Steinert: We will be discussing the latest developments in femtosecond lasers ("femto") for refractive cataract surgery, with a particular international perspective.

Dr. Dick, you have, if not the largest, probably as close to the largest experience of anybody in the world using the femtosecond laser for cataract surgery. Could you start now by telling us how, since we were here a year ago, this has changed your practice patterns and how you view the laser today?

Dr. Dick: It changed a lot. More and more patients are informed about the potential to use the laser in cataract surgery. I have now performed approximately 2450 cataract surgeries with the laser on a commercial basis, and the laser is placed in the operating room. It takes the same time for laser cataract surgery as for standard care, but it is shifting. The lasing takes 2-2.5 minutes, but this time is subtracted from the intraocular procedure, which is then shorter because everything is done.

Dr. Steinert: You have the OptiMedica Catalys platform. Are you keeping the patient on the same fixed bed and just swiveling it?

Dr. Dick: Yes. You can go into the eye first. For example, if there is a small pupil or something like that, go under the laser and do the lasing, and then go back and use the microscope again. You can do anything in this room, and that makes it a quick procedure.

Dr. Steinert: From a physical point of view, can you get access to right eyes and left eyes adequately?

Dr. Dick: Exactly.

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