Since it was first introduced, the applications of the femtosecond laser have expanded. H. Burkhard Dick, MD, PhD, reviewed developments in laser cataract surgery with a focus on randomized trials conducted by his group.
Laser cataract surgery (LCS) remains controversial, however, surgeons who remain skeptical about whether the femtosecond laser has benefit now, and if it holds any promise for the future, should consider that evolution takes place in bursts.
It takes time to critically evaluate new techniques and technologies after they are introduced, said H. Burkhard Dick, MD, PhD.
Dr. Dick noted that ultrasound cataract surgery has a greater than 50-year history. In contrast, femtosecond lasers for cataract surgery have been available for less than 10 years. During this relatively short time, there have been— and continue to be—refinements leading to better outcomes and developments leading to new techniques.
“When new developments, devices, and techniques are critically evaluated in controlled clinical trials, they may be found to provide no improvement, be an incremental advance, or something that is truly better,” said Dr. Dick, professor and chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, Ruhr University Eye Hospital, Bochum, Germany.
“Based on such evidence, other surgeons will decide whether or not to offer the laser,” he said. “I, however, am definitely convinced that it will lead to improved stratified patient care.”
H. Burkhard Dick, MD, PhD
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This article was adapted from Dr. Dick’s presentation at the 2018 meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He has received grant/research support from Bausch+Lomb, Johnson & Johnson, and LENSAR, is on the speakers’ bureau for and is a consultant to Bausch+Lomb and Johnson & Johnson, and has intellectual property/rights with Johnson & Johnson.