Femtosecond laser enters new era in cataract surgery

October 15, 2009

The FDA clearance of a new femtosecond laser is being regarded by many ophthalmologists as the beginning of a new era in cataract surgery.

The FDA clearance of a new femtosecond laser (LenSx, LenSx Lasers) is being regarded by many ophthalmologists as the beginning of a new era in cataract surgery. The manufacturer announced Sept. 8 that it received FDA 510(k) clearance for use of its device to perform anterior capsulotomy.

At the annual meeting of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, Zoltan Nagy, MD, professor of ophthalmology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, reported on a comparative study including 120 eyes. The study showed that use of the femtosecond laser for anterior capsulorhexis resulted in statistically significant improvements in capsulotomy size, shape, and reproducibility versus when the procedure was performed with a standard manual technique.

"This new femtosecond laser may allow surgeons to design and deliver an entirely new level of refractive cataract surgery by converting a manual, multistep, multitool procedure to one of laser-created, surgeon-controlled precision," Dr. Nagy said.

Advances in procedure

"I am extremely excited about this technology and don't know when I've been more enthusiastic," he added. "I believe that the femtosecond laser will make cataract surgery safer, faster, and more efficient and that it is like LASIK, the femtosecond laser for LASIK flap creation, and even phacoemulsification in its potential to change how we practice."