Femtosecond laser may lower cystoid macular edema

June 1, 2011

Results of a study using optical coherence tomography to evaluate macular changes after cataract surgery indicate that laser refractive lens surgery with a proprietary femtosecond laser system is associated with less macular thickening and volume increase compared with traditional phacoemulsification.

"The results of this study show surgery assisted by the femtosecond laser is at least as safe as traditional phacoemulsification in terms of its effects on the macula, and suggest it may lower the risk of cystoid macular edema (CME), which would be an important benefit considering CME is the leading cause of unfavorable visual outcomes after uneventful cataract surgery," said Dr. Knorz, professor of ophthalmology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Germany.

The study included 20 eyes in each group, and all underwent uncomplicated surgery. Mean age was 58 years for the patients undergoing the laser lens surgery and 67 years for those in the traditional group.

Macular thickness and total volume were measured with OCT imaging performed preoperatively and again at 1 week and 1 month after surgery. Thickness measurements were obtained in three areas of the macula (fovea, inner macular ring, and outer macular ring).

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