Restoring Your Vision: Laser Cataract Surgery vs. Traditional Surgery

Cataract surgery is vital procedure to restore vision after you have developed cataracts that impede your daily activities. Depending on your goals, Dr. Thomas J. Byrd can perform traditional or laser cataract surgery. Traditional cataract surgery involves creating an incision and inserting a monofocal intraocular lens (IOL) manually. In contrast, laser cataract surgery uses advanced laser technology to create the incision, soften the cataract for removal, place the standard or multifocal lens more precisely, and correct your astigmatism. Contact Byrd Eye Clinic to learn more about laser cataract surgery vs. traditional surgery at our Downriver Detroit, MI, practice. 

Traditional vs. Laser Procedures

A cataract forms as proteins cloud the crystalline lens inside your eye. As the lens proteins become more yellow and opaque, they can severely impair vision. Patients whose everyday lives have begun to be impacted by cataracts, and who are in good overall and ocular health, are ideal candidates for cataract surgery. During traditional cataract surgery, Dr. Byrd will manually create a tiny incision in your cornea using a thin keratome blade. Through this incision, he will open the capsule inside your eye before removing the clouded lens. Then he will position a monofocal intraocular lens (IOL). Often, you will enjoy better vision after surgery than you did before cataracts developed. 

Graphic depicting laser and manual cataract surgery

With the use of advanced laser technology, Dr. Byrd can provide more accurate and predictable results. During laser surgery, he will use an Alcon LenSx® femtosecond laser to make the initial incision. He will also create the opening in your capsule using the laser. Through this hole, he can soften the cataract, and break apart the lens for easier removal. Finally, after choosing the IOL that is right for you, he will position the new lens with computer-guided accuracy. Patients suffering from astigmatism, or who are considered high risk to undergo traditional surgery, are often very good candidates for laser treatment. 

Benefits of Traditional Cataract Surgery

The main benefit to consider with standard cataract surgery is cost. Insurance and Medicare will typically cover most, if not all, of the cost for traditional cataract surgery. Laser treatment and premium lenses often cost more, and typically will not be completely covered by insurance, creating more of an out-of-pocket expense for you. However, laser cataract surgery is able to offer more significant and far-reaching benefits that can make the extra expense a worthwhile investment in your vision. Our office also accepts CareCredit℠ to help place laser cataract surgery comfortably within your budget.

Laser surgery offers consistent, outstanding results. Over 90 percent of laser surgery patients can pass a driver’s test without corrective eyewear.

Benefits of Laser Cataract Surgery

Dr. Byrd uses innovative laser technology to provide important advantages over manual techniques:

  • Accuracy: When created by hand, the hole in your capsule will often not be perfectly round or centered. With a laser, Dr. Byrd can create a much more precise opening.
  • Reduced impact to your eye: With a laser, Dr. Byrd can soften cataracts before breaking apart natural lenses. This process will make it easier to remove your lens, and Dr. Byrd can cause less stress to the supporting structures, reducing trauma to your eye tissues.
  • Astigmatism: Dr. Byrd cannot accurately correct astigmatism with traditional cataract surgery. However, during a laser procedure, he can use the high-power energy of the laser to reshape your cornea so that your eye has a rounder shape.
  • Premium lenses: Premium lenses, such as toric and multifocal IOLs, need to be placed with greater precision. Our laser system guides Dr. Byrd in positioning premium lenses for optimal placement.
  • Predictability: Laser surgery offers consistent, outstanding results. Over 90 percent of laser surgery patients can pass a driver’s test without corrective eyewear.
  • Low risk: Because of the precision of laser surgery, patients who are often considered high risk for traditional surgery can receive necessary cataract treatment.

Learn More about Your Treatment Options

Deciding between cataract surgery options can be a difficult choice. Contact our office today to find out which type of surgery is right for you.

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