Dim, dingy, blurry, filmy, foggy, fuzzy—that is how the world looks to someone with cataracts. Gradually clouding the clear lens in the front of the eye, cataracts can deprive people of their vision so slowly they do not realize something is wrong until ordinary activities, such as driving, reading or watching television, become difficult or impossible.
“Cataracts impair vision by scattering light as it enters the eye, before it can reach the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye,” says James Bryan, MD, ophthalmologist at Carolina Ophthalmology Associates. “To restore normal vision, we must surgically replace the clouded lens.”
For many years, cataract surgery has been successfully performed with small handheld surgical instruments. Now, Davis Ambulatory Surgical Center is the first facility in the Duke University Health System to offer femtosecond laser cataract surgery, an advanced bladeless technique that removes cataracts and corrects vision with significantly improved speed and accuracy.
“The beauty of a femtosecond laser is that it can be used on most cataract patients,” says Christine Lee, MD, ophthalmologist at the Eye Institute of NC. “The laser assists the surgeon in precisely creating incisions, correcting astigmatism and softening the lens so it can be easily removed.”
“Unlike conventional cataract surgery, no blade is needed. Patients can begin using their eyes right after femtosecond laser cataract surgery,” Dr. Bryan says. “Most people have better vision the next day.”
For more information about femtosecond laser cataract surgery, visit dukeregional.org/davislaser.