Harvard Health Letter

Advances in eye surgery

Cataract surgery can now be done without the use of surgical blades and instead with bladeless lasers, thanks to 3D imaging, which enables surgeons to give the lasers precise instructions. Ophthalmologists place a special device on the eye, which sends a 3D image to a screen. The surgeon looks at the image and tells a computer where the laser will make incisions. The laser then executes the cuts and also breaks up the cataract. When the laser procedure is finished, a matter of minutes, the surgeon uses surgical instruments to remove the fractured cataract and position the new lens implant. Risks are the same for laser cataract surgery as they are for traditional cataract surgery, including a slight chance of detachment of the retina, infection, and bleeding. However, laser surgery proponents suggest the procedure reduces those risks by providing a higher level of precision.
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