Cataract is a leading cause of blindness in the world, and cataract extraction is one of the most commonly performed surgeries. Preferred surgical techniques have changed over the past decades with associated improvements in outcomes and safety. Phacoemulsification is a highly successful technique first introduced over 40 years ago. It is the current method of cataract surgery, with a very low reported rate of major complications and a frequency of overall intraoperative complications of less than 2%. Application of the femtosecond laser evolved to now assist in cataract surgery and has been termed FLACS (femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery) and occurs in three steps: corneal incisions (including optional limbal relaxing incisions to reduce astigmatism), anterior capsulotomy, and lens fragmentation. The remaining surgical steps still require the surgeon’s hands. The FLACS technique may have some advantages compared with conventional phacoemulsification. It remains however unclear whether FLACS is globally more efficient and safer than conventional surgery. The popularity of FLACS may also be limited by its higher cost compared with conventional surgery. The potential advantages of laser-assisted surgery are yet to be determined as FLACS technology is relatively new and in continuous evolution. This chapter reports scientific data as well as our own experience with this new technology. All the platforms currently available are described.
Part of the book: Eyesight and Imaging