Some people think that cataract surgery is done by laser. This has not been true - until now. Our practice is very excited to announce that we have started to perform Laser-assisted Cataract Surgery using the OptiMedica Catalys laser system. We are the first doctors in New Jersey to have access to this fantastic technology.
How is Laser-assisted Cataract Surgery different?
Many of the steps of cataract surgery that are traditionally performed using handheld instruments can now be completed using the precision of a laser.
The treatment is highly customized, more accurate and more gentle. Like a fingerprint, every eye has a unique size and shape. Prior to treatment Catalys images your eye and makes precise 3D maps of the structures. This enables a tailored treatment plan customized for your eye.
What are the advantages?
- Research has shown that with laser cataract surgery, lens implants are better centered in the eye allowing for more predictable surgical outcomes likely decreasing the need for glasses after surgery.
- There is more precise correction of astigmatism using laser incisions to relax the cornea (limbal relaxing incisions) instead of manual incision which are more unpredictable.
- The surgery is more gentle with decreased damage to surrounding eye structures. This is especially important for patients who might already have corneal problems or zonular dehiscence (a weakness in the lens' support structure).
- The surgery allows for more careful removal of cataract pieces, especially in patients with advanced cataract disease.
Does the surgery hurt?
You can expect little or no discomfort.
Does insurance cover laser cataract surgery?
No, insurance only covers non-laser cataract surgery. Laser by cataract is not covered because insurance companies will not pay the additional expense of having this surgery by laser. In addition, surgeons are not lawfully allowed to bill patients an upcharge for a laser cataract procedure, since insurance companies cover non-laser cataract surgery.
Doctors, however, can bill patients for procedures that are not covered by their insurance. In cataract surgery that typically falls into two categories.
1. Correction of astigmatism: If you have astigmatism, Catalys can do a great job with limbal relaxing incisions) to help correct it. If a patient pays for the laser to do atigmatism correction, the patient will also then benefit from of having the laser perform all of the other included parts of the surgery.
2. If you are having a deluxe or premium lens implant placed as part of your cataract surgery, (either for high astigmatism correction or in an attempt to get a glasses-free result from surgery) the cataract surgery can be done with laser as well.