After reading our blog post on the LenSx system, you’ll have learned:
- What the LenSx system is and how it can help your cataracts
- What occurs during LenSx cataract surgery and how long the recovery process is
- What makes someone an ideal candidate for the surgery
Traditional cataract surgery has long been deemed safe by medical and surgical experts. Despite its efficacy, though, it still relied on the manual manipulation of scalpel by a surgeon. For a bit, this increased the odds that a complication could occur during the procedure.
To make cataract surgery even safer, medical professionals developed the LenSx cataract surgery system. This procedure is even safer and potentially more effective than traditional surgery. Its somewhat recent development, though, has left many candidates for the procedure with understandable questions.
How Does the LenSx System Work?
Traditional cataract surgery relies on the skilled eye and hands of the surgeon performing the procedure. They must identify where to make an ideal incision that allows them to remove the cataract. As stated above, while this procedure is extremely safe, the manual nature of the surgery can result in unexpected complications.
The LenSx system reduces the chances of these complications by improving accuracy and precision. Before the procedure begins, the system creates extremely detailed close-up photos of the eye. This makes it much easier to identify where the incisions need to be placed and reduces the odds of needing additional or larger cuts if the first placement was even slightly off.
Once the system identifies where to place the incisions, the surgery can commence. The incisions are made by an advanced laser called a femtosecond laser. This laser was the first one to be approved by the FDA for use in cataract surgery. By pairing accurate imagery of the eye and laser incisions all under the watchful guidance of a skilled eye surgeon, the LenSx surgery offers a variety of benefits to those with cataracts.
What Are the Benefits of LenSx Cataract Surgery
LenSx cataract surgery improves on traditional cataract surgery in several ways. Beyond increased accuracy and precision, this procedure provides patients with benefits that aid the procedure, recovery, and improved eyesight.
Perhaps the main benefit of improved accuracy and precision is safety. Traditional cataract surgery is very safe, and while the odds of complications are low, LenSx surgery reduces the odds even further. While trained surgeons have skilled hands that allow them to make precise cuts with the blade of a scalpel, the LenSx laser removes the chances of a surgeon error. The eye is extremely small and vulnerable, and by not needing to use a sharp blade, this procedure ensures that a false move or minor tremor does not cause unnecessary harm to the eye.
Additionally, traditional cataract surgery can only fix one issue: cataracts. LenSx surgery can take on additional tasks during the procedure to help those with complicated diagnoses. For instance, the laser can also help those dealing with astigmatism. That means patients will only need one procedure to correct their vision issues instead of needing several or continuing treatments for their astigmatism.
Finally, as the LenSx system uses detailed images of the eye to determine where incisions need to be placed, the system can be highly customized to individual patients. The extremely detailed images will uncover the unique variations in everyone’s eyes and account for them when the laser makes its cuts.
What Occurs During LenSx Cataract Surgery?
Before the surgery begins, you’ll be given a mild sedative to help calm any nerves and reduce any potential discomfort.
When the procedure begins, the LenSx laser will use the detailed map of your eye to make its incisions. This process is quick, and the incisions are extremely small. They are made to remove the cataract and then replace them with an artificial lens. This incision is called an anterior capsulotomy.
It can be difficult to remove the cataract whole. The LenSx laser can also emit ultrasonic waves that help break up the cataract into smaller and easier to remove pieces. Once the cataract is broken up, your surgeon will use a tool to remove the pieces.
Then, an artificial lens is placed where the cataract once was. In your appointments leading up to the procedure, your eye surgeon will go over the various artificial lenses available and recommend which one is best for your needs.
Once the artificial lens has been placed, your surgeon will wrap up the surgery. The entire process is quick; most procedures take 30 minutes, with many needing only half that time.
What is the Recovery Process?
The recovery period is often quicker because the eye experiences less trauma with LenSx surgery than traditional surgery. Some patients experience improved procedures immediately after the procedure. Others need a few weeks for their eyes to adjust and heal.
After resting post-surgery, you’ll be able to leave the surgical center to return home and rest. You won’t be able to drive, though. So, as part of your preparation for the procedure, you should arrange for transportation to and from the surgery.
Your surgeon will have specific recommendations based on the specifics of your diagnoses and procedure. You should follow these recommendations to prevent post-surgery complications. Often these recommendations include resting for at least a day and refraining from strenuous activity for a week or so. You should take steps to protect your eye from getting wet for at least a couple of days. It’s also a good idea to refrain from rubbing your eye.
Furthermore, your surgeon may prescribe eye drops or other medications to use in the period after the procedure. These will help with any lingering discomfort and aid in the recovery process.
Is Everyone a Candidate for LenSx Surgery?
Not everyone is a candidate for LenSx cataract surgery. Those with especially complicated issues or who have already had a procedure performed on their eye may not benefit from laser cataract surgery or experience additional complications.
During your initial visits with your eye doctor regarding a cataract diagnosis, they will ask about your medical history and conduct necessary examinations of your eye. This allows them to make a proper recommendation as to whether LenSx is in your best interests.
Additionally, LenSx cataract surgery is found by many insurance companies to be a “premium” procedure. That means your insurance company may not cover the procedure unless it’s deemed medically necessary. In those cases, though, traditional cataract surgery may still be covered.
If you have questions about whether your insurance company covers LenSx surgery, you should reach out to them directly. They’re best equipped to answer those questions and can help you better understand what procedures they may or may not cover.
How Can The Cataract Surgeons Help?
At The Cataract Surgeons of Shreveport, LA, we see patients from all over the country to help them improve their eyesight and maintain the health of their vision. As part of our surgical services, we conduct a variety of cataract procedures, including using the LenSx system, for our patients.
Request an appointment today to see if you are a candidate for the procedure.
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