Laser boosts accuracy in cataract surgery

The LenSx system provides a real-time image of the eye, says Jose de la Cruz, assistant director of the Millennium Park Eye Center satellite clinic.
Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

A new laser system for cataract surgery, with accuracy to a few hundred-thousandths of an inch, allows eye surgeons to optimize and customize the incision and ensure the best possible outcome.

The UI Hospital is the first academic medical center in the Midwest to offer the LenSx femtosecond laser to selected cataract patients.

The LenSx system provides a live, real-time image of the eye that allows the surgeon to set the laser to the exact required depth and dimension for the bladeless incision — “to the micron,” says Jose de la Cruz, professor of ophthalmology and visual science and assistant director of the Millennium Park Eye Center, ophthalmology’s downtown satellite clinic.

Femtosecond (one-quadrillionth of a second) laser technology uses an extremely short burst of energy to make a bladeless incision. The accuracy of the laser means the surgeon can be confident in centering the new lens, which is critical in cataract surgery, de la Cruz said — especially for the new multifocal intraocular lenses, which work like bifocals and eliminate the need for reading glasses.

The whole procedure can be done under topical anesthesia and after surgery, there is a “very quick visual recovery,” de la Cruz said. Most patients wear a clear eye patch for a day and are seeing well almost immediately. Follow-up appointments are scheduled for the first and third weeks following surgery.

The LenSx laser has been in use at UI Hospital since February.

For more information, call 312-996-6591.

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jgala@uic.edu