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Many surgeons are faced with a question: Is a femtosecond laser necessary for their practice? While a skilled surgeon can continue to obtain good results using traditional surgical techniques, femtosecond-assisted cataract surgery provides surgeons an exciting new option to potentially improve surgical outcome and safety.   Femtosecond laser’s functions include capsulorhexis creation, lens nucleus fragmentation or softening, and construction of corneal incision.  While outcome of manual incision for astigmatic corrections have been difficult to predict, the femtosecond laser allows the surgeon to more precisely create incisions.  The laser as a general rule can correct up to 1.5 D of astigmatism with significant accuracy.  For higher levels of correction, a Toric lens is still recommended.   There are four femtosecond laser platforms available for cataract surgery in the United   States.  If a practice is considering introducing this technology, it is recommended that you visit a practice that has already integrated the laser within their surgery center.   The initial price tag may be overwhelming but if the cost is shared amongst multiple surgeons in a particular practice, the acquisition of the laser is more feasible.  The purchase price may not be the biggest expense, as there are also per-use click fees and yearly service contracts.   The role of femtosecond laser in the U.S. is expected to rapidly increase according to the 2013 Laser Cataract Survey and it is believed that there is tremendous potential to change the future of cataract surgery.  

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Vision Treatments & Technology

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