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    Perfecting art of cataract surgery with guidance technologies

    Take-home: Cataract surgery technology continues to advance with improvements that enhance surgical performance every step of the way.

    Largo, FL––No matter how advanced a technology becomes, nothing is perfect. The same holds true for cataract surgery technology. There are other complementary tools for femtosecond lasers that are available, which will help surgeons achieve better outcomes for their patients.

    Sponsored: 5 reasons toric IOLs are the best choice for managing astigmatism

    Femtosecond laser cataract surgery has successfully furthered the subspecialty, most notably because it is safer and a more precise method than the manual procedures with the use of arcuate incisions, creation of capsulotomies, and nuclear disassembly.

    The missing links

    Despite the advancements, there are some technologies are beginning to hot the market, according to Robert Weinstock, MD, who is in private practice in Largo, FL. He pointed to automation, integration, and surgical guidance to help with the throughput of cataract surgery, surgical planning, and the execution of refractive targeting and refractive outcomes.

    “We need more surgical planning software that is associated with the lasers to help in the choice of intraocular lenses (IOLs) and the surgical plan for cataract removal and astigmatism treatment and to help free patients from spectacle dependence,” Dr. Weinstock said.

    Another area is iris registration. The software for creation of arcuate incisions is becoming available. Software should also customize the laser treatments depending on the density of the lens and the size of the cataract. Surgical field navigation and guidance would provide on-screen navigation to help guide maneuvers, Dr. Weinstock explained.

    “We currently are moving toward a surgical navigation concept to use guidance for placing the incisions, capsulotomies, and limbal-relaxing incisions and for selecting toric IOL powers and positioning of the lenses, and IOL centration,” he pointed out. “These are all critical parts of cataract surgery that need to be worked on.”

    New technologies that are now incorporated into the lasers include automated registration and treatment plans, cataract grading, and customized fragmentation patterns. Advances introduced into phacoemulsification include surgical cockpit setups with information projected through ocular microscopes or on a three-dimensional guidance screen, all of which, Dr. Weinstock said, will help surgeons perform better surgeries.

    The postoperative regimen also will benefit from advancing technologies that provide automated refraction, imaging, and feedback into planning software that drives the nomograms and improves outcomes, he noted.

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