In the field of cataract surgery, the most exciting new development of the new decade has been without a doubt the advent of laser-assisted cataract procedures. Laser cataract surgery automates the first steps in the cataract surgery procedure: the initial incisions (including additional incisions for correcting astigmatism, if necessary); the capsulotomy, which is the opening of the lens capsule; and breaking up of the cloudy natural lens in preparation for removal. These steps, performed with hand-held blades and ultrasound probes in the traditional procedure, are performed by a fast, extremely accurate, computer-guided laser. This leads to improved precision, which can be consistent with better surgical outcomes for patients.
The unrivaled precision, speed, and safety of the laser-assisted procedure is pointing the way to a new era in the way cataracts are treated. Hoopes Vision was an early adopter of this new technology, and was in fact the first surgery center in the world (and still one of only a very few worldwide) to have acquired multiple laser cataract platforms – the Alcon LenSx and the Optimedica Catalys.
Hoopes Vision was the first practice in Utah to offer the Catalys™- the world’s most sophisticated laser cataract surgery system. The Catalys™ Precision Laser System is the next generation in precision laser cataract surgery and allows our team of surgeons to increase the accuracy, and precision of custom cataract surgery and refractive lens exchange by utilizing a computer-guided laser to perform many of the first steps of surgery rather than using manual techniques involving blades.
Hoopes Vision is first in Utah to offer the Catalys™- the world’s most sophisticated laser cataract surgery system, and first in the world to offer multiple custom laser cataract platforms. The Catalys™ Precision Laser System is the next generation in precision laser cataract surgery and allows our Utah Ophthalmologists to increase the accuracy, and precision of custom cataract surgery and refractive lens exchange by utilizing a computer-guided laser to perform many of the first steps of surgery rather than using manual techniques involving blades.
The Catalys™ laser features a state-of-the-art laser, advanced 3D imaging, and many other unique and innovative features to enhance the comfort and accuracy and precision in laser cataract surgery.
Hoopes Vision surgeons use the Catalys™ to create a custom treatment plan using the advanced 3D imaging technology that building a 3D image of the unique features of each patient’s eyes. Then, initial incisions are created (including those for astigmatism correction if necessary). Next, our surgeons use the Catalys™ laser to create a circular opening for accessing and removing the cataract. This opening performed with the Catalys™ laser is approximately 10 times more accurate than what is possible to produce with manual instruments, as shown in clinical studies. Finally, the laser is used to break up and soften the hardened, cloudy lens, which allows for easier and gentler cataract removal.
Because Hoopes Vision was the first practice in the world to acquire multiple cataract laser platforms, we were uniquely positioned to be able to compare their performance and results first-hand. The surgeons of Hoopes Vision conducted an extensive head-to-head comparison study of the Alcon LenSx and Optimedica Catalys, the first of its kind to be carried out anywhere in the world. This cataract laser study compared and contrasted the patient experience, surgeon’s experience, and patient outcomes from the two platforms.
Based on the results of the study, we have elected to use the Catalys Precision Laser System exclusively for our patients in the future. The results of this study were presented at numerous meetings of cataract surgeons in the U.S. as well as abroad, in the form of a published paper and an educational video, both of which won several “Best Of Show” awards.
Many prospective patients have questions about laser assisted cataract surgery. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the the procedure.
Laser assisted cataract surgery utilizes a bladeless, computer-controlled laser allowing the surgeon to plan and perform your surgery to exact individualized specifications, not attainable with past cataract surgery methods.
Sadly, Medicare and most insurance companies refuse to pay the additional costs to provide this newer and more precise way of removing cataracts. They will, however, allow the patients who can, to pay the extra cost and expenses to be able to have laser cataract surgery. We believe this is a more precise way to remove cataracts and will be the future of modern cataract surgery. We encourage our patients who can afford the extra expense to consider using our cataract laser during their surgery.
Some of the benefits laser-assisted cataract surgery provides a patient include:
Most cataract patients are candidates for laser cataract surgery. During your consultation, it is important to discuss your treatment options and visual expectations after cataract surgery with your doctor.
Today, cataract surgeons can provide you options to REDUCE your dependence on glasses or contact lenses, not eliminate altogether. Depending on the freedom you desire, technology is available to allow you to perform most daily activities without corrective lenses. The most common circumstances where corrective lenses were required after surgery are night driving, reading in low-light situations, and reading very fine print.
Our team of cataract specialists is among the most experienced in Utah. Most importantly, they are among the most experienced in the country at laser cataract surgery, and among only a handful of surgeons worldwide with the advantage of experience with multiple laser systems.
Our on-site, state-certified, Medicare-approved ambulatory surgery center, EyeSurg of Utah, is a premier destination for laser cataract surgery. It was designed from the ground up for laser cataract surgery, and hosts visiting surgeons from around the world who wish to see this groundbreaking technology in action.
While our goal is to provide the safest, most advanced cataract procedures possible, we are also very proud of how affordable our care is. We work with almost all major insurance companies, and upgrades such as laser treatment and multifocal IOLs are often eligible for no-interest payment plans.Learn More