Published in Cataract Pre-Surgery Questions
Ultrasound vs. laser … Is cataract surgery not always done with laser?
There is a common misconception that all cataract surgery is done with laser. Perhaps because the procedure is so quick and efficient or that there is so much advertising for LASIK refractive surgery… but patients often confuse the two surgeries and how the procedure is done.
The two main clarifications that I make with patients are:
1] Cataract Surgery is not LASIK. LASIK is a laser-based procedure to reshape the cornea (the outer surface) of the eye. Cataract surgery removes the cloudy lens from inside the eye and replaces it with an implant. In some circumstances these two procedures can be combined (not concurrently) but they are different procedures requiring different technologies and surgeon skill sets.
2] Cataract removal surgery typically uses ultrasound energy (not laser) to break up the natural lens to remove it. However, laser energy can also be used for this purpose. This is an increasingly popular option … but it is not widely done in this region - Ontario.