Laser-assisted cataract surgery: risk of cystoid macular oedema

Despite increasing interest in the possibility of using femtosecond lasers to assist with cataract surgery, most surgeons have not chosen to adopt the technology due to concerns about increased complication rates combined with very few real-world advantages.

This study compared the incidence of cystoid macular oedema (abnormal swelling of the retina) in patients who had conventional cataract surgery with patients having laser-assisted cataract surgery. The laser-assisted group had seven times as many cases of swelling as the conventional group! Although non-randomised, this  large single-surgeon series (over 1,200 patients) does suggest that more data is needed on laser-assisted cataract surgery before it can be substantiated to be as safe as conventional techniques.