Laser-assisted cataract surgery – visual outcomes

In recent years femtosecond lasers have been used in a small number of centers to assist in cataract surgery, with theoretical benefits including more precise creation of corneal incisions and the anterior capsulotomy. However the majority of surgeons have failed to see this translate into any meaningful visual benefit for the patient, and indeed the technique of using a laser in cataract surgery has previously been found to induce more complications when compared with conventional cataract surgery.

This large prospective study from Australia compared laser-assisted cataract surgery with conventional (phaco) cataract surgery in over 1800 cataract operations. They found no clinically meaningful benefit of the laser-assisted method in terms of vision, but the laser group had a higher rate of most surgical complications including tears in the anterior or posterior lens capsule, corneal haze, corneal epithelial defect, raised eye pressure after surgery,  and swelling of the macula.