Cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful procedures performed worldwide, with the goal of restoring vision in patients with cloudy lenses. In recent years, laser-assisted cataract surgery has gained popularity as a new and advanced method for treating cataracts. However, several studies have shown that there is no significant benefit to this method compared to traditional cataract surgery.
One study, published in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, found that there was no difference in visual outcomes between laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS) and traditional cataract surgery. The study included over 1,000 patients who underwent either FLACS or traditional cataract surgery and found that both groups had similar levels of visual acuity, refractive errors, and complications. (1)
Another study, published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, also found no significant difference between FLACS and traditional cataract surgery. This study included over 2,000 patients and found that both groups had similar levels of visual acuity, complications, and patient satisfaction. (2)
A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, evaluated the literature and found that there was no statistically significant difference in visual outcomes, complications and safety between FLACS and manual cataract surgery. (3)
Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, found that FLACS increased the cost of cataract surgery without a significant improvement in visual outcomes. (4)
Overall, these studies and systematic review suggest that FLACS does not offer any significant benefits over traditional cataract surgery in terms of visual outcomes, complications, and safety. Furthermore, this method increases the cost of cataract surgery without any significant benefit.
It is important to note that FLACS may have some specific indications in certain patients, such as patients with white cataracts, pseudoexfoliation syndrome, and advanced cataracts. In addition, FLACS is one of many other options that can help treat and manage astigmatism. It is important to remember that FLACS is not considered a routine procedure. As with any surgical procedure, it is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your ophthalmologist to determine the best course of treatment for your individual case.
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Gintien Huang, M.D.