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Keeping an eye on cataracts

An advanced procedure known as bladeless laser cataract surgery helps to reduce human error and speeds up the procedure, says Dr David Goh

Cataract Surgery Singapore

Cataracts begin to develop in most people in their early 50s. However, their vision is usually unaffected until after the age of 60, with the condition remaining undetected in its early stages. Warning signs of cataracts include blurred and dull vision, difficulty seeing at night, and glares around bright light.
Prescription lenses also become less effective.

Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed eye surgery in Singapore, with about 50,000 surgeries done yearly.

Traditional cataract surgery involves manual incision of the eye to remove the cataract. A type of new procedure called bladeless laser cataract surgery allows for cataract removal in a more effective, precise and efficient manner, says Dr David Goh, a cataract surgeon at Novena Bladeless Cataract Surgery & Eye Specialist Centre. Here, he explains more:

There is a new treatment for cataracts known as bladeless laser cataract surgery and computer-guided lens implantation. What does it involve?

As its name suggests, the procedure uses a 100 per cent bladeless laser called a femtosecond laser to remove a cataract. The laser cuts up the cataract into smaller pieces using cold laser gas bubbles – without any blades – all in under a minute. Artificial intelligence is then used to guide the laser to make more precise cuts into the lens.

After the cloudy lens is taken out, an intraocular lens (IOL) implant is placed into the space left by the removed natural lens.

What are the benefits of bladeless laser cataract surgery?

Using a laser and artificial intelligence to guide the procedure allows for more precision and greatly reduces the margin of human error.

The cataract can be removed in a gentler manner with much less energy expended and, because there is less surgical time inside the eye, the procedure is much faster, and so is recovery.

The use of computer-aided technology also allows for the IOL to be placed precisely in the centre of the eye where the natural lens was removed. The entire process takes around 20 to 30 minutes.

Bladeless cataract surgery has also improved success and visual recovery rates, especially in complex or dense cataracts.

Who is suitable for cataract surgery and when should I go for it?

If left untreated, cataracts will continue to grow and eventually obstruct your entire vision. Consider going for surgery when you feel like your daily activities are being affected.

Advancement in technology has allowed for bladeless laser cataract surgery, which is safer and is suitable for almost everyone, except those with moderate to dense corneal scars or opacities, and those whose pupils are too small or irregular.

What is the recovery process like and are there any activities that should be avoided?

Immediately after the surgery, there might be some soft focus vision. This usually resolves within 12 hours. Normal activities can resume after 24 hours, with the exception of swimming, which can be resumed after a month.

All patients will receive follow-ups one day, one week and one month after the surgery.

Cataract Surgeon Singapore

Dr David Goh
Cataract Surgeon
Novena Bladeless Cataract
Surgery & Eye Specialist Centre

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