FLACS stands for femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery, an approach to cataract surgery that uses a laser that's very accurate and very fast – firing pulses of energy that last about one-quadrillionth of a second. The laser is used to make incisions that are made with a special bladed cutting instrument in “traditional” approaches to cataract surgery.
FLACS offers several benefits for cataracts patients. For instance:
Super-fast pulses mean there is very little risk of tissue damage due to excess heat.
Incisions can be much more precise compared to incisions made with a blade.
Outcomes are much more predictable, thanks to the added degrees of accuracy.
FLACS offers a lower risk of complications compared to “traditional” cataract surgery techniques.
FLACS requires less ultrasound energy during phacoemulsification (breaking the clouded lens apart for extraction) and phacoemulsification can be performed more quickly, which means there is less risk of capsule complications.
Prior to your procedure, Dr. Cohen will use a technique called optical coherence tomography to create a 3-D image of your eye so he can determine the best location, depth, and length of the incision. The added degree of precision ensures the greatest amount of accuracy and also increases the likelihood the incision will heal properly. Once the incision is made, the front portion of the clear capsule surrounding the eye's natural lens must be removed in a procedure called a capsulotomy that allows access to the lens. Next, the lens is gently broken apart using laser energy and removed using gentle suction. Finally, the intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted and a patch is placed on the eye to protect it during the initial stages of healing.