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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v13.i6.60
6 pages

Erbium:YAG Laser in Cataract Extraction

David M. Bowman
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Richmond, Virginia, USA
Robert C. Allen
Professor & Chairman. Department of Ophthalmology Virginia Commonwealth University School Medicine P.O. Box 980262 Richmond VA 23298

ABSTRACT

Erbium:yttrium.aluminum.garnet (Er:YAG) cataract extraction has shown considerable promise as a new technique for lens nucleus removal prior to intraocular lens (IOL) implantation for the treatment of cataracts. Recent studies suggest that the laser energy is dissipated much more locally and heats surrounding intraocular tissues less than traditional ultrasonic phacoemulsification does. Clinical studies demonstrate the safety of the procedure in human cataract patients, and a randomized study found little difference in outcomes when compared to conventional cataract surgery. Further advances in fiber optic delivery systems and handpiece development may make this approach even more attractive in the future.