Traditional Surgery vs. Laser Cataract Removal: Making the Right Choice

Posted on: September 21, 2016 | Cataract Surgery

cataractCataract surgery can provide you with a clearer view of the world around you. Choosing the right type of Houston cataract surgery procedure can have a significant impact on your recovery time and the results you achieve. Here are some key facts about cataracts.

Understanding Cataracts

Cataracts are a progressive condition of the lens of the eye that causes blurred, cloudy or obstructed vision. Rather than a growth on the lens, cataracts are a change in the lens itself that prevents light from traveling through the lens and reaching the retina. As a result, cataract surgery requires the removal of the natural lens and its replacement with a clear artificial implant called an intraocular lens. This procedure can restore vision and ensure the clearest vision for patients suffering from this condition. Traditional surgical methods differ from modern laser surgeries in a number of important ways.

Type of Incision

The most important difference between Houston laser eye surgery and traditional surgical methods is the way in which the incision is made.

  • Traditional cataract surgery involves the use of hand-held instruments made of metal or diamond to open an incision in the eye. The lens of the eye is then broken up and removed, allowing a clear replacement lens to be implanted to restore clear vision.
  • The incision needed to perform laser surgery is much smaller and more accurate. This degree of precision is made possible by computerized scanning techniques known as optical coherence tomography (OCT). This provides the most comprehensive information about the patient’s eye structure to ensure that the surgical procedure is a success.

Laser cataract surgery offers improved accuracy for your procedure, allowing you to enjoy the most effective correction of your cataract problems.

Method of Lens Removal

Laser cataract removal also varies from the method used in traditional eye surgery:

  • During traditional cataract surgery, an ultrasonic device is used to break the lens into smaller pieces for removal. This can sometimes lead to excessive heat buildup in the eye that can result in astigmatism for certain patients.
  • Laser surgical methods use focused light to soften and break up the lens for easier removal. This can reduce the risk of damage to eye tissue, improving success for these vision correction procedures.

Recent advances in laser surgery have made it a preferred method of treatment for cataracts among many medical authorities in the U.S. and around the world.

Speed of Recovery

Because the laser incision used to remove the original lens and to implant the intraocular lens is usually smaller and more precise, the healing time for these procedures is typically shorter than with traditional methods. This can allow patients to return to their regular activities more quickly and with greater confidence in their ability to see the world around them clearly.


While laser surgery for cataract removal is still more expensive than traditional surgical methods, it offers significant benefits for most patients. Some or all of the cost of these procedures may be covered by some insurance plans. Your Houston eye surgeon can provide you with the best guidance and support in finding the right solution for your cataract issues.

At Mattioli Vision Professionals, we specialize in delivering the most advanced and effective eye care solutions for our patients. Our skilled medical staff will work with you to identify the source of your vision problems and to provide you with the best possible treatment plan for your specific situation. We offer a full range of LASIK and lens implantation solutions designed to restore your vision and to ensure that you enjoy the clearest view of the people and things that matter most to you. Give us a call today at 713-776-3937 to set up an appointment with our eye care experts. We look forward to the chance to serve you.