Femtosecond laser-assisted compared with standard cataract surgery for removal of advanced cataracts

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2015 Sep;41(9):1833-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2015.10.040.


Purpose: To compare effective phacoemulsification time (EPT) for the removal of brunescent cataracts treated with femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery with standard cataract phacoemulsification techniques.

Setting: Ruhr University Eye Hospital, Bochum, Germany.

Design: Comparative prospective case study.

Methods: The Lens Opacities Classification System III (LOCS III) grading system was used to measure eyes divided into 4 groups having cataract surgery. Groups 1 and 2 contained eyes with LOCS III grade nuclear opalescence (NO) 3 cataracts treated with standard cataract surgery and femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery, respectively. Groups 3 and 4 contained brunescent cataracts, LOCS III grades NO5, treated with standard cataract surgery and femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery, respectively.

Results: There were 240 eyes, with 60 eyes in each group. The EPT in Group 1 ranged from 0.46 to 3.10 (mean 1.38); the EPT in all eyes in Group 2 was 0 (P < .001). The EPT in Groups 3 and 4 was 2.12 to 19.29 (mean 6.85) and 0 to 6.75 (mean 1.35), respectively (P < .001). A comparison between EPT in Groups 1 and 4 showed that EPT in Group 4 was also lower than in Group 1 (P = .013). Groups 4 and 1 were the most statistically similar of all groups compared, suggesting that EPT for a femtosecond laser-treated grade 5 cataract was most similar to that of a standard-treated grade 3 cataract.

Conclusion: Femtosecond laser pretreatment for brunescent cataracts allowed for a significant reduction in EPT compared with manual standard phacoemulsification techniques.

Financial disclosure: Drs. Hatch, Talamo, and Dick are consultants to Abbott Medical Optics, Inc. Dr. Schultz has no financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cataract / classification
  • Cataract Extraction*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Operative Time
  • Phacoemulsification / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pseudophakia / physiopathology
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology
  • Visual Acuity / physiology