Laser for Cataract?

every week someone asks me if they can have "laser eye surgery" for their cataracts, or tells me that they know someone who HAD laser for cataracts.

no, they didnt. they're just confused/misinformed. currently THE ONLY treatment for cataracts is cataract extraction surgery: complete removal of the cataract & replacement with an acrylic or silicone implant. no one has had their cataracts removed with a laser. that doesn't exist.

the confusion likely arises from the formation of posterior capsular opacification: some patients bodies put "debris" (cells, fibers, etc) on the backside of their NEW IMPLANT after cataract surgery. the debris can be removed with a laser procedure (not LASIK but rather "yag capsulotomy"). posterior capsular opacification is often called "after-cataract" the lay term "after-cataract" often gets confused with an actual diagnosis of cataract. they are not the same.

ok now:

A NEW article in the NYT suggests that research is being done to possibly treat cataracts with a laser:

Laser Treatment May Work for Cataracts

I personally kind of doubt this line of thinking will work for treating cataracts, but I'm just reporting the news. Plus i need an explanation (this blog post) to point to when patients ask me about "laser for cataracts", which if this news article is very widely read I figure the questions about "laser for cataracts" are about to increase exponentially.


  1. the study abstract linked in the article:


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