Laser – Can cataracts be removed by laser?

Laser cataract surgery is a type of cataract surgery that replaces scalpel incisions with incisions made by lasers – precision femtosecond lasers(1), the same kind of lasers that are used during LASIK vision correction surgery(2).

The cataracts are not removed by the laser. The laser is used for the corneal incision, the anterior capsulotomy and the lens and cataract fragmentation.

Some optometrists believe that the laser allows for additional precision when these steps are carried out. However, an experienced surgeon will often be just as precise, and usually quicker than laser cataract surgery.

Also, in part due to the significant prices of the lasers(3) that carry out laser cataract surgery, it’s often significantly more expensive(4) than non-laser cataract surgery, and, isn’t available on the NHS.

Traditional cataract surgery is very effective and very successful, but, as with traditional surgery, laser cataract surgery does have its benefits.

If you think that you have cataracts, or already have cataracts, and want to find out more about any type of cataract surgery then contact your optician and they will be able to offer advice on what the best course of action is for you.



  1. Better Vision Guide: Femtosecond laser
  2. Better Vision Guide: Femtosecond laser
  3. All About Vision: How much does cataract surgery cost?
  4. NHS UK: New laser treatment for cataracts

Other related questions

  • Glasses – Why do I need glasses after cataract surgery?

  • Surgery – What does an eye look like after cataract surgery?

  • Surgery – How is a cataract operation performed?

  • Near-sighted – Does cataract surgery correct near-sightedness?

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