Femtosecond laser lens fragmentation with a smaller lens softening grid significantly reduced effective phacoemulsification time, according to a study.
“The choice of the grid pattern used for lens fragmentation and softening is an important factor in further reducing the [effective phaco time],” the study authors said. “This may have important implications for the future as we continue to strive toward eliminating ultrasound energy by enhancing microincision surgery and by developing new IOL designs.”
The prospective, randomized clinical trial included 160 eyes of 160 patients with senile cataract who underwent femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery. Capsulotomy and lens fragmentation were performed with the Catalys Precision Laser System (OptiMedica).
Lens softening grid size was 350 µm in 80 eyes and 500 µm in 80 eyes.
Investigators used the Lens Opacities Classification System III (LOCS III) to preoperatively grade cataract opacity. Mean LOCS III grades were 3.7 in the 350-µm group and 3.5 in the 500-µm group; the difference was insignificant.
The Stellaris phacoemulsification platform (Bausch + Lomb) was used to perform ultrasound phaco through a 2.75-mm clear corneal incision.
Mean laser treatment time was 66.4 seconds in the 350-µm group and 52.8 seconds in the 500-µm group.
Mean effective phaco time was 0.03 seconds in the 350-µm group and 0.21 seconds in the 500-µm group. Mean absolute phaco time was 2.05 seconds in the 350-µm group and 5.85 seconds in the 500-µm group. Both between-group differences were statistically significant.
No intraoperative or postoperative complications were reported in either group.