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ReLACS: Refractive Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery

Advanced Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery for the Houston Region

Houston Eye Associates is among the first in Houston to offer patients the new standard in precision cataract surgery with the CATALYS Precision Laser System. Using CATALYS™, our cataract surgeons can provide a gentle, highly customized cataract procedure with precision not achievable with traditional manual techniques.

Cataracts are a very common vision impairing condition in which the eye’s lens becomes progressively cloudy, making vision fuzzy or filmy and normal daily living activities more difficult. Although glasses and contact lenses may help correct vision during the very beginning stages of cataract development, the only true way to eliminate the loss of vision due to cataract is through surgery. Cataracts slowly progress as we age and nearly everyone will have cataracts in their lifetime. Cataract surgery has advanced over the years and is the most common procedures performed worldwide, estimated at 19 million cases each year.

Close-up of an eye affected by CataractsFor decades, cataract surgeons have used handheld instruments to perform some of the most challenging parts of the procedure. Today, the cataract surgeons at Houston Eye Associates are performing these steps with a new, FDA market cleared laser system called CATALYS™. CATALYS™ combines a femtosecond laser, 3D imaging, sophisticated software and a number of other innovative features that make the cataract procedure highly customized, gentler and significantly more precise than manual surgery. The laser treatment takes approximately three minutes and causes little or no discomfort to patients.

What is CATALYS™?

Developed by Silicon Valley-based OptiMedica Corp., CATALYS™ is a new FDA market cleared medical device that features a state-of-the-art laser, advanced 3D imaging, and many other innovative features that can bring numerous benefits to Houston Eye Associates patients.

How Does Laser Cataract Surgery Work?

Every eye has a unique size and shape. CATALYS™’ advanced 3D imaging technology builds a 3D map of each eye and tailors the treatment to that map. This enables the cataract surgeons at Houston Eye Associates to create a customized treatment plan that accounts for the unique anatomical features of each eye.

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The Catalys System

Next, the Houston Eye Associates cataract surgeon uses the CATALYS to create a circular opening for accessing and removing the cataract. Clinical studies have shown that this opening is approximately 10 times more accurate when performed with CATALYS than what is achievable by hand. The CATALYS laser then softens and breaks up the hard cataract into tiny pieces, allowing for gentler, easier cataract removal.

Depending on the patient’s pre-operative vision and desired visual result, Houston Eye Associates surgeons may recommend a tailored treatment plan that could include creating ultra-precise laser incisions in the cornea and a specific clear lens type, such as a multi-focal lens. This tailored treatment may reduce a patient’s need for glasses or contacts after surgery.

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CATALYS™ Technology

CATALYS™ is a next-generation laser cataract surgery platform that combines a femtosecond laser, integrated 3D Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging, and OptiMedica’s breakthrough pattern scanning technology all into one system. Distinguishing features include a Liquid Optics™ Interface that ensures stable system-patient attachment and optimizes the optical path to the patient’s eye, and a proprietary Integral Guidance™ mapping system that ensures the femtosecond laser pulses are delivered safely and precisely to the intended location.

What are the Benefits of CATALYS™?

  • A highly customized procedure with advanced 3D imaging
  • Laser precise incisions that are unparalleled in the field
  • A fast procedure with little or no discomfort
  • A gentler and easier cataract removal