In conventional phacoemulsification surgery, the surgeon makes the corneal incisions with a metallic blade, and manually creates an opening in the front of the lens capsule to gain access to the cataract, and then divides the cataract with a hand held ultrasonic probe.
In bladeless cataract surgery, the Femtosecond laser is used for these three critical steps of cataract surgery, i.e. to make the incisions, the opening in the lens capsule, and to divide the lens into fragments. Thereafter, the lens fragments are removed by the surgeon using the ultrasonic probe.
In both traditional cataract surgery and bladeless laser cataract surgery, microsurgical instruments are used in the operating room to remove the cloudy lens from the eye. The back membrane of the lens (called the posterior capsule) is left in place. An intraocular lens is placed inside the eye to replace the natural lens that was removed.