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Femto Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery (FLACS)


The CATALYS® Precision Laser System by Abbott Medical Optics is one of the most advanced laser systems for cataract surgery. It is the result of continuous development.

Using the CATALYS® System, surgeons are able to perform all incisions in more precise form, size and position.

The femtosecond laser technology generates energy which separates the tissue. This is achieved via tiny air bubbles in-between tissue cells. The
laser performs micrometer precise cuts as if it were operating with an invisible blade.

The CATALYS® System enables surgeons to remove cataracts easily and with good tissue preservation. Using the sophisticated laser
pattern scanning technology, the surgeon is able to reduce the lens nucleus to small grid-like patterned pieces, facilitating thereby the subsequent removal
of the lens nucleus.

Advantages and benefits of using the CATALYS® Femtosecond Laser in cataract surgeries

  • Precise and safe treatment
  • With the help of a 3D representation of your eye, an individually tailored treatment plan accommodating your specific need is created
  • Cuts (incisions) in precise form, size and position
  • Precise, circular opening of the lens capsule
  • Gentle removal of the clouded lens        


Manually opening the lens capsule         

Opening the lens capsule using the CATALYS® laser


Great precision

The CATALYS® Laser provides great precision in this field, enabling exact incisions to one tenth of a micrometer. In comparison: a human hair is 85 micrometers wide on average.

Safety and tissue preservation

The advanced 3D imaging and highly developed software of the CATALYS® System guarantee that the laser impulse will only be delivered to the designated treatment area, thereby protecting the surrounding tissue.

Individual customization

The anatomy of a human eye shares the same main features and yet, all eyes vary in size, depth and curvature. Using highly developed software, the CATALYS® System creates a detailed 3D image of the patient’s eye so that an individually tailored treatment plan, based on the specific anatomical features, can be created.

Speed and comfort

Every treatment is planned individually with the CATALYS® System. This helps increase precision and minimise duration of the procedure. In a unique and gentle way, the system docks onto the eye thereby maintaining it in the same position. This helps maximise patient comfort.

Excellent intraocular lens positioning

The procedural precision with CATALYS® Laser helps enable surgeons to accurately position the intraocular lens.


 Laser cataract surgery – Treatment

You are comfortably lying on a surgical bed. The surgical area surrounding the eye is disinfected and covered with a sterile surgical cloth. Once eye drops or a gentle anaesthetic injection are administered, your eye becomes numb and analgic which helps prevent any discomfort during the procedure.

In the meantime, the laser is being programmed to perform the following steps:

  •     Circular opening of the lens capsule as a preparation for the removal of the clouded lens
  •     Controlled reduction of the clouded lens to small pieces

The surgeon monitors each step via a video microscope during the full duration of the laser treatment.

The laser is adjusted to the eye with the help of a suction ring applied to the eye. This correctly positions the eye for the laser application. Most patients feel a slight pressure.
An accurate treatment plan is determined via an integrated diagnostic device (an optical coherence tomography) that precisely scans the eye within seconds.

Once the laser is precisely focused, the procedure begins.

Step 1:
Circular opening of the lens capsule (capsulotomy)

The procedural precision with the CATALYS® Laser helps enable surgeons to accurately position the intraocular lens after the natural lens has been removed.

Step 2:
Reduction of the lens nucleus to small pieces

The femtosecond laser splits the clouded lens into tiny cubes. This is performed using less and yet more focused energy in comparison to the traditional method – the phacoemulsification. The laser cataract procedure might help preserve the tissue requiring less ultrasound energy for the reduction of the natural lens into small parts. Thereafter, the fragments are aspirated using a conventional phaco machine.

Step 3:
Insertion of the artificial lens (intraocular lens)

Now, the lens can be inserted. The folded lens is inserted into the eye through the incision (cut) via a special injector. The lens unfolds in a controlled manner and the surgeon makes the last adjustment to its positioning.


Traditional cataract surgery vs. femtolaser-assisted cataract surgery

Precise incisions

In traditional cataract surgery, cuts (incisions) into the cornea are carried out manually. The opening of the anterior capsule is also performed manually
with a surgical instrument. The goal of these procedures is to make high-precision cornea incisions as circular as possible at the right place with the perfect size.
Using the CATALYS® System, the surgeon can perform cornea incisions to a high level of precision and accuracy. The pinpointed femtosecond
laser impulses help achieve the desired size, form and position even in case of a circular opening of the lens capsule.

Reduced ultrasound energy, hence more preserving

In traditional cataract surgery, the natural lens is liquefied and aspirated with the help of an ultrasound phaco handpiece. The laser can reduce the lens to tiny parts,
facilitating the task of removing the lens for the surgeon.