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  • Writer's pictureAtanas Bogoev M.D. and Maria Cholakova

Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery (FLACS)

Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS) represents a significant advancement in cataract treatment. It combines the precision of laser technology with traditional surgical techniques. The innovative approach enhances the accuracy and outcomes of cataract surgery, offering patients a state-of-the-art option for restoring clear vision.

FLACS Procedure Overview

Here is how the femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery goes, step by step:

  1. Preoperative imaging: Advanced imaging technology creates a map of your eye, helping to plan the surgery with precision.

  2. Laser incisions: The femtosecond laser makes precise, bladeless incisions in the cornea. This step can also include creating a perfectly round opening in the lens capsule (capsulotomy) and breaking up the cataract into smaller pieces.

  3. Lens capsule incision: The laser makes a precise circular opening in the lens capsule that surrounds the cataract.

  4. Lens fragmentation: The laser pre-softens the cataract, which can make the removal process gentler and more efficient.

  5. Phacoemulsification: The softened lens fragments are removed using an ultrasound probe, similar to traditional phacoemulsification.

  6. Insertion of intraocular lens: The eye doctor implants an artificial lens (IOL), restoring vision.

  7. Self-sealing incision: The small, precise incisions typically self-seal, reducing the need for stitches.

Advantages of FLACS

  • Enhanced precision

  • Better visual outcomes

  • Customization

  • Gentle on the eye

  • Fast recovery

Laser technology provides accurate incisions and opening of the lens capsule for better surgical outcomes. The procedure can be tailored to the individual eye, improving the accuracy of IOL placement and vision correction. Pre-softening the cataract with FLACS potentially lowers the risk of complications.

Disadvantages of FLACS

  • Cost

  • Availability

  • Learning curve

FLACS is more expensive than traditional cataract surgery due to the technology it utilizes. In terms of availability, not all surgical centers are equipped with femtosecond laser systems, limiting access in some areas. Eye surgeons need special training to use the laser.

Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery Indications

FLACS is suitable for the majority of patients with cataracts, for example, those who:

  • Seek the latest advancements in cataract surgery

  • Have specific eye conditions that benefit from enhanced precision

  • Want faster recovery and better visual outcomes

Risks and Complications

While FLACS is highly advanced, there are some potential risks, including:

  • Minimal risk of infection (endophthalmitis)

  • Temporary increase in intraocular pressure

  • Retinal detachment (rare)

  • Lens dislocation


Femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery represents a cutting-edge approach to cataract treatment. FLACS is an excellent option for patients looking for the latest tech advancements in eye surgery. Consult with your eye doctor if FLACS is the right choice for your cataract treatment.

FLACS femtosecond laser patient


Checked by Atanas Bogoev, MD.

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