SouthEast Eye Specialists First In Area To Use Lasers For Cataract Surgery

Monday, September 23, 2013

SouthEast Eye Specialists announced Monday that it will be the first practice in the greater Chattanooga area to offer the LenSx femtosecond laser technology as an option for surgical removal of cataracts.   

With this new technology, surgeons can now capture an incredibly precise, high-resolution image of the eye and use a computer-guided laser to make customized incisions that are specifically tailored to the unique characteristics of the patient’s eye.  This advancement means surgeons can improve the accuracy and consistency of the procedure while providing patients with more predictable results and a faster healing time, officials said.

Prior to the introduction of the LenSx Laser, traditional cataract surgery was done by making several small incisions on the cornea with a handheld surgical blade.  With the LenSx Laser, surgeons will use a small beam of laser energy to make these small incisions in the cornea without the use of a manual surgical blade.  

In addition, the LenSx Laser features real-time video and imaging tools to give the surgeon an accurate, three dimensional visualization of what is occurring inside the eye. These visuals allow the surgeon to precisely program the size, shape and location of each incision based on the unique characteristics of the patient’s eye.  This level of precision and customization is not possible today with traditional cataract procedures that use a manual surgical blade, officials said.

“At SouthEast Eye Specialists, we are focused on providing the very best in patient care and investing in the latest innovations and proven technologies that help improve the post-surgical vision of our patients,” said Dr. John Bierly, of SouthEast Eye Specialists.  “With the LenSx Laser, I can now customize the cataract surgery based on the unique characteristics of the patient’s eye and significantly improve the precision of the most critical steps in cataract surgery.  This should translate into a more predictable outcome and quicker recovery time for our patients.” 

Alcon Laboratories Corp., based in Fort Worth, Texas, reports that the company just placed their 200th LenSx Lasers in the U.S. on Sept. 12, with only five of these lasers located in Tennessee.  SouthEast Eye Specialists is the first practice in the greater Chattanooga area to receive the new LenSx Laser because of their cataract experience and reputation as the region’s leading provider of specialty eye care. 

Local businessman Paul Vaughn was one of the first patients at SouthEast Eye Specialists to have cataract surgery using the LenSx Laser.  Mr. Vaughn said, “Over the years, I noticed my vision had gotten progressively worse and made it difficult to read documents with small print or enjoy the simplest things in life. When researching my options, it gave me great confidence to know that my surgeon had the very latest laser technology for my cataract surgery. In fact, I was amazed how quick, easy and painless the procedure was for me. More importantly, my vision is brighter, clearer and more colorful today, making it possible to recognize things from long distances as if they were right in front of me.”

Dr. Bierly continues, “This cutting-edge and highly innovative procedure represents one of the most significant advancements in how we treat cataracts. While the traditional cataract surgery is considered to be one of the safest and most successful procedures in medicine today, there has always been a risk of irregular incisions and imprecise results due to using a manual surgical blade. The LenSx Laser significantly reduces this margin of error and allows our doctors to develop a customized plan for removing the cataracts based on the specific needs of each patient.” 

For more information on cataract surgery and the LenSx Laser procedure, people are encouraged to ask their personal physician.  For more information on SouthEast Eye Specialists, please visit    

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