We recently spoke with Dr. Jeff Wentzloff, a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in cataract surgery at Grand Traverse Ophthalmology Clinic (GTOC) in Traverse City, about some of the positive outcomes of using the femtosecond laser.

The femtosecond laser is the newest technology in cataract surgery with many benefits for the surgeon and patient. The laser allows the surgeon to make more precise incisions than are possible with manual techniques. It also forms a custom 3D map inside the eye, which means the surgeon can create a treatment plan tailored to the patient’s exact eye. The surgeon can use the laser to soften the hard cataract, allowing for gentler removal. And perhaps best of all, pairing femtosecond laser technology with the correct lens implant can eliminate the need for glasses after the surgery.

How does cataract surgery performed with the femtosecond laser help achieve better vision post-surgery?

Cataract surgery with femtosecond laser can eliminate the need for glasses. This is accomplished by laser reshaping of the cornea to correct for astigmatism. The laser allows the cataract surgeon to incorporate as much of the glasses prescription into the eye as possible.

What are some of the biggest reasons patients elect to have their cataract surgery performed with the advanced technology of the femtosecond laser?

Patients are interested in the best possible vision after cataract surgery with the least amount of need for glasses. People recognize the benefit of not needing glasses especially for activities like biking, swimming, and skiing. Patients also like the ability to wear non-prescription sunglasses when spending time outdoors or when driving. People choose femtosecond laser for these reasons even though it is not a covered benefit by Medicare or other insurance plans.

What feedback do you have from patients?

I am particularly impressed with the people who come back to see me years after surgery and still thank me for how well they are seeing. The results are long lasting.

Is femtosecond laser surgery available at all three Grand Traverse Ophthalmology Clinic locations (Traverse City, Petoskey and Sault Ste. Marie)?

Patients in all three GTOC locations have the option of femtosecond laser. The laser machine is located at Copper Ridge Surgery Center in Traverse City so the procedure itself is done at this location. All pre- and post-operative office visits may be done in any of our office locations.

What excites the team at GTOC the most about the femtosecond laser being a part of the available technology at the clinic?

We at GTOC are proud to be able to offer the latest and greatest technology to our patients. This is the same level of excellent care that is offered in large cities and teaching institutions, and we have the ability to offer it to our patients in Northern Michigan. Better vision and reduced dependency on glasses make for a better quality of life for our patients, and nothing excites us more at GTOC than being able to help others reach their full potential.

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Northern Michigan Medical & Health

Photo(s) by GTOC