I was spending a typical Tuesday in the OR today. As I made my way from one cataract surgery to the next I had to stop myself, take a step back, and appreciate what we were doing. For years cataract surgery has been one of my favorite procedures as a surgeon. It involves precise, meticulous incisions. There is little room for error. Everything is done under the microscope, providing an unparalleled view of the inside of the eye. As you begin to remove the cloudy lens you can see your progress and you know exactly how much removing the haze is going to help the patient the next day. But for my second case I got to use our new Lensar femtosecond laser. Here, a computer driven laser makes the corneal incisions and then places a perfect circular cut in the lens’ capsule. It divides the cloudy lens into four exact pieces. It finishes with curved incisions 90% of the depth of the cornea to remove astigmatism. Not about 90%. Not close to 90%. Exactly 90% and exactly the right curve and exactly the right centration. I have trained for 15 years to be the best cataract surgeon I could be. I have used steel blades and diamond blades in numerous designs. But even on my best day I can’t be as perfect as this laser. There are moments in life when you suddenly realize how shocking, how amazing technology can be. This was one of them. I looked down at the eye that had been treated by a machine and realized that its incisions were beyond good or precise, they were perfect. A part of me, the prideful human part, was a bit sad at this. Like watching a supercomputer beat a human chess master. But the doctor in me, the surgeon, smiled. This was better. This would be better for my patients. This would be better for their vision and recoveries. This was progress.