Researchers have found a way to make cataract surgery less complicated. They have found a new laser that could help break up the damaged lenses before taking them out and replacing artificial ones.

"The results were much better in a number of ways - increasing safety, improving precision and reproducibility, and standardizing the procedure," said ophthalmologist Daniel Palanker of Stanford University in California, who led the study.

"This new approach could make this procedure less dependent on surgical skill and allow for greater consistency," Palanker, whose study was reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine, said in a statement.

Palanker noted that the laser device can be used to break up the lens very quickly, aiding lens replacement.

The surgical procedure was tested in 50 patients and found to be safe.

"This will undoubtedly affect millions of people, as cataracts are so common," he said. However, it will cost a lot more than the conventional cataract surgery. The laser device is not yet available in the U.S. as it requires FDA approval.

"But there will be people who elect to have it done the new way if they can afford it. There are competitors coming out with related systems," Palanker said.