There are 2 options that she is probably referring to: Laser surgery or Tenectomy. Here's some info taken from this site: The Humane Society
Although new techniques for declawing cats, such as laser surgery and tenectomy, may lessen the pain that typically follows declawing, the surgery is still considered an unnecessary procedure for the majority of cats.
During laser surgery, a small, intense beam of light is used to cut through tissue by heating and vaporizing it, meaning there's less bleeding, less pain, and a shorter recovery time. But the surgical technique itself is similar to the traditional method (or "onychectomy"), with the laser simply replacing a steel scalpel blade. So the use of a laser is no substitute for a well-trained veterinarian with plenty of surgical experience. Moreover, the price of laser machinery ranges from $25,000 to $30,000, a prohibitive cost for most veterinary hospitals.
Another technique, known as a "tenectomy" (or tendonectomy), is becoming increasingly common. Rather than amputate the cat's claw, the surgeon removes a piece of the tendon that controls the cat's ability to flex and extend his claws. After surgery, the cat's claws are intact, but remain permanently extended. More than half of the cats who undergo this procedure can still use their claws to some extent, but cannot scratch normally. Because the cat can't sharpen his claws, the claws quickly become rough, grow excessively, and must then be trimmed on a regular basis. A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association ("Comparison of effects of elective tenectomy or onychectomy in cats," Vol. 213, No. 3, August 1, 1998) found that, 24 hours after the procedure, cats who had undergone a tenectomy felt significantly less pain than did those who underwent an onychectomy. However, no long-term study of the tenectomy procedure has yet been published, and many veterinarians are concerned that cats subject to the operation may be prone to scarring, gnarling, and atrophy of the toes.
Hope this helps!