Cataract Surgery

 What is a Cataract?

The eye, like the camera, has a lens to focus for sharp images. Vision is good when the lens of the eye is clear and focuses light on a healthy retina at the back of the eye. When the lens becomes cloudy and discolored, it is referred to as a cataract. A cataract is not a "growth" or a film over the eye, nor does it grow back after removal.
How Do Cataracts Develop?
The normal aging process is the most common cause of cataracts, but this may start at any age. Cataracts may follow an injury or inflammation of the eye. Most cataracts become more clouded over time; some quite rapidly over a period of months, others slowly over years. Diabetes seems to cause earlier and more rapid cataract development.

Can Cataracts Be Prevented?
Research has not yet discovered a proven way to prevent cataracts. It is believed that excessive exposure to bright light and poor diet or alcoholism may accelerate cataract development. Protecting your eyes with proper sunglasses and attention to good nutrition would be reasonable precautions.

What Are the Symptoms of Cataract?
  • Blurred, fuzzy or hazy vision
  • Feeling of "film"-like looking through a veil or cobweb
  • Glare halos, or tails around headlights at night
  • Poor vision when looking toward a brighter scene, especially at dusk
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions
  • Worsening depth perception

These symptoms could also be associated with other eye disease and indicate need for eye exam.

The Good News

Fortunately, the poor vision caused by a cataract is easily corrected. Modern cataract surgery has a high rate of success. Over 98% of patients achieve good vision after surgery, assuming the eye is free from other disease.

When Should Cataracts Be Removed?
A cataract should be removed when blurred vision interferes with activities that are normal to your lifestyle. You don't have to wait until both eyes are so blurred that reading and driving become difficult. Cataracts can be removed at any stage. Removal does not have to be delayed until they are extremely dense or "ripe". Waiting too long can create other problems of the eye, such as glaucoma.

If you need to remove cataracts from both eyes, it is usually advisable to wait a week or longer after the removal of the cataract from one eye, before an operation is performed for the second eye.

How Are Cataracts Removed?
The cloudy cataract lens is removed with the brief and painless new "phacoemulsification" method developed to ensure the highest degree of success and safety. You may understand this method by thinking of the cataract lens as a piece of M&M candy. The chocolate (cloudy cataract) inside is removed by suction, leaving part of the clear outer shell (capsule). The remaining capsule stabilizes the eye and supports the implant in its most natural position. Since modern intravenous agents are used with long-lasting local anesthetic, you will be comfortable and relaxed before, during , and after the surgery. No injections, stitches, or eye pads are usually needed.

Why a Lens Implant?
A highly developed tiny plastic lens is implanted permanently, in the same place as the natural lens to restore the eye's focus. Ultrasound measurement of your eye is made in our office before surgery to determine the power of the implant lens for best vision.

Regular eyeglasses can be used for fine details, but there is no need for thick cataract glasses or contact lenses. 

How Are Lasers Used?

Lasers are special light beams that can be focused through a microscope onto a small spot inside the eye. At least 25% of those who have had cataract surgery will later develop a cloudy capsule membrane which blurs vision. With one easy treatment, our YAG LASER provides an instant, safe and painless cure and restores clear vision.

Secondary Lens Implants
Currently, the lens implant is inserted at the time of cataract surgery, but a lens implant can even be implanted in an eye that has had cataract surgery in the past. This eliminates the need for contact lenses or cataract glasses. Surgical risks are similar to those in cataract surgery. A special multifocal implant can also be used to reduce the need for glasses.

What Are the Risks?
Implant surgery has been thoroughly investigated by the FDA and found to be a safe and effective procedure. Although more than 98% of my patients achieve improved vision after implant surgery, we take every precaution to guard against the 2% chance of problems which could include hemorrhage, swelling or separation of the retina, glaucoma, corneal clouding, or infection. Most of these problems are treatable, or they resolve themselves spontaneously. Some may require further surgery. "Rejection" of the modern lens implant is rare.

How Soon Can I See After Surgery?
If the lens implant is used, you will see right after surgery with progressive improvement over several days. Glasses will usually be prescribed after two to three weeks.

When Can I Return to My Usual Activities?
Normally, you can resume your usual non-strenuous activities the following day. Care of your eye is quite easy requiring the regular use of eyedrops until healed. We are happy to discuss questions on specific activities with you.

Outpatient Eye Surgery Is Here!

Gone is the need for hospitalization with cataract and implant surgery. Now you can have these procedures done in the surgical suite in our office complex - and to be home in about two hours.

This facility has been planned, inspected and certified according to State and Federal guidelines to make it uniquely designed for eye surgery. The most modern equipment has been installed and our staff is specially trained for the care of eye patients.

Experience of thousands of cases prove outpatient eye surgery is safe, and patients enjoy the pleasant, comfortable surroundings.

Post-operative recovery is generally smoother when the patient can return to his/her home within a few hours of the surgery.

What is the Cost of Cataract Surgery?
Costs have been greatly reduced, making cataract surgery very affordable. Medicare and other insurances regularly cover outpatient surgery services. We will complete all insurance forms for you. Financial assistance is available for those with financial hardship.

Cataracts need no longer be feared. Clear, natural restored sight is now possible for everyone whose vision has been blurred by cataracts. The restoration of vision is our highest priority. We are committed to the concept that no one, regardless of age or financial considerations, should be denied the opportunity to see well.