Here is some general information
about our Cataract Procedures.
What are Cataracts and the Symptoms?
If you are having trouble with night driving, glare from headlights, golf, reading, watching TV or any of the things you like to do and feel your lifestyle has been impaired due to these issues, you may be experiencing the early stages of developing cataracts. The natural lens inside the eye is normally transparent and a cataract is the clouding of this natural lens. Glasses or contact lenses cannot sharpen your vision if a cataract is present.
Cataracts are a normal part of the aging process. Most people will develop cataracts if they live long enough. There is no medical treatment to reverse or prevent the development of cataracts. Once they form, the only way to see clearly again is to have them removed and replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL). In general, when your vision starts to interfere with your daily activities and lifestyle, it is time to think about having cataract surgery. Cataracts will typically not damage the eye while growing, so you can decide when the time is right for you to have cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery is a very successful operation. Three million people have this procedure every year and greater than 95% have a successful result. As with any surgical procedure, complications can occur during or after surgery and some are severe enough to limit vision. But in most cases, vision, as well as the quality of life, improves.
IOLs are soft, foldable lenses that are inserted into the eye to replace the natural lens that developed the cataract. These lenses are also viable options for some patients who have not yet developed cataracts but want to reduce or eliminate their need for glasses with a procedure known as Refractive Lens Exchange or RLE. Cataract surgery and Refractive Lens Exchange are identical procedures. The only difference is that with RLE, the lens is still mostly clear. Made of plastic or silicone materials, IOLs come with monofocal, multifocal, extended depth of focus or accommodating optics.
Monofocal IOLs provide a single zone of clear focus and are usually implanted to provide excellent distance vision. Patients with monofocal IOLs will typically require the use of reading glasses for near vision tasks, such as reading or sewing.
Multifocal, extended depth of focus and accommodating IOLs (Advanced IOLs) are designed to provide a fuller range of vision with minimal, if any, need for glasses or contact lenses.
The lens that is right for you will depend on your ocular health, your occupational needs and your lifestyle. It is important that you consider your options thoroughly as you only have cataract surgery one time in your life, and the decision you make will affect how you see for the rest of your life.
Cataract Surgery is the removal of the natural lens of the eye (also called “crystalline lens”) that has developed an opacification, which is referred to as a cataract. Following surgical removal of the natural lens, an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) implant is permanently inserted (eye surgeons say that the lens is “implanted”).
The surgical method most commonly used to remove cataracts in the United States is called Phacoemulsification (phaco). In phaco, the surgeon uses an ultrasonic needle to break up and liquefy (emulsify) the cataract so it can be removed through a very small incision. Earlier cataract surgery methods removed the lens in one piece. This required a larger incision and meant a longer healing time for patients. Breaking the lens up and removing it in sections allows surgeons to reduce the incision size significantly (from one-half inch to one-eighth of an inch) and allows patients to resume normal activities quickly.
Phacoemulsification with a small handpiece allows the creation of a very small wound
Just as a camera cannot take a clear picture without a lens, the human eye cannot see clearly without a lens. Therefore, after the natural lens is removed, a foldable intraocular lens (IOL) implant is placed permanently inside the eye to help focus light onto the retina, or the “film” of the eye, to allow a much clearer image than without a lens implant. Unlike contact lenses, which must be removed, cleaned, and reinserted, the IOL remains in the eye after surgery. IOL implants have been used for almost 30 years and are very safe and effective.
Among the most worrisome complications following cataract surgery are infection (endophthalmitis) and retinal detachment. Fortunately, these complications are rare. Vision returns quickly following cataract surgery and one can resume normal activities within a short period of time.
LenSx Cataract Surgery
Laser Cataract Surgery only takes fifteen to twenty minutes, although plan on two to three hours for the entire process on the surgery day. In addition to using the LenSx femtosecond laser to accomplish many of the surgical steps that were traditionally performed by hand, we offer the best and latest innovations in cataract surgery, such as no-stitch, micro-invasive surgery. The precise, reproducible steps performed by the laser means more precision, less ultrasound trauma to the eye and more predictable visual results, which are especially important with Advanced IOLs.
The laser makes incisions in both the cornea and the front portion of the lens capsule, creating an opening called a capsulotomy. Studies have shown that less than 10% of manual capsulorhexes, which are made with a bent needle or forceps, have been able to achieve the same accuracy that is produced with Laser Cataract Surgery.
To remove the cataract, the lens must be divided into manageable sections. This critical step is also performed by the laser, which causes less stress to the delicate fibers surrounding the capsular membrane that hold the lens in place.