The State of Modern Cataract Surgery
Cataract Surgery: Phacoemulisification
Most people do not realize the serious advancements in cataract surgery over the last 20 years and we hope that by reading this website page about cataract surgery, you will become aware of decisions you may need to make as you undergo this process. The days are past where cataract surgery required a long hospital stay with your eyes all bandaged up for weeks while you recovered. What is done now our cataract surgery practice is a simple out-patient procedure that takes less than one hour and enables you to get back in the routine of normal activities within a few days. I am sure if you are just starting your research on cataract surgery this may seem overwhelming. If you keep reading you will gain vast insight involving cataract surgery technology, the lens implant decisions you will have to make and understanding the important care for after cataract surgery.
First of all do not be upset that you have cataracts. If anyone lives long enough they will eventually get cataracts. As previously mentioned a cataract occurs when your natural lens becomes opacified and too cloudy to see clearly through. Looking through a cataract is like looking through a foggy yellowish piece of wax paper.
The Cataract Surgery Process
Choosing a cataract surgeon can be difficult if you are not properly educated about cataracts and how this cataract is removed. Cataract surgery is the only way to remove a cataract and restore clear vision. Prior to undergoing cataract surgery it is highly suggested that you meet with your cataract surgeon to review several items related to your possible outcome.
- Make sure to have an official diagnosis of your cataract and that you will need cataract surgery with a intraocular lens implant.
- Discuss the type of intraocular implant that will best suit your needs. You can get monofocal or multifocal lens implants as well as toric lens implants that can correct astigmatism.
- Determine the surgical technology and whether you should have laser cataract surgery with a femtosecond laser.
Discussing these items ahead of time will ensure that proper decision are made with your cataract care.
What happens during cataract surgery?
During cataract surgery, the natural lens of your eye is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens called an intraocular lens implant. The surgical process involves a small incision phacoemulsification technique and why many eye doctors refer to this as micro-surgery. This means that the cataract surgery is performed using the smallest possible incision, and removal of the lens material is accomplished using an ultrasonic needle. Once the eye has been properly dilated, the eye is then prepared with a cleaning solution. Topical anesthetic is then administered to the surface of the eye. Next, under a microscope an incision of 3 millimeters in length is then created at the junction of the cornea (the clear structure on the front of the eye) and the sclera (the white part of the eye). Another dose of anesthetic is then administered inside the eye through this incision. The front part of the lens envelope, know as the lens capsule, is carefully opened so that the lens material can be removed. This is accomplished using a needle-like ultrasonic device, which pulverizes the hardened and yellowed lens proteins known as the cataract. The pulverized material is simultaneously vacuumed from the eye. Once the cataract material has been removed a foldable (IOL) intraocular lens is then inserted through the main incision and positioned into the lens capsule. The lens will remain inside your eye in this location without moving. Intraocular lenses cannot be felt or sensed in any way by the patient. Patients can now elect to have premium lens implants during the cataract surgery process that may enable vision without glasses after surgery. Please feel free to consult one of our physicians or staff members regarding this amazing new technology.
After cataract surgery What is recovery like after cataract surgery
Most patients are concerned about the cataract surgery recovery process. Recovery from cataract surgery is generally very quick. Most patients obtain better vision within the first 24 hours of the procedure. Itching and mild discomfort are normal after cataract surgery. Some fluid discharge is also common. Your eye may be sensitive to light and touch. If you have discomfort, your doctor can suggest treatment. After one or two days, any moderate discomfort should disappear. Complete visual recovery varies from patient to patient but most patients return to their every day activities within a day or two. If you have cataracts in both eyes, the second procedure will most likely be scheduled within a week or two. Your doctor will schedule exams to check on your progress. Each person heals differently so it is important to discuss the cataract surgery recovery with your eye doctor.
For a few days after surgery, your doctor may ask you to use eye drops to help healing and decrease the risk of infection. Ask your cataract eye doctor about how to use your eye drops, how often to use them, and what effects they can have. You will need to wear an eye shield or eyeglasses to help protect your eye. Avoid rubbing or pressing on your eye.
Serious complications are extremely rare but because it is a form of surgery, there are some potential risks involved. Our staff and cataract surgeons will provide you with additional information about the risks associated with cataract surgery and answer any of the questions you may have.