A cataract is the general term given to the clouding or loss of clarity natural lens inside your eye. A cataract can develop in one or both eyes. The can be a result of aging, trauma, or related to certain diseases or medications. Once someone develops a cataract that interferes with their vision, and eyeglasses cannot satisfactorily improve the vision, the treatment option is surgical removal.
Cataract surgery is outpatient surgery and is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States. It has a very high success rate. The procedure is termed phacoemulsfication. Typically cataract surgery is performed under seadtion (you are awake and breathing on your own, but sleepy and often do not remember much of the procedure). The surgeon will make two tiny incisions into the eye and using ultrasound will break the cataract up into smaller pieces, thus making the cataract easily removable through the tiny incisions. Often, no stiches are necessary. Surgery is performed as outpatient surgery but someone needs to accompany you home from surgery because of the sedation.
Preliminary usage of lasers to perform a portion of the surgery are being explored. Currently laser surgery only being used to make and incision into the eye and to make initial incision into the cataract. The remainder of the surgery is performed by the surgeon in the traditional manner. Currently, our physicians are waiting for long-term data, to determine the safety and utility of laser-assisted cataract surgery to be published before performing routinely.
An intraocular lens is a lens implant that is inserted into the eye after removal of the cataract where it remains permanently. A lens has to be implanted after cataract removal as it provides focusing power of the eye. The strength of the implant is determined by testing taken prior to surgery. Even after a lens is implanted into the eye, it may be necessary to wear regular eyeglasses after surgery.
Toric & Multifocal Intraocular Lenses
As technology continues to evolve, lens implants choices have evolved as well. The commonly utilized lenses are toric or astigmatism correcting lenses and multi-focal lenses. A multi-focal lens is one that allows for ranges of near, middle, and distance vision. There are a variety multi-focal lenses that our surgeons have experience implanting.
There is an additional cost to the astigmatism correcting and multifocal lenses and surgical procedure cost. Medicare beneficiaries are now able to choose these lenses but are responsible for the extra cost of the lens.
Not everyone is a candidate, nor needs a toric or multifocal IOL, and a discussion regarding the best implant choice for your eye and lifestyle will be held between you and your surgeon.
Contact our office to learn more about Cataract Surgery or to make an appointment.