Cataract Eye Surgery

What is cataract eye surgery?

Cataract eye surgery is a surgery that removes and replaces a cataract, the clouding of the natural lens inside your eye that can occur with age or other conditions. Cataracts blur the vision and may cause trouble with night vision, glare and halos and general progressive trouble with seeing to read and perform normal daily activities.

The only treatment available for cataracts is surgery. There are no medications or eye drops to prevent or reverse cataracts. Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure performed in the US. The modern way of performing cataract surgery is called “phacoemulsification”, which requires only a microscopic incision to remove the cataract using ultrasonic energy. After the cataract is removed, a new artificial lens implant is inserted into the eye. Cataract surgery is a short, outpatient procedure performed at a surgery center. Patients are typically awake during the procedure, however, there will be an anesthesiologist present to give medicine to keep the patient comfortable the whole time.

What to expect

Prior to cataract surgery, patients will have a consultation with their doctor. The consultation, which may take up to 2 hours, involves many measurements and dilation of the pupils. At the time of the consultation, the doctor will answer all your questions about cataract surgery. Some of the options you may discuss with your doctor can be found below. Patients are expected to take eye drops starting a few days before the procedure and about a month following the procedure. There certain restrictions following the procedure, which will be reviewed at the time of consultation. The surgery is performed one eye at a time, with about 2 weeks between each eye.

Options

Most insurance covers standard cataract surgery with a standard or “monofocal” lens implant. There is an option to have femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery, which is the newest, state-of-the-art type of cataract surgery. The laser replaces many of steps of the surgery that would otherwise be manually performed by hand. This is not covered by insurance. If you are a candidate for laser-assisted cataract surgery, your doctor will provide more details at time of your consultation.

Patients also have the option to upgrade their lens implant to decrease their dependency on glasses after the surgery.

Toric:

Toric lenses correct astigmatism to improve quality of vision in one distance. Patients will still require reading glasses after surgery.

Extended Depth of Focus:

These lenses correct distance and intermediate or computer vision, decreasing dependency on glasses. Patients may still require a light pair of reading glasses.

Multifocal:

These lenses correct distance and reading vision. The intermediate distance may still require a light pair of glasses.

Please contact us today to schedule your next examination with Dr. Salinger.