Our surgeons use the no-stitch, no patch, no-shot method of cataract removal. Following proper dilation of the pupil and preparation of the surgical area, a topical anesthetic is administered to the surface of the eye. A small incision is then created at the junction of the cornea (the clear domed structure on the front of the eye) and the sclera (the white part of the eye).
The front part of the lens envelope, the lens capsule, is carefully opened so that the lens material can be removed. An ultrasonic probe breaks up and removes the hardened and yellowed lens material. This process, known as phacoemulsification, is the most modern method of cataract removal.
Once the entire cataract has been removed, a folded intraocular lens (IOL) chosen by the surgeon for your individual needs is inserted through the original incision and centered in the lens capsule. The lens cannot be felt or sensed in any way by the patient.
Recovery from surgery is rapid, with most patients achieving noticeably better vision within the first 24 hours. Patients will use an antibiotic drop and a steroid drop several times daily for the first few weeks after surgery. Patients should refrain from eye rubbing during the first few weeks after surgery, and a clear patch will be worn over the eye during sleep for the first week.
Presbyopia is the loss of accommodation over time. Accommodation is the eye’s natural ability to bring near objects into focus. It is the reason reading glasses become necessary, typically in the mid-40s, even for people who have excellent unaided distance vision.
When the natural lens of the eye is removed in cataract surgery or in refractive lens exchange, the eye’s natural ability to accommodate is eliminated completely. Until recently, the IOL implanted during cataract surgery corrected only distance vision, so reading glasses were still required after surgery. Patients now have the option to have a multifocal lens implanted that can correct for both distance and other ranges, such as near or intermediate. There are some additional out of pocket costs to patients for this new refractive technology.
Some cataract patients experience cloudy vision months, or even years, after the cataract procedure. This condition is caused by a “film” that develops behind the intraocular lens. A YAG (Yttrium Aluminum Garnet) capsulotomy is performed to restore the refraction of light reaching the retina. It is a painless office procedure which takes just minutes to perform. There are no activity restrictions following the procedure.