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Cataract Surgery at St. Lucy’s Eye Surgery Center

Cataract Surgery is typically done under sedation with a local anesthetic. A tiny incision allows for removal of the lens and delivery of the new lens. Measurements of the eye before surgery allow for accurate lens power choices and this accuracy may be Enhanced by repeating the measurements during surgery after the cataract has been removed. (ORA – Laser Guided Enhanced Cataract Surgery)

A lens implant may be monofocal or multifocal (premium). Monofocal lenses may be set for distance or near vision at the request of the patient. Multifocal lenses allow for a combination of distance and near vision to reduce the eventual need for glasses.

The principal goal of Cataract surgery is to improve the quality of vision. Today with modern technology, the goal has been extended to reduce the need for corrective lenses (glasses/contacts).

At Community Eye Center, we offer three choices for our cataract patients. The choices are based on the amount of corrective lens freedom a person is hoping to achieve.

Our Standard/Basic packages include standard, pre-operative measurements and placement of a single focal lens implant. Every effort is made to provide for accurate lens measurements and a new eyeglass prescription is provided post-operatively. This package is the most cost effective.

ORA-laser guided wavefront

Enhanced Cataract Surgery expands the standard approach by using measurements during surgery (ORA-laser guided wavefront) to fine turn the lens implant power, manage astigmatism and reduce the need for glasses after surgery. A monofocal implant is used and the target set for distance or near (monovision option).

Premium IOL ReSTOR CrystallensPremium Enhanced Cataract Surgery expands the enhanced approach with the use of a multifocal premimum lens implant (ReSTOR or Crystalens). The lens chosen is based on the visual goals of the patient.

ReSTOR: Best near (close reading) good distance, possible halos at night.

Crystalens: best mid-range (computer, may require 1.50 readers for close) Excellent distance, unlikely halos at night

Cataract Surgery is permanent. Our goal is to provide a detailed education to our patients to facilitate a surgical choice that will provide long term visual satisfaction.

A Cataract is a deficiency in the lens of the eye to focus. Most symptoms begin around age 42 as the onset of Presbyopia (loss of near vision when corrected for distance). A Cataract may progress for decades before treatment is considered as glasses may correct for the focusing difficulties.

Eventually, all of us will see a loss of focusing ability that glasses do not adequately correct. Cataract surgery is a removal of the deficient lens and replacement (lens implant or intraocular lens) with a man made lens.

Laser Cataract Surgery

There are a multitude of advertisements today regarding the use of lasers in eye surgery. LASIK, for instance, uses an excimer laser to reshape the front of the cornea to reduce a younger persons need for corrective lenses. YAG lasers are used routinely to eliminate a cloudy membrane that develops commonly after cataract surgery.

Dr. Schaible and Dr. Spadafora did research with a form of YAG laser in human cataract surgery a decade ago for the FDA. They found the technology interesting, but cumbersome and costly. Femtosecond laser (very fast) is now FDA approved for use in humans to facilitate incision creation. Medicare declined to cover the technology because it does not improve safety or efficiency of the procedure, therefore cost of this technology is shouldered by the patient. Laser Cataract Surgery is being treated as “bladeless” which is very misleading for patients as a blade is still used to finish the incision and the rest of the surgery is the same as it always has been.

At Community Eye Center/St. Lucy’s Eye Surgery Center, we routinely use lasers during cataract surgery to improve the accuracy of lens power selection for implantation to reduce a patient’s need for glasses. Traditionally, all measurements for cataract surgery were done preoperatively, while the cataract is still in the eye. With ORA guided (laser) lens selection, the measurements are double and triple checked in the middle of the procedure after the cataract has been removed for greater accuracy. Multitudes of studies have clearly shown this to be a more precise way to select a lens implant power to neutralize the prescription, manage astigmatism and provide patients a greater ability to focus naturally without glasses.

Cataract symptom progression:

Gradually, as cataracts progress, you may have symptoms such as:

  • Painless cloudy, blurry or dim vision
  • More difficulty seeing at night or in low light
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Faded or yellowed colors
  • The need for brighter light for reading and other activities
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions
  • Double vision within one eye