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Refractive Cataract Surgery

Refractive Cataract Surgery

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. When we are young, the natural lens acts like the zoom function in a camera, allowing us to focus up close, without the need for reading glasses or bifocals. As we age, the lens progressively becomes dysfunctional resulting in loss of near vision (presbyopia) that requires the use of reading glasses or bifocals. With aging the natural lens progressively becomes hard, yellow and cloudy, which blocks and scatters light causing blurred vision including unusual glare, poor night vision and a change in how your eyes perceive colors.

To restore vision that has been lost or impaired by a cataract, the cloudy lens must be removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens implant.

Who is a Candidate for Refractive Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is recommended when your vision begins to affect your quality of life or interfere with your ability to perform daily activities. Some signs of cataract include:

  • Clouded, blurred, or dim vision
  • Increasing difficulty with vision at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Halos around lights
  • The need for brighter light for reading and other activities
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Fading or yellowing of colors
  • Double vision in single eye

Traditional cataract surgery uses a standard, inexpensive, monofocal IOL implant that has no ability to provide vision at more than one distance. Patients who select a standard monofocal IOL still need to wear corrective lenses (bifocals) for most activities like driving and reading. Premium IOLs are available that allow you to see both distance and near.

What to Expect on the Day of the Procedure

Cataract surgery is an outpatient experience. It usually takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

Topical or local anesthesia is used with a mild sedative to prepare you for surgery.

The surgery is not painful. Patients may note a pressure sensation and a “light show” during the procedure.

The natural lens is broken up using ultrasound into minute particles and removed from the eye.

Most of the time, no sutures are needed as the incision is small and usually self-seals.

Surgery is done one eye at a time, but the fellow eye may be scheduled as early as 1-2 weeks later.

Post-Operative Care and Recovery

There are minimal restrictions, even immediately after surgery. You will be using antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops for a few weeks to aid in the healing process. Standard post-op visits are 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 1 year.

Patients are required to have a driver take them home after surgery and drive them to their one day post-op visit. Patients can usually return to work after the first post-op visit.The following morning we will see you for a quick one day, post-operative visit with our team of doctors, and review any questions you may have.