Cataract Surgery &
About Cataract Surgery
To restore vision loss from cataracts, during cataract surgery we remove cataract and replace it with a clear permanent lens implant (IOL) in order to correct your vision. Among seniors and “baby boomers,” cataract surgery is one of the safest, most effective, predictable and common operations performed the U.S with more than 2.5 million people having cataract surgery & lens implants each year. At Central Maryland Eye Associates our cataract surgeons perform the cataract operation and lens implant surgery on an outpatient basis at the HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center, Montgomery Surgery Center and Frederick Surgical Center each offering comfortable and convenient same-day surgery and an exceptional experience. Today, there are two methods we can use for cataract surgery.
Traditional Cataract Surgery
With traditional cataract surgery we manually make a small incision with a surgical steel or diamond blade. Then we remove the cataract by using an ultrasonic device to deliver phacoemulsification to break the cloudy lens into small pieces that we gently remove with from the eye with suction leaving the capsule of the lens in place. Traditional cataract surgery is usually covered by insurance less any co-pays, coinsurance or deductible.
Laser Cataract Surgery
With laser cataract surgery we use the LenSx® Femtosecond Laser to assist in making a precise, architecturally perfect incision as well as to soften the cloudy lens material so it is easily aspirated and gently removed with from the eye, again leaving the capsule of the lens in place. In some instances we can also correct small amounts of astigmatism with the laser to help you achieve your best vision correction. By using the high resolution imaging device coupled that with an advanced femtosecond laser we are able to deliver greater reproducibility, precision, safety and a gentler cataract surgery procedure. There is an additional cost for laser cataract surgery that is typically not covered by insurance.
The Cataract Surgery Procedure
To prepare for your cataract operation will begin with a few sets of drops being placed in your eye to dilate your pupil. Additionally, your eye will be treated with anesthetic drops to numb the surface of your eye so that you will feel little if any discomfort during your cataract surgery. In addition you may be given IV and/or oral medicines to help you relax if desired. Patients often ask us whether we prefer the use the laser for cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is technically complex and requires considerable surgical skill in order to perform the great number of manually delivered steps required. In fact, for many patients we do in fact recommend performing laser cataract surgery using the LenSx® Femtosecond Laser in order to provide exquisite reproducibility, precision, safety and a gentler cataract surgery procedure with a quick visual recovery. The entire procedure usually takes less than 20 minutes and is painless.
About Lens Implants
During your cataract exam and preoperative measurement visit, the your surgeon and the CMEA staff will discuss choosing a cataract lens implant to correct your vision and help you see clearly.
There are several types of lens implants (IOL) that we can use in order to provide you with the best results to match your lifestyle and activities after cataract surgery. These different types of lens implants include Monofocal Lens Implants which are the most basic type of lens implant and only correct distance vision and not arms’ length or close reading vision, Toric Lens Implants for those patients with astigmatism and Presbyopia Correcting Multifocal Lens Implants such as the AcrySof® IQ PanOptix™ Trifocal Lens Implant, and the AcrySof™ IQ Vivity™ Extended Vision Intraocular Lens which correct distance vision, as well as arms’ length vision and close reading vision for most patients. Drs. Gross & Nicholas may recommend multifocal cataract lens implants to correct vision at distance, arm’s length and up close so that you can reduce your dependence on glasses after cataract surgery. To help decide which type of cataract lens implant is right for you we take precise ocular measurements as part of the preoperative process. With these measurements, combined with your lifestyle needs we can discuss the best lens option for your surgery. We will take the time necessary to answer all of your questions so you can relax on the day of your surgery.
What Happens After Surgery?
It is recommended that you return home after your surgery and avoid any strenuous activity for the remainder of the day. You can watch TV, do some light reading, and eat whatever you feel up to. You should avoid any lifting and exposure to dirty or dusty environments. Do not drive for the remainder of the day. It is quite common for vision to be blurred on the day of surgery and to experience some mild scratchiness or irritation. Significant pain is unusual and warrants a call to our office. We will arrange to see you within 24 hours of your cataract & lens implant procedure so we can examine you in order to confirm that you are healing and seeing as planned. We will also prescribe some eye drops for you to use and may ask you to wear a protective shield, mainly at night, to remind you not to accidentally rub your eye. Although each patient will heal a little bit differently, the majority of patients having cataract surgery with Drs. Gross & Nicholas are able to see well enough to return to their routine daily activities within a day or so after their procedure. Our staff can further advise you on resuming activities at your 1 day postoperative appointment.