The cataract surgeons at Southwestern Eye Center are very pleased to bring you the latest advancement in cataract surgery. Nowadays, the removal of cataracts in the eye is a much safer procedure than the days of long hospitalizations. In the past cataracts were removed through an incision over a half-inch long. Modern cataract surgery is performed through an incision less than an eighth of an inch long. A small instrument is inserted through this tiny incision, and is used to break the cataract into many small pieces that are removed without the need for a large incision. There are many advantages to a smaller incision, including a faster recovery time, less need for glasses after surgery, and a smaller risk of infections after surgery. In addition, while the old incisions required many stitches to close up, modern cataract surgery can often be performed without any stitches, or with one stitch at most.
After the proper anesthesia and numbing of the eye your cataract surgeon will place a small incision in your eye about 3mm wide. Modern day cataract surgery is also called micro-surgery because the incision sizes have become so small. Once the incision is made the cataract surgeon will insert a probe to break up the cloudy cataract and then remove the material. A suction tube will remove all of the loose debris and the capsular bag is prepared for the artificial IOL implant. The foldable IOL is then inserted through a tube and then unfolds once in place. Intraocular lenses will have haptics and “lens arms” to hold it in place. With the cataract removed and the IOL in place, light can once again travel unimpeded to the back of the eye and focus on the retina where the image is interpreted and transmitted to the brain. The end result is clear youthful vision.
During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens of your eye is removed and replaced with a clear lens implant. As mentioned earlier you will need to discuss what type of lens implant that you want for determining your vision after surgery. Patients now have an option of monofocal lens implants for seeing at one distance only or multifocal (also called premium lens implants) that enables vision at near, far, and intermediate distances. Our cataract eye doctors will help you determine what lens implant type would be best for your vision. Some of the premium lens implants offered include: The Acrysof Restor, The Tecnis Multifocal IOL and the Acrysof Restor Toric lens implant. Please feel free to visit our premium lens implants page for more information.
Results can vary but most people have excellent results. Within the first day of cataract surgery it is very important not to rub or press on your eye. It is common that you will have some itching, tearing, and mild discomfort.
1. It is normal to feel head grog from the local anesthesia after cataract surgery. The effects will wear off relatively quickly but do not be alarmed.
2. Our eye doctors are going to take precautions to prevent infection so they will place anti-inflammatory drops to minimize swelling.
3. As previously mentioned avoid bumping or touching your eye after cataract surgery.
4. You may see some initial glare and haloes after cataract surgery but this should go away over time.
5. You are not allowed to drive so be sure to have someone in place to take care of you. Make sure you get all of your prescriptions filled so you do not have to suddenly have to leave your home.
6. Our practice will provide you with instructions for the prescription medications.
Southwestern Eye Center has 22 locations throughout Arizona and two in New Mexico, conveniently located to make your cataract surgery experience easy!
If you are seeking cataract surgery give us a call to discuss getting started. Most patients say that this is a life changing experience.
As we age, the natural lens in the eye becomes less flexible, diminishing the eye’s ability to switch its focus from one focal plane to another, a condition called presbyopia. Aging eyes may also develop cataracts, causing the lens to become cloudy or dark. The only method of correcting an established and progressing cataract is to undergo cataract surgery.
Once you have made the decision to undergo cataract surgery with your eye doctor you will have a series of decisions to make related to the type of artificial lens implant you will have. Up until recently everyone who had cataract surgery received a monofocal lens implant. This lens enabled for vision of one distance, typically distances far away. With new innovations a better lens is now available. These lenses are referred to as premium lenses and come in various formats or types.
In order to help cataract patients achieve better outcomes after cataract surgery and reclaim their ability to see we offer varying advanced technologies. If you would like to see at multiple distances including far, intermediate and close ranges, we offer three advanced lens technologies – Tecnis, ReSTOR®, and AcrySof® Toric. Each of these implantable lenses uses a slightly different optical design to help you achieve your goal of clear vision at all distances.
Multifocal IOL Lens Implants enable patients to see at near far and intermediate distances after surgery. The 2 major brand names in this category are the The AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL by Alcon and the Tecnis® by AMO. (Recently acquired by Abbott). With a multifocal IOL the central portion of the lens has a series of steps that are carved in a very precise arrangement with varying step heights and distances between steps. Each step of this diffractive optic bends the incoming light differently; creating a near focus that is quite separated from the distance focus formed by the remaining refractive portion of the lens. This large separation between the two images allows for less artifacts or distortion in either of the images, providing good quality vision at both distance and near.
Toric Lens Implants are a unique type of lens implant that are used to correct astigmatism. A toric lens implant is NOT the only method of astigmatism correction so consult a doctor about the current possibilities. Asymmetric steepening of the cornea or natural lens causes light to be focused unevenly, which is the main optical problem in astigmatism. To individuals with uncorrected astigmatism, images may look blurry or shadowed. Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error and is very common. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions, laser vision correction, and special implant lenses. If a cataract patient has astigmatism and has aspirations to be glasses free after surgery the Toric Lens Implant is a good option. Toric Lens Implants are NOT a correction option for presbyopia. The ACRYSOF® Toric Lens Implant is a popular choice for this type of lens.
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