If you’ve been told that you have cataracts, you are not alone. Each year, nearly 2 million people undergo successful cataract surgery to restore clear vision. At Christenbury Eye Center, we are a pioneer in Customized Cataract Surgery, an advanced technology that makes the procedure safe and comfortable with a fast recovery time. Customized Cataract Surgery is also known as “micro-incision, no stitch, clear cornea” cataract surgery. Patients can have the surgery in the morning and be home watching TV that same afternoon. We now also offer In-Office Laser Cataract Surgery for qualifying candidates. This new procedure includes the latest in laser technology, the Catalys Precision Laser System, a safer, faster, more accurate laser that offers faster healing times with less risk of infection.
What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a change in the normally clear lens of the eye, causing it to become cloudy and making vision blurry. Without treatment, the cloudy area will become larger, with an eventual loss of vision. Cataracts can affect one or both eyes. Most of the time they occur as an unfortunate but normal part of aging. By age 80, more than half of all Americans will have had a cataract. Exposure to sunlight, diabetes, family history, injury to the eye and certain medications can increase your risk of developing cataracts, which are best treated by surgery. Laser therapy and medication are not effective options.
Cataracts usually form slowly and without any discomfort. Here are some of the most common symptoms:
How Are Cataracts Detected?
The doctor will exam the eye to make sure that other conditions are not the cause of your vision problem. If a diagnosis of a cataract is made and the cataract is interfering with your normal day-to-day activity, surgery will be recommended to remove it.
Benefits of Customized Cataract Surgery
There are many benefits to the advanced micro-incision, no-stitch, no-needle Customized Cataract Surgery at the Christenbury Eye Center. The procedure is safe and highly effective, with a quick recovery time and immediate improvement of vision without the need for an eye patch.
Topical anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye and eliminate any discomfort. The doctor then makes a microscopic incision in the eye using the Catalys™ Precision Laser System, our latest femtosecond laser. The older, damaged lens is removed using ultrasonic technology. The new lens is inserted through the same incision and quickly unfolds into place. Once the procedure is finished, no stitches are required because the incision is completely self-sealing. Patients have surgery in the morning and go home later that day.
Freedom from Glasses
Patients now have more than one option in the type of lens implant that is used during cataract surgery. While all of the lens implants are highly effective, for many people, the decision is based on lifestyle.
If you choose the new multifocal laser ReSTOR lens implant, you will most likely not need to wear glasses or contact lenses. The multifocal lens most closely resembles the youthful eye and can provide a full range of vision. That means you will be able to see clearly at all distances without corrective eyewear, even during close-up activities like reading or working on the computer.
The new laser ReSTOR lens is an upgrade from the traditional monofocal lens implant. The monofocal lens allows you to see clearly at one fixed distance in the mid-range. If you choose this type of lens, you will need to wear glasses or contact lenses after cataract surgery for close-up, middle or possibly distance vision.
What to Expect After Cataract Surgery
After your surgery, you will receive prescription eye drops to reduce any risk of infection and to help with healing. You may need to wear a clear plastic shield for a few days to prevent any damage to the eye. Within 24 hours of your surgery, the doctor will want to see you for a follow-up exam. Most people can resume normal activities, including watching TV and driving, the next day.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I have a cataract, do I have to undergo surgery?
Diet, medication and lasers are not effective in treating cataracts or restoring your vision. However, you do not need to have surgery unless the cataract is making it difficult to see clearly and interfering with your normal day-to-day activities.
Will I be admitted to a hospital for the surgery?
Depends. . . typically, Cataract Surgery is performed in the ambulatory surgical center that is conveniently located in the same building as the Christenbury Eye Center. For qualifying candidates, our In-Office Laser Cataract Surgery can be performed in our office on the same day as the initial consultation.
How soon will my vision improve?
You will notice an immediate improvement in your vision after the surgery. Most people can resume normal activities by the next day, including reading, watching TV and driving.
Does the surgery hurt?
No. Topical anesthetic eye drops will numb the eye and medication will help you relax. You will be awake during the surgery, but will not feel any discomfort.
Can the cataract come back?
No. The lens that has been damaged by the cataract is removed from the body. Sometimes, a “secondary cataract” or minor clouding of vision will occur with the new lens implant, but this can be easily remedied in the office with laser therapy.
Are there any risks to the surgery?
All surgical procedures have risks; however, cataract surgery has been successfully performed for more than two decades. Nearly 2 million people undergo this procedure every year. The new micro-incision, no-stitch, no-needle Customized Cataract Surgery makes the procedure even safer and more effective. On occasion, some people experience halos or glare after surgery, but this usually goes away. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of cataract surgery with you.
Do I have to wear glasses after surgery?
If you choose the monofocal lens implant, you will need glasses or contact lenses after surgery to see clearly at all distances, from close-up to far. The new laser ReSTOR lens was developed to give you a full range of vision without corrective eyewear. Your doctor will discuss the benefits of these new lenses with you.
Visit our page about the Catalys Precision Laser System to learn more about this new technology.