What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a normal part of the aging process in which the natural lens in your eye becomes cloudy. Things can look blurry, hazy, and less colorful with a cataract. Other symptoms of cataracts include light and glare sensitivity, halos around lights or double vision. A cataract can progress until your vision loss becomes significant enough to affect your daily activities such as driving, watching TV, or reading. Fortunately, cataract surgery by one of our cataract specialists can restore this lost vision.
We are pleased to offer you the latest advancements in cataract surgery including laser-assisted cataract surgery, toric implants to correct astigmatism and multifocal implants to help you see clearly at all distances. Our doctors will make recommendations based on your overall eye health and your visual goals to make sure you are happy with your vision after surgery.
Dr. Santora and Dr. Stein perform over 1,000 cataract surgeries per year. We are proud to offer our patients the most up to date technology including laser assisted cataract surgery, astigmatism correcting lenses and multifocal lenses. We take great pride in educating our surgical patients on their options. By getting to know you and listening to your goals, we are able to make a lens recommendation that is tailored specifically for you. You can rest assured that our compassionate physicians and staff will do everything to ensure that you have a great outcome.
What is involved in Cataract Surgery?
Because cataracts grow inside your natural lens, the only way to get rid of them is to remove the lens. Cataract surgery removes and replaces your natural lenses with an intraocular lens (IOL).
Before the procedure, your eye will be numbed with eye drops. You may also be given a medicine to help you relax. You will be awake during surgery, and you may see light and movement during the procedure, but you will not see what the doctor is doing to your eye. The surgeon starts by creating a small incision in the cornea. This incision allows them to access the lens behind it. When they can reach the lens, the cataract is broken into tiny pieces, making it easier to remove. The pieces are removed with a light suction, the IOL is replaced, and the procedure is complete. The incision in the cornea heals on its own. There should be an improvement in vision within a few days. You will have to use eye drops for a few weeks after surgery and there will be some physical restrictions which we will go over with you. Be sure to follow all of these instructions for the best outcome.
Traditional Cataract Surgery
Traditional cataract surgery is done manually by the surgeon without the use of a laser. A monofocal lens is implanted to improve your distance vision as much as possible. You will need glasses for reading after even if you didn’t before cataract surgery because you were near-sighted. You may also need glasses for distance, and will definitely need them if you have astigmatism, as traditional cataract surgery does not correct for that. This option is usually covered by insurance
Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery
Laser assisted cataract surgery with the CATALYS Precision Laser System replaces the use of manual blades for cataract surgery, providing a gentle and specialized procedure just for your unique eyes. Before the surgery begins, the surgeon uses a laser to take pictures of the eye. These images go into a computer program, which creates a three-dimensional map of the eye. By personalizing your procedure with a 3-D blueprint of your eye, we can account for every detail. The map then guides the surgeon through the procedure on the best location for the corneal incisions and helps in placing the IOL in the eye. The laser also breaks the lens into smaller pieces. In traditional cataract surgery, ultrasound frequencies break the lens. A laser reduces the damage and inflammation to the eye, which reduces the recovery time. Due to the precise nature of the laser, we can achieve better visual outcomes than in traditional cataract surgery. Laser Cataract Surgery can also correct smaller amounts of Astigmatism, by reshaping the cornea, giving the clearest possible distance vision. This option is not covered by insurance.
Advanced lens implants are designed to provide a full range of distance, intermediate and near vision. Studies have shown that up to 80% of patients do not need glasses after surgery with some of these implants. Those who do need glasses usually only need them for very specific tasks like reading very fine print or in low light conditions. These lenses can also correct your astigmatism. Not every patient is a candidate for these lenses, but our doctors will make the best recommendations based on your overall eye health. Multifocal Lens implants are not covered by insurance.
A common condition that can occur after cataract surgery, is the formation of scar tissue which can lead to decreased vision and make seem like your cataract has returned, sometimes referred to as a “secondary Cataract”. Rest assured your cataracts can not return once they are surgical removed. This scar tissue that may form can be removed permanently if needed with a quick in office laser procedure that lasts only a couple minutes.