What is a Cataract?
The lens of the eye focuses light rays on the retina to produce an image. At birth, the lens is clear. Over time, the lens starts to get cloudy and block light. This cloudy lens is called a cataract and can diminish vision.
Types of Cataracts
Nuclear Sclerotic Cataract – This is the most common type of cataract. The natural lens becomes more dense and brown. This is a result of age
Posterior Subcapsular Cataract (PSC) – This type of cataract may occur earlier in life than nuclear sclerosis. It forms on the back surface of the lens. Patients with diabetes, radiation and long term steroids are more prone to develop this type of cataract.
Cortical Cataract – Gray or white streaks develop in the lens
Pre-Operative Care and Preparation
We will provide you with detailed pre-operative information once you have been evaluated by our cataract surgeon. Before surgery, you will be given drops to dilate the eye, as well as anesthesia administered intravenously by an anesthesiologist to help ensure your comfort. Topical anesthesia will also be placed via eye drops to prevent any pain.
Traditionally, cataract surgeons used an operating microscope and surgical blades. Recent advances such as laser cataract surgery allow portions of the procedure to be performed in a bladeless fashion. First, a small incision is made in the cornea. The anterior capsule is removed to access the cataract lens. Then, ultrasound waves are used to break the lens into pieces, and vacuum tubing removes the emulsified cataract. After this is accomplished, an intraocular lens (IOL) can be inserted to correct existing refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
Post-Operative Care and Recovery
After cataract surgery, you will be taken to the recovery area and given detailed instructions on how to optimize your recovery time. Since the incisions required for cataract surgery are so small, there are typically no stitches or patches required. During the first three weeks, medicated eye drops will be used to assist in the healing process. You will then have a follow-up appointment to determine if you will require prescription lenses, such as reading glasses
Laser Cataract Surgery
CATALYS® Precision Laser System
The CATALYS® Precision Laser System is computer-guided and surgeon-controlled. Compared to traditional cataract surgery, the benefits of laser cataract surgery using this state-of-the-art technology include:
- Greater surgical precision with a custom-guided laser
- Corneal incisions and anterior capsulotomies are performed without the need for a surgical blade
- Reduces the energy required for cataract removal
Laser Cataract Removal
Vistarr Surgeons perform laser cataract surgery by using a precise computer-rendered image of the eye as a guide. This technique allows for accurate, gentle incisions for cataract removal. The CATALYS® Precision Laser System is specifically designed to remove threatening cataracts from the eye that can lead to severe vision impairment or blindness. Many of our patients elect to have a standard or premium lens implant placed in the eye during surgery to improve their vision while simultaneously eliminating any cataracts.
Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)
Astigmatism is a common condition that impairs the vision due to an uneven curvature of the cornea. While a standard lens implant placed during cataract surgery can correct for nearsightedness and farsightedness, it cannot correct for astigmatism; therefore, quality distance vision may still require glasses or contact lenses. Surgical treatments such as LASIK laser vision correction, limbal relaxing incisions, and astigmatic keratotomy can be beneficial in cases of astigmatism; however, an intraocular lens called the Toric IOL may be the best solution. A Toric IOL is an innovative lens implant option because these unique lenses can correct distance vision and astigmatism simultaneously, reducing or eliminating the need for corrective eyewear. For cataract surgery patients with astigmatism who do not want to rely on glasses and contacts, Toric IOLs implanted after removal of the cataracts can offer outstanding results.
Multifocal IOLs were FDA-approved in 2005 and revolutionized lens replacement for cataract surgery. Originally, IOLs could only correct nearsightedness or farsightedness. However, the innovating Multifocal IOL focuses light in such a way that allows the enhancement of near, intermediate, and distant vision. Our Surgeons are some of the most experienced users of Multifocal IOL technology in the area. Our patients are very happy with the quality of life improvement that Multifocal IOLs offer them.