How is Cataract Surgery Performed?
The Metropolitan Ophthalmology Associates team performs traditional and laser cataract surgery. The main difference between the two methods is how the incision is made:
- Traditional Cataract Surgery: incisions are made using ultrasonic energy to break up the cloudy lens.
- Laser Cataract Surgery: a 3D image of your eye is taken to determine the cataract’s location and precise measurements. A computer controlled laser uses this information to make the incisions and break up the lens into pieces. Metropolitan Ophthalmology Associates is pleased to offer Alcon’s LenSx laser, a bladeless, computer-controlled laser that allows the surgeon to plan and perform your surgery to exacting, individualized specifications not attainable with other surgical methods. The LenSx laser can help treat a condition known as astigmatism by creating precise incisions in the cornea. Astigmatism is a condition in which the surface of the eye has a more oval shape rather than a round shape. The LenSx® laser also helps soften cataracts for easier removal. During surgery, the clouded lenses are removed and, in most instances, replaced with an intraocular lens, referred to as IOLs. Today, we are able to offer patients, a variety of options for IOLs to accommodate individual needs.
Both methods remove the eye’s cloudy lens and replace it with an Intraocular Lens. Incisions in both methods are typically so small they do not require sutures. The team at Metropolitan Ophthalmology Associates will talk with you about which type of surgery is best for your specific needs.
Before Your Surgery
Before your surgery, our team will discuss various types of lens implants with you. How you see after surgery will depend on the type of lens implant used. It is vital that you discuss any pre-existing ocular conditions, as well as your lifestyle and vision expectations so that we can determine if and which premium lens implant is best suited for you.
During Your Surgery
Cataract surgery is relatively “patient-friendly.” It is usually performed as an outpatient procedure requiring only a few minutes. “Phacoemulsification” is the microsurgical technique used. It requires a tiny incision and breaks up the cataract with ultrasound waves.
- Eye drops and local medication are applied for anesthesia.
- The surgeon makes an incision and uses ultrasound waves to break up the hard, yellow proteins that form the cataract, leaving the lens membrane in place.
- Often, a soft, flexible synthetic Intraocular Lens (IOL) is inserted into the lens capsule of the eye.
- The lens is a permanent fixture that helps your eye to focus. You will not be able to feel or sense the implanted lens in any way.
After Your Surgery
Because rarely there are no needles or injections, only a tiny incision, stitches and an eye patch are usually not required after the surgery. In most cases, the incision is so small that the eye heals rapidly, with little or no discomfort, and the patient experiences a quick visual recovery. Patients can typically return to normal activities within the following week. The following video describes some symptoms patients may experience directly after their cataract surgery.