Basic standard cataract surgery has advanced significantly over the past few decades. In most cases, the cataract is dissolved, a clear artificial lens is inserted to replace the cloudy natural lens and the incision sealed.
While the procedure itself takes less than 30 minutes, you should plan on being at the surgery center for 2-3 hours to allow time for admission, pre-operative care with dilation and post-operative care.
You will need a responsible adult driver to stay at the surgery center during your procedure and to drive you home as you will not be allowed to drive for several hours following surgery.
Post-operative medications will be needed in the operative eye for several weeks following surgery. We offer 2 (two) options regarding post-operative medications:
Option 1: Have a pharmacy of your choice fill the eye drop(s) prescription(s). The drop(s) will need to be used several times a day for several weeks.
Option 2: Dropless cataract surgery. This is a new technique that places medication inside the eye at the time of surgery. The medication slowly dissolves over several weeks following surgery. This technique eliminates the hassle of remembering to instill the drops.
Please note that if both eyes require surgery, the surgeries will be scheduled 1-2 weeks apart. We will not perform cataract surgery on both eyes on the same day.
Basic vs. Custom Intraocular lenses
With basic standard cataract surgery, your vision will be much clearer after the removal of the cloudy cataract, but you will still need to wear glasses for reading and some distance activities. While standard cataract surgery is a highly successful procedure, there are limits to what it can offer.
For those patients who wish to decrease their dependency on glasses following surgery, advanced technology lenses are available. For those with astigmatism, the custom toric lens will enhance vision at a distance. The advanced multi-focal lens is another custom option that decreases glasses dependency for distance and reading. The advanced multi-focal lens can also correct for astigmatism, further decreasing the need for glasses after surgery.
During your cataract evaluation appointment, your surgeon will discuss which option is best suited for your eyes and your lifestyle.
It is important to note: After deductibles and co-pays have been met, Medicare and most major insurance companies will pay for the cost associated with basic standard cataract surgery but insurance companies typically DO NOT cover the added cost of any custom cataract surgery. Our surgical counselor can assist you with reviewing the cost and explaining financing options if you are interested in choosing a custom lens implant.
Manual vs. Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery
For many years cataracts have been removed manually using delicate instruments. This option still exists today with good results. However with advances in laser technology, this procedure has evolved into an even more accurate operation.
The Femtosecond Laser has added a new level of precision and safety to the surgery. Unique to each patient, the laser creates custom incisions and makes a perfectly circular opening in the lens capsule and then gently creates cleavage planes in the cataract itself. This pre-treatment enables the surgeon to dissolve and extract the cataract in a more gentle fashion than what could be accomplished using the manual method alone.
Additionally, the Femtosecond laser can make very specific incisions to help reduce corneal astigmatism. These incisions can significantly reduce, but not totally eliminate, the astigmatism and improve your overall vision after surgery.
The surgeons at Rockwall Eye Associates believe the laser assisted surgery to be a better option for most patients. It offers more precision and increased safety for just about everyone. For some patients, laser assisted cataract surgery is clearly superior to manual cataract surgery.
The surgeon will discuss which option is best for your eye situation.