The Cataract Surgery Procedure

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Today, cataract surgery is performed not only to remove your clouded natural lens; it is performed to restore your vision to how it was when you were much younger.

Dr. Stephen Slade is one of the country’s leading refractive surgeons specializing in both LASIK and Cataract surgery. Dr Slade was the first doctor in North America to perform LASIK and the first doctor in the United States to perform Laser Cataract Surgery. He was also the first surgeon in North America to implant the accommodating Crystalens IOL.

The Cataract Surgery ProceduredsCataract surgery is actually a form of refractive surgery because it changes the way your eye “refracts” or bends light rays to focus on the back of the eye. With LASIK, the shape of the cornea or outer window of the eye is reshaped. With Cataract Surgery, the natural lens inside the eye is replaced with a new lens that can not only clear your clouded vision; it can reduce or eliminate your need for glasses.

Bladeless Cataract Surgery is performed in our in-office surgical suite and only takes 15 or 20 minutes. In addition to using the femtosecond laser to do many of the surgical steps traditionally performed by hand, we use many of the best innovations in cataract surgery, such as drops only anesthesia (no shots), sutureless incisions through the clear cornea and foldable intraocular lenses. These advances allow us to use the smallest possible incision, approximately 1/18th of an inch.

Cataract surgery is elective surgery and that is good news for the patient. There is no need to wait until your vision is very poor. We advise our patients to consider cataract surgery when the cataract begins to affect their lifestyles; near vision, driving, sports, reading, etc. But it is up to you to decide when the time is right for you!

Your procedure will be performed within our office based operating suite or at our local surgery center just a few blocks away from our offices. You will be asked to arrive about an hour before your actual surgery. You may have a mild sedative to help you relax. First, the area around your eye will be cleansed and a sterile drape will be applied around your eye. Although the surgery takes only minutes, plan to spend 2 to 3 hours at the center for the preoperative steps and for recovery.

Dr. Slade uses a powerful anesthetic eye drop to completely numb the eye. Using only a topical anesthetic avoids the risks and pain associate with needle injections and provides a much quicker return of vision. There is no need for shots or injections.

The eye will be completely numbed with a powerful anesthetic eye drop. Your eyes will be held open to prevent blinking. In Laser Cataract Surgery, the femtosecond laser is used to make an opening incision, an opening in the lens (capsulorhexis). The lens may be softened and broken apart with the laser or, if needed, an ultrasonic instrument. The microscopic particles will then be suctioned away.

The Intra-Ocular Lens (IOL) you chose to correct your vision will be inserted into the same location that your natural lens formerly occupied. Once the IOL is positioned, the eye seals itself, typically without sutures. It remains tightly closed by the pressure within the eye and provides a faster and much more comfortable recovery period.

You will be released soon after the procedure to go home and relax. Your eye will not be patched and you should be able to see improvement in your vision almost immediately. Complete visual recovery varies from patient to patient but most patients return to their everyday activities within a day or two. If you have cataracts in both eyes, the second procedure will most likely be scheduled within a week or two.

Serious complications are extremely rare but because it is a form of surgery, there are some potential risks involved. Our counselors will provide you with additional information about the risks associated with cataract surgery and answer any of the questions you may have.