About Cataract Surgery
About Cataract Surgery
Modern Cataract Surgery today is safe, effective, predictable and quite common-especially among seniors and our growing “baby boomer” population. In fact cataract surgery is one of the safest and most frequently performed surgical procedures available in the United States. At The Eye Care & Surgery Center in New Jersey, our cataract surgeons combine the use of a small incision, “no stitch no patch no needle” technique that can be performed with the femtosecond laser on an outpatient basis to provide you with laser cataract surgery in a comfortable, convenient and close to home AAAHC, Medicare and State of New Jersey certified ambulatory surgery center. These centers are dedicated to the performance of state-of-the-art eye surgery. The entire process usually requires only two hours of your time from start to finish. The actual surgical procedure is painless and takes less than 15 minutes. Our nurses and staff are present to help us with your actual surgery as well as to assist you and make your experience pleasant.
The Cataract Operation
Your cataract operation begins with a few sets of drops being placed in your eye to dilate your pupil. Your eye will then be treated with an anesthetic-almost always a few additional sets of drops to numb the surface of your eye-so that you will feel little if anything during your surgery. In addition you will be given a tablet to swallow to help you relax. The femtosecond laser is a precise and gentle tool our cataract surgeons can use to deliver an extra margin of safety and quick visual recovery. At the beginning of the procedure, the laser is used to painlessly and precisely correct whereby laser incisions are created to correct the oval shape of the cornea, inducing it to become round, improving the vision. In addition, the laser can be used to open the lens and soften the clouded lens itself to make cataract removal gentler & safer. This preparatory procedure takes less than 10 minutes.
Next, your cataract surgeon will make a very small incision at the outermost edge of your cornea. This incision will be just large enough to allow a microscopic instrument the size of a pen tip to pass through it. It is possible to for your cataract surgeon to make this tiny incision with a traditional instrument, or using the laser if you are having laser cataract surgery.
Then, your eye surgeon will gently pass a microscopic instrument through the tiny incision and create an opening in the capsule of the crystalline lens to allow access to the cloudy lens material. This step, called “capsulotomy” also can be performed by your surgeon either manually or with the laser if you are having a laser cataract surgery procedure.
Your cataract surgeon will gently pass another sophisticated high technology microscopic instrument through the tiny incision. Sound waves or “Ultrasound” produced at the tip of the instrument will be used to gently break the cataract into pieces small enough to be washed away, drawn through the instrument and removed from your eye. This cataract removal technique is called “phacoemulsification” and is preferred for most patients.
After the cataract has been removed, your eye surgeon will be able to insert a new, crystal clear permanent Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL) into your eye. The replacement lens will actually be inserted and placed in the correct position through the same tiny incision at the outer edge of the cornea through which the surgeon removed the cataract.
Upon completion of your cataract and lens implant surgery, one of the surgery center staff members will take you to a comfortable place where you will be able to rest and relax prior to going home. After resting for a short while, a surgery staff member will give you permission to have a family member or friend drive you home.
Your surgeon will arrange to see you at The Eye Care & Surgery within 24 hours of your cataract and lens implant surgery so he or she can examine you in order to confirm that you are healing and seeing as planned. The doctors will also prescribe some eye drops for you to use and may ask you to wear a protective shield, mainly at night, to remind you not to accidentally rub your eye. Although each patient will heal a little bit differently, the majority of patients having cataract surgery at The Eye Care & Surgery Center are able to see well enough to return to their routine daily activities within a day or so after their cataract surgery.
An Important Note about Cataract Surgery
Many men in their 50’s and 60’s and beyond experience an enlarged prostate as part of the aging process. Today, many of men are taking the prescription medication Flomax® or other similar medications that are members of the class of drugs called “alpha-antagonists” or “alpha blockers”. These may include Hytrin® (terazosin), Cardura (doxazosin), Flomax® (tamsulosin), Uroxatral® (alfuzosin) and Rapaflo® (silodosin).
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU NOTIFY OUR STAFF BEFORE YOU HAVE CATARACT SURGERY IF YOU ARE TAKING ANY MEDICATION FOR AN ENLARGED PROSTATE
Certain medications commonly used to treat an enlarged prostate can cause abnormal movement of muscles controlling the opening and closing of the Iris. During cataract surgery, the pupil must stay enlarged or dilated to allow your cataract surgeon to easily view the Crystalline Lens. Flomax® and certain other alpha-blockers including Hytrin®, Cardura and Uroxatral® in particular can interfere with pupil dilation, creating a condition known as Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome (IFIS). If you are taking one of these medications and alert any member of our staff, and we will be able to take extra care to make sure the pupil stays dilated to prevent unexpected complications during your cataract surgery.