Laser Cataract Surgery

Laser Cataract Surgery

If you have been told you have a cataract, your lens has become cloudy, like the bottom lens in the illustration. It is like looking through a foggy or dirty piece of glass. Things look blurry, hazy or less colorful with a cataract.

what is cataract?

Aging is the most common cause. This is due to normal eye changes that begin to happen after age 40. That is when normal proteins in the lens start to break down. This is what causes the lens to get cloudy. People over age 60 usually start to have some clouding of their lenses. However, vision problems may not happen until years later.

What causes Cataract

Aging is the most common cause. This is due to normal eye changes that begin to happen after age 40. That is when normal proteins in the lens start to break down. This is what causes the lens to get cloudy. People over age 60 usually start to have some clouding of their lenses. However, vision problems may not happen until years later.

Cataract  Diagnosis

Your ophthalmologist will examine and test your eyes to make a cataract diagnosis. This comprehensive eye exam will include dilation. This means eye drops will widen your pupils.

cataract  treatment

Cataracts can be removed only with surgery .If your cataract symptoms are not bothering you very much, you don’t have to remove a cataract. You might just need a new eyeglass prescription to help you see better. You should consider surgery when cataracts keep you from doing things you want or need to do.

How does cataract surgery work ?

During cataract surgery, your eye surgeon will remove your eye’s cloudy natural lens. Then he or she will replace it with an artificial lens. This new lens is called an intraocular lens (or IOL). When you decide to have cataract surgery, your doctor will talk with you about IOLs and how they work.

What to Expect with Cataract Surgery

before sugery:
your surgeon will measure your eye to determine the proper focusing power for your IOL. Also, you will be asked about any medicines you take. You might be asked not to take some of these medicines before surgery. You may be prescribed eye-drop medicines to start before surgery. These medicines help prevent infection and reduce swelling during and after surgery.
the day of surgery
Your ophthalmologist may ask you not to eat any solid food at least 6 hours  before your surgery.
cataract removal  surgery may be done in an outpatient surgery center or in a hospital.here is what will happen:
  • Your eye will be numbed with eye drops or with an injection around the eye. You may also be given a medicine to help you relax.
  • You will be awake during surgery. You may see light and movement during the procedure, but you will not see what the doctor is doing to your eye.
  • Your surgeon looks through a special microscope. She creates tiny incisions (cuts, created by blade or a laser ) near the edge of your cornea. The surgeon uses these incisions to reach the lens in your eye. Using very small instruments, she will break up the lens with the cataract and remove it. Then she puts your new lens into place.
  • Usually your surgeon will not need to stitch the incisions closed. These “self sealing” incisions will close by themselves over time. A shield will be placed over your eye to protect it while you heal from surgery.
  • You will rest in a recovery area for about 15–30 minutes. Then you will be ready to go home.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Cataract Surgery?

Days or weeks after surgery:

  • You may have to use eye drops after surgery. Be sure to follow your doctor’s directions for using these drops.
  • Avoid getting soap or water directly in the eye.
  • Do not rub or press on your eye. Your ophthalmologist may ask you to wear eyeglasses or a shield to protect your eye.
  • You will need to wear a protective eye shield when you sleep.
  • Your ophthalmologist will talk with you about how active you can be soon after surgery. He or she will tell you when you can safely exercise, drive or do other activities again.

Is Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery Right for You?

When we decide to proceed with cataract surgery, you have two surgical options:

  • traditional cataract surgery, and
  • laser-assisted cataract surgery.

Traditional cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries in the world. It is recognized as being safe and effective. Laser cataract surgery is not covered by most insurance plans. It provides some advantages. So how do you decide which type of cataract surgery to have?

How Is Traditional Cataract Surgery Done?

Phacoemulsification is the name for traditional cataract surgery. Your surgeon creates a small incision in your cornea by hand with a scalpel. They insert a small instrument through this opening. It goes behind your pupil where the eye’s lens sits in a capsule. Your surgeon creates a round opening in the capsule. Then your surgeon inserts a pen-shaped probe through that opening. The probe applies sound waves (ultrasound) to break up the cloudy lens. Then the surgeon suctions out the broken-up pieces. They replace your lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The incision is self-sealing and usually does not need stitches.

How Is Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery Done?

A camera/ultrasound device is placed over your eye to map its surface. It also gathers information about your lens. The device sends the results to a computer that programs the laser. This tells the laser the exact location, size, and depth for incisions. The surgeon uses the laser to make the corneal incision and the opening in the capsule that holds the cataract. They also use energy from the laser to soften the cataract, and make special incisions to correct astigmatism. An ultrasound probe breaks the lens into pieces and suctions them out. The surgeon then puts the IOL in the eye. Again, the incision usually does not need stitches.

What Benefits Does Laser Cataract Surgery Offer?

Using a laser allows us to make precise incisions in less time. It can improve accuracy and consistency. The laser provides more correction than traditional surgery, by being able to correct astigmatism. The laser can also reduce the amount of ultrasound energy needed to soften the lens prior to removal, and therefore is less traumatic to the eye.

Laser cataract removal allows us to see and map the lens capsule better. It also helps us place the opening in the capsule more precisely. This allows for better centering of the intraocular lens, which is important when a toric or a multifocal lens is used.

Studies haven't found that laser surgery provides better outcomes in all cases. Your outcome depends in large part on the skill and experience of your surgeon.

What Do You Want From Cataract Surgery?

Replacing a cloudy lens and wearing glasses after surgery is fine for some people. For others, getting the best possible vision without glasses is the goal. We will decide on the best option for you based on your needs. We will be asking you how you use your eyes on a daily basis. After a cloudy lens is removed, a clear Intraocular Lens (IOL) implant is placed in the eye. This lens stays in the eye forever, and because it is made of artificial material, it does not change the prescription of the eye.

IOLs come in different focusing powers, just like prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Your ophthalmologist will measure the length of your eye and the curve of your cornea. These measurements are used to set your IOLs focusing power.

What are IOLs made of?

Most IOLs are made of silicone, acrylic, or other plastic compositions. They are also coated with a special material to help protect your eyes from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Monofocal IOLs

The most common type of lens used with cataract surgery is called a monofocal IOL. It has one focusing distance. Most people have them set for clear distance vision. Then they wear eyeglasses for reading, computer and close work.
Some IOLs have different focusing powers within the same lens. These are called multifocal and extended depth of focus IOLs. These IOLs reduce your dependence on glasses by giving you clear vision for more than one set distance

Multifocal IOLs

These IOLs provide both distance and near focus at the same time. The lens has different zones set at different powers.
Extended depth of focus IOLs

These IOLs are able to deliver excellent distance vision, as well as intermediate vision. Most patients are able to see their computer and phone at arm’s length. Reading glasses are still needed for near work.


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