We have working arrangements established with other specialized eye care doctors to manage retinal detachments, retinal tears, and hemorrhages.
Dr. Mark provides post-operative care with Lasik for cataracts.
Please feel free to contact us anytime between our working hours if you think you might be a candidate for this treatment. We will gladly diagnose and give you the best options for your specific case.
What Is a Cataract?
A cataract is the thickening of the eye’s lens. Over time, this “clouding” begins to restrict the light flow to the retina, causing eyesight to become blurred and dim, with visual acuity similar to someone looking through a foggy window. Eventually, if no action is taken, total vision loss will occur.
Though this condition is chronic and arguably inevitable, cataract surgery is a safe and effective solution, with a 98% success rate of improved vision in patients.
Traditional Cataract Surgery
Originally, the procedure to remove a cataract involved using a diamond blade to make a small incision in the cornea, the clear outer coating of the eye. The surgeon would then insert a small ultrasound wave-emitting probe to soften the cataract enough to be suctioned out of the cornea.
Once the cataract was cleared, only the thin outer membrane of the cornea—the lens capsule—remained. An intraocular lens (IOL) would be inserted into the lens capsule, allowing light to once again safely pass through to the retina. (Note: Though laser technology is gaining widespread acceptance, traditional cataract surgery is still a common and modern procedure.)
Laser Cataract Surgery
While some of the actual cataract removal process remains the same, replacing traditional incision instruments with a laser has quite a few benefits. Laser technology allows for increased accuracy when it comes to creating the initial incision and circular opening through which the cataract will be removed. An optical coherence tomography captures a 3D image of the eye, enabling the laser to incise at the correct points on the cornea, creating openings at precisely the correct depth and length. This precision also allows for greater success when the cornea self-heals after surgery.
Next, the front portion of the capsule lens is removed. This “anterior capsulotomy” is performed with a femtosecond laser and gives access to the cataract while creating a space for the new lens to be planted in its place. A laser is then used to break down the cataract itself, which is a gentler process requiring less ultrasound energy and a decreased chance of burning distortion or an acquired astigmatism. As with traditional cataract surgery, the cataract is removed with the probe, and an IOL is inserted into the lens capsule.
Is Laser Cataract Surgery Right for Me?
Begin by scheduling a consultation with our office. During this appointment, they will assess your eye structure, the condition of your cataract, and if you have any interfering medications or health concerns. Cataract surgery is currently the most common and safest surgery performed each year, but if you have additional concerns regarding the procedure, please call our office.
Risk and Complications
Most post-surgery complications are low-risk and easily treatable. If a complication does arise, it is most commonly a posterior capsule opacification (PCO) or the slight thickening of the lens capsule due to a regrowth of the cells. This is not a new cataract; cataracts do not grow back. However, this thickening can cause slight blurriness and sensitivity to bright lights. This complication can be corrected with an Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy, where the surgeon uses a laser to make a small hole in the back of the lens, allowing light to pass through to the retina. PCO is relatively uncommon, affecting only about 20% of laser cataract surgery patients.
How Long is the Procedure, and What Should I Do After?
During the 15- to 20-minute procedure, your surgeon will use the information gathered from the 3D images and maps to obtain greater accuracy and precision. The procedure itself is not painful, but you may experience slight tugging or pressure. You will be sedated for relaxation and lying under bright lights so you will not feel any discomfort or witness any of the procedures.
During the 15- to 20-minute procedure, your surgeon will use the information gathered from the 3D images and maps to obtain greater accuracy and precision. The procedure itself is not painful, but you may experience slight tugging or pressure. You will be sedated for relaxation and lying under bright lights so you will not feel any discomfort or witness any of the procedures. perform any other strenuous tasks.