About Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is the most effective treatment for cataracts. The procedure requires removing the lens of your eye and replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL). The surgery itself takes approximately 15-30 minutes. The surgeon removes the cloudy lens then inserts the new IOL into place. With traditional phacoemulsification cataract surgery a small incision is made into the eye at the junction of the cornea and sclera in such a manner that typically sutures are not needed. An opening is then made in capsular bag that holds the cloudy cataractous lens. Using a phaco probe tip, ultrasound is used to break up and then vacuum out the cataract. A clear intraocular lens is then placed back into the eye to restore vision. With this technique, best vision is restored and the eye heals rapidly.
Cataract surgery does not treat decreased vision due to other ocular conditions such as corneal disease and/or scarring, glaucoma, or disease of the retina including macular degeneration.
Before the procedure the cataract surgeon will conduct a comprehensive eye exam to determine your eye health and a refraction test to determine the amount of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism present. These preparations assist the cataract surgeon in selecting the proper intraocular lens to give you the best vision possible after surgery.
The most recent development in cataract surgery is Laser assisted cataract surgery which was FDA approved in 2012. In this procedure the corneal incisions, capsular opening, fragmentation of the central portion of the cataract as well as correction of corneal induced astigmatism are created with a femtosecond laser in a more precise manner than can be achieved with manual instruments. The subsequent removal of the lens fragments and cortical cleanup of the lens are the performed with the standard phaco probe. This two-step process has the additional advantage of being able to more precisely treat corneal astigmatism than can be done with a handheld blade or instrument. Another additional advantage is that less ultrasound energy is required which may decrease potential trauma to the cornea providing faster visual recovery. Contact our Stockton, Tracy or Lodi Cataract Centers to see if you are a good candidate for this exciting technology.