Cataract surgery is almost always highly successful. Over 90% of patients who have the surgery enjoy improved vision. Many patients find that their vision improvement begins immediately and they can often resume normal activities within hours after surgery. Some find their vision better than ever after the procedure, while others may need to wear glasses for reading (known as Presbyopia) and other activities. During the initial healing period there may be a few limitations on strenuous activities, but most people can return to normal life quickly. They are surprised to find that they can also engage in activities that were once off-limits due to cataracts, such as reading and social activities.
If you choose to have the new lifestyle lens implanted, you will have the benefit of improved distance and near vision. This lens will further reduce your dependency on glasses. Your doctor can help you determine if you are a candidate for this lens. Of course, there is some risk with any surgery, and a perfect result, no matter how likely, cannot be guaranteed. Make sure you discuss the surgery in detail with your doctor, and get all of your questions answered. At Thomas Eye Group, we welcome and encourage our patients' questions.
The modern day cataract surgery technique is routinely performed with small incision micro-surgery through a process known as phacoemulsification. The cataract removal and surgical process is actually done using the smallest possible incision, and removal of the lens material is accomplished using an ultrasonic probe. Before a new man-made intraocular lens can be implanted, the hardened cataract needs to be removed. After the eye is cleaned and proper dilation of the pupil has been achieved the surgeon is ready to make the incision. A micro-incision about the size of 3 millimeters is created at the junction of the cornea and the white part of the eye known as the sclera. The lens capsule is then opened and the ultrasonic probe is inserted so that the cataract can be removed. The ultrasonic probe pulverizes the cataract and suctions out the cataract material.
After the cataract is removed the surgeon is ready to implant a man made intraocular lens. This is a crucial point of understanding for patients. Patients can either have a monofocal lens which will only correct vision for one distance or they can opt to upgrade to premium lens implant that can reduce or eliminate their need for glasses after cataract surgery. There is an additional cost to upgrade to premium IOLs, while traditional monofocal lenses are covered by Medicare.
Patients are typically concerned about the cataract surgery recovery process. The doctors at Thomas Eye Group provide the best quality care and thoroughly explain what you can expect after cataract surgery. Recovery from cataract surgery is generally very quick. Most patients obtain better vision within the first 24 hours of the procedure. Itching and mild discomfort are normal after cataract surgery. Some fluid discharge is also common. Your eye may be sensitive to light and touch. If you have discomfort, your doctor can suggest treatment. After one or two days, any moderate discomfort should disappear.
For a few days after surgery, your doctor may ask you to use eye drops to help healing and decrease the risk of infection. Ask your cataract eye doctor about how to use your eye drops, how often to use them, and what effects they can have. You will need to wear an eye shield or eyeglasses to help protect your eye. Avoid rubbing or pressing on your eye.
In most cases, healing will be complete within eight weeks. Your doctor will schedule exams to check on your progress. Each person heals differently so it is important to discuss the cataract surgery recovery with your eye doctor.