Cataract surgery is a commonly performed eye procedure, in the United States. There are various reasons and various ages for developing cataracts; however, the typical age range is between 65 to 75. The rise in numbers with cataract surgery is a direct correlation to the rising growth of the Baby Boomer generation. Cataracts are inevitable as it is the gradual progression of aging in the natural eye lens.
Cataract surgery has come a long way since the days of inpatient surgical procedures in hospitals, patching the eyes and patients bedridden for a week to facilitate healing. Growing in popularity is laser-assisted cataract surgery, with no needles, no eye patching, in an outpatient surgical setting. Laser-assisted cataract surgery reduces human error allowing for greater precision, and reproducibility in surgical results. Patients return to the office for their 1-day post-operative appointment following surgery and usually resume regular activity within a few days to a week protecting the site of surgery and keeping the area clean to avoid infection.
What is the Surgical Process for Cataract Removal?
1) Patient experiences a reduction in the clarity of vision and brightness of colors. Night driving may be difficult and patients may experience glare with oncoming car lights and street lights.
2) Patient schedules a cataract evaluation with an eye specialist in which the patient is dilated to examine the overall health of the eye and several diagnostic tests are performed to assess the progression of the cataract. Surgery is deemed necessary for the more advanced cataract first if both eyes need surgery. Surgery is performed one eye at a time.
3) At San Antonio Eye Specialists, all patients scheduled for a cataract evaluation meet our refractive surgeon, Dr. Iskander, and he determines a customized surgical treatment plan. Dr. Iskander discusses the various lens implant options based on the patient's lifestyle and visual needs. Patients also meet the surgical counselor to discuss surgery dates, insurance coverage, and payment options as well as eye drop schedule.
4) Laser-assisted cataract removal or traditional cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure performed at an ambulatory surgical center. Patients need a designated driver to bring them to and from the surgery facility as they will be sedated. Patients are expected to be fasting for surgery.
5) Following cataract removal, patients are encouraged to go home and sleep while taking care to protect the eye of any infection and follow the eye drop regimen following surgery.
6) All patients are seen the next day in the office for their 1-day post-operative appointment to measure eye pressure and vision.
7) Patients are seen again at their 1-week appointment to assess the continual improvement of vision and schedule the second eye for cataract surgery, if necessary, repeating steps 3-7.
Cataract removal is safe and life-changing, improving the quality and longevity of life that our Baby Boomers expect. Dr. Iskander looks forward to meeting you and discussing your visual options. Take advantage of his refractive surgical fellowship training and surgical expertise spanning over 20 years. For your eyes...Don't compromise!