Cataract Surgery in San Antonio

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What is a Cataract?

A cataract occurs when the natural clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy or opaque. While cataracts can progress naturally with age, they can also develop as a result of eye trauma, diabetes, congenitally, or as a reaction to certain medications. When a cataract first develops, it is hardly noticeable. As the cataract matures in opacification, patients will experience blurred vision and complain of seeing a lack of vibrant colors, giving objects a yellow tint. Patients may also experience difficulty with reading small print at a distance and see glare and halos when driving at night.

To treat a cataract, an ophthalmologist must remove the eye’s natural lens and replace it with a synthetic intraocular lens. At San Antonio Eye Specialists, our fellowship-trained refractive surgeon, Dr. Nader Iskander, uses state-of-the-art cataract laser technology, such as the LENSAR™ and LenSx™ Laser Systems, to make cataract removal more precise, effective, and safer than ever before.

Screen showing eye scan with elderly woman at machine behind

When to Have Cataract Removal

Patients often wonder when it is time to have their cataracts removed. While we generally suggest having cataract surgery when cataracts have begun to interfere with your vision, there are other factors that should be taken into consideration. Since cataracts can cause symptoms to develop very slowly, many patients may not realize their vision has deteriorated over the years. Sometimes a cataract is diagnosed at an annual eye examination and if presented as a concern to the patient, surgical options will be discussed based on the patient’s lifestyle. A cataract evaluation is an extensive process entailing a series of diagnostic tests, dilation, thorough eye examination, treatment plan, and surgical scheduling with our surgical coordinator. Surgical intervention is recommended only if deemed bothersome to the patient.

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Dr. Iskander performing intraocular lens surgery with TECNIS Multifocal Toric II.

What to Expect During Cataract Surgery

Patients undergoing cataract surgery will have their vital signs and medical history reviewed by our surgical team before being taken into the operating room. Once the patient is prepped, Dr. Iskander will place anesthetic drops into the eye to make the cataract removal pain-free. The LENSAR™ or LenSx™ Femtosecond Laser will perform a couple of small openings in the cornea to gain access to the cloudy lens inside the eye. The laser will also perform an opening on the outer surface of the cloudy lens then fragment or section the cloudy lens and soften it for removal. The laser will also perform limbal relaxing incisions for treatment of astigmatism and precisely provide alignment for toric astigmatism correcting and multifocal intraocular lenses. When the procedure is performed manually, Dr. Iskander will make two small corneal incisions with precision diamond blades, then perform the capsulorhexis; a small opening on the outer surface of the cloudy lens. Afterwards, Dr. Iskander uses ultrasound to further break up the cataract and remove it using suction in a procedure known as phacoemulsification. Once the cataract is removed, Dr. Iskander replaces the cloudy lens with a new intraocular lens. The type of intraocular lens is specific to your vision and lifestyle. Options are discussed prior to surgery.

The entire cataract removal procedure is performed with laser assistance for maximum precision and results. Once completed, patients are sent home accompanied by a driver and return the next day for a follow-up visit. For patients with cataracts in both eyes, Dr. Iskander will perform surgery on the eye with the more advanced cataract first, scheduling the second eye for surgery after a couple of weeks.

Our Cataract Removal Process

1. Schedule & Meet

Contact San Antonio Eye Specialists to schedule a cataract evaluation. We’ll run diagnostic tests and examine your eyes to determine if cataract removal surgery is warranted.

2. Plan & Procedure

Dr. Iskander will discuss your visual options for lens implants and perform cataract removal with a laser-assisted procedure at our onsite, accredited surgical suite or at an off-site surgical facility, based on insurance specifications and accommodations.

3. Enjoy Clear Vision

After a next-day appointment with Dr. Iskander, patients can return to their referring optometrist for post-operative care. Patients will see clearly within hours to days following their procedure.

Smiling Dr Iskander

Why Choose San Antonio Eye Specialists?

Our founder, Nader G. Iskander, MD, FACS, is one of a few fellowship-trained refractive surgeons in San Antonio. He has performed thousands of laser-assisted cataract removal surgeries using advanced laser technology and he is certified on both the LENSAR AND LenSx™ Femtosecond laser technologies. LENSAR™ laser system uses augmented reality to collect biometric data and render a 3-D model of the patient’s eye, which is used to create a customized treatment plan. During surgery, the system’s laser is used to create corneal incisions with more accuracy in comparison to a manual incision and one that is so small it does not require sutures. The cataract removal is safe, precise, and results in better visual outcomes for our patients. Additionally, San Antonio Eye Specialists offers a wide variety of lens implant options, so patients get the lens replacement that is best for their lifestyle.

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See What Our Patients Are Saying

"Wonderful experience! Cannot believe the color and crispness of my vision. Will recommend Dr Iskander and his assistants to anyone contemplating cataract surgery."

- Darnell C.

"My vision was terrible but after cataract surgery on both eyes I felt like I was seeing the world again but much clearer. Special thanks to Dr Iskander."

- Chris M.

"I couldn’t be happier with my eye surgery! I had cataract surgery with a multi focal lens on my left eye last week, and Dr. Iskander performed the same procedure on my right eye yesterday. Insurance didn’t cover most of my procedure, but my results were worth every penny. I had terrible vision and wore hard or gas permeable contact lenses for almost 50 years; now I can see 20/20 without any glasses or contacts! Amazing! Dr. Iskander and his staff are awesome!"

- Shelley M.

"Dr. Iskander and the San Antonio Eye Specialists team are highly skilled, knowledgeable, caring, and supportive through what may be considered a procedure to be held off for fears of the outcome. There is nothing to worry about. Dr. Iskander addressed all my questions and concerns with care and patience. His skill for eye surgery is excellent. I had both eyes operated on for cataract removal and lens implants. I no longer need glasses. I thank Dr. Iskander and his team for all they did for me."

- Molly C.

Paying for Cataract Surgery in San Antonio

Cataract surgery is typically covered under private insurance plans and Medicare, when deemed medically necessary. In cases where the cost is not fully covered by insurance, San Antonio Eye Specialists offers financing options through our financing partners, ALPHAEON Credit and CareCredit. We also accept FSAs and HSAs. To learn more about our payment options, contact our office.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cataract Surgery

How much does cataract removal surgery cost?

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That depends if you have insurance or not. If you have insurance, the price of cataract removal will depend on several factors, such as how developed the cataract is (basic or complex cataract) and whether one or both eyes require surgery. Cataract surgery is generally covered under insurance plans, subject to patient responsibilities, such as satisfying deductibles or coinsurance allowables. For patients without insurance, we offer financing options and also accept FSAs and HSAs to offset the price of surgery.

What are the benefits of cataract surgery?

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In addition to removing cataracts that have resulted in blurred or double vision, cataract surgery can also be used to correct astigmatism. This can be achieved by implanting a Toric Intraocular Lens (IOL) or making a Limbal Relaxing Incision (LRI) on the cornea during surgery. The treatment options for addressing astigmatism is dependent upon the degree of corneal curvature. For more information, contact our office to learn more.

Is cataract surgery painful?

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Dr. Iskander will administer topical anesthetic in the form of eye drops to numb the eye prior to surgery. This helps make the procedure pain-free. After the anesthetic wears off, some patients may feel mild pressure around the eye, but this should go away shortly thereafter.

Have more questions about Cataract Surgery? Contact our office to learn more!

See Clearer with
Cataract Removal Surgery

If you are  tired of seeing blurry images or objects that lack vibrant colors, schedule a cataract evaluation and our experienced team of professionals will guide you with your cataract removal options.