Cataract surgery and removal may be necessary when the lens inside your eye has become hardened and cloudy from the formation of a cataract. During surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL) to clear your vision.
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis at one of our ambulatory surgical centers using local anesthesia and does not require an overnight hospital stay.
The surgical treatment for cataracts has dramatically evolved over the years. Today, a process known as phacoemulsification allows the cataract to be removed through tiny, self-sealing incisions that typically do not require any stitches. Microsurgical instruments are used to gently dissolve and remove the cloudy lens. Once the lens is removed, a small foldable intraocular lens is inserted and unfolds to replace the cataract. These highly advanced IOLs can be either conventional or advanced technology lenses.
For the past 30 years, doctors have treated cataracts by replacing them with what is called a conventional IOL, which allows you to focus clearly at one distance only. Typically, patients would choose to have the doctor aim for the best distance vision with the understanding that glasses would still be needed for close work, and perhaps even for ideal distance vision.
Your vision will be blurry right after the operation and for a few days following the procedure. As your visual system adjusts and adapts to the cataract removal and replacement lens, your vision will become clearer and clearer. After a week or two your vision should be back to sharp. If you continue to have issues with blurry vision and discomfort, talk to your doctor about your concerns.
Your eyes may also be red and there may be some bruising around your eye, this is normal and will dissipate as you heal.
Advancements in Lens Replacement Surgery Intraocular Lenses (IOL) for Cataract or Refractive Lens Exchange
Today’s lens replacement patient demands excellent vision after surgery. Previous lens replacement surgery technologies provided only one focal point: distance, leaving people dependent upon reading glasses or bifocals. Recent advancements in multifocal technology now make it possible for you to read the words on prescription bottles, magazines, newspapers and computer screens without magnifying glasses or bifocals (even trifocals), while still clearly seeing objects at a distance.
These lenses have the ability to consistently offer improved vision at various ranges – near through distance. Your doctor can discuss with you which lens will best address your visual demands and lifestyle. These lenses are not for everyone and some additional testing will need to be done to determine if you are a great candidate for these IOLs. The majority of patients who have chosen advanced IOLs are very happy with the results and would recommend the procedure to their friends and family who have cataracts.
The choice of lens is an investment that can help you maintain your standard of living and enjoy good vision during every waking moment for the rest of your life.
Take our cataract self-evaluation to learn more about your vision