Our cataract surgeons at Eye Doctors of Washington have helped thousands of patients prevent serious vision impairment. They have been recognized nationally and internationally for their work, and continue to stay abreast of the latest developments in technology and technique to provide their patients with the best possible care.
The following will give you a general idea of what to expect from the cataract surgery procedure. If you would like more information, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced ophthalmologists, please contact Eye Doctors of Washington today.
Pre-Operative Care and Preparation
We will provide you with detailed pre-operative information once you have been evaluated by our cataract surgeon. Before surgery, you will be given drops to dilate the eye, as well as anesthesia administered intravenously by an anesthesiologist to help ensure your comfort. Topical anesthesia will also be placed via eye drops to prevent any pain. The topical anesthetic technique is state-of-the-art, and our cataract surgeons have published numerous scientific articles about its effectiveness. In some cases, the eyelids will also be numbed with local anesthetic to minimize movement during surgery, allowing the surgeon increased control and accuracy.
Traditionally, cataract surgeons used an operating microscope and surgical blades. Recent advances such as laser cataract surgery allow portions of the procedure to be performed without the use of blades. The actual surgery time is very brief, and can typically be completed in approximately 10 minutes. First, a small incision is made in the cornea. The anterior capsule is removed to access the cataract lens. Then, ultrasound waves are used to break the lens into pieces, and vacuum tubing removes the emulsified cataract. After this is accomplished, an intraocular lens (IOL) can be inserted to correct existing refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
Post-Operative Care and Recovery
After cataract surgery, you will be taken to the recovery area and given detailed instructions on how to optimize your recovery time. Since the incisions required for cataract surgery are so small, there are typically no stitches or patches required. During the first three weeks, medicated eye drops will be used to assist in the healing process. You will then have a follow-up appointment to determine if you will require prescription lenses, such as reading glasses.
Our cataract surgeon will also monitor your recovery to ensure no complications arise. As with any type of surgery, there are some risks involved in cataract surgery. However, complications occur in far less than 1% of all cataract surgery patients who do not have any pre-existing conditions, and most complications associated with cataract surgery are treatable. Your surgeon will provide you with more detailed information about the risks associated with cataract surgery during the consultation process.
Some cataract surgery patients will experience a clouding around the newly implanted lens, which can diminish their visual acuity or create a glare. This condition, known as posterior capsular opacification, occurs in about 20-33% of patients, and can manifest months or years following surgery. However, the condition is often easily remedied with a laser treatment called YAG capsulotomy. This procedure is quick, virtually painless, requires no downtime, and patients can return to their normal activities immediately.
To learn more about cataract surgery, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us today.
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