Cataract surgery is one of the safest, most effective, predictable and common operations performed the U.S. More than 4 million cataract surgery and lens implant procedures for over 2.5 million people are performed in the U.S. each year. At D’Ambrosio Eye Care we deliver patient satisfaction and excellent clinical results from the combination of our cataract surgeons’ skill as well as the use of advanced technology and procedures to help achieve your vision correction goals. This includes the CATALYS® Precision Femtosecond Laser for cataract surgery, the Optiwave Refractive Analysis (ORA) SYSTEM® for meticulous prescription measurement during your cataract surgery and the Zeiss IOLMaster 700 Biometer for precise eye measurements for lens implant power. Combining our eye surgeons’ skill and experience with the latest technology, and delivering the eye surgery procedure on an outpatient basis at the Cataract & Laser Center of Gardner-a comfortable, convenient and close to home, AAAHC (Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care), Medicare and Commonwealth of Massachusetts licensed ambulatory surgery center-helps to give each patient an end to end positive experience and visual result.
Cataract Surgery Procedure
Preparation for your cataract operation will begin with a few sets of drops being placed in your eye to dilate your pupil. Additionally, your eye will be treated with anesthetic drops to numb the surface of your eye so that you will feel little if any discomfort during your cataract surgery. In addition, you will be given medicines to help you relax if desired.
Next, your cataract surgeon will make two very small incisions at the outermost edge of your cornea
These incisions will be just large enough to allow microscopic instruments to pass through them. Your cataract surgeon can make these tiny incisions with traditional instruments, or by using the laser if you are having laser cataract surgery.
Next, your eye surgeon will gently pass a microscopic instrument through the tiny incision and create an opening in the capsule of the crystalline lens to allow access to the cloudy lens material
This step, called “capsulotomy” also can be performed by your surgeon either manually or with the laser if you are having a laser cataract surgery procedure.
Your cataract surgeon will gently pass another sophisticated high technology microscopic instrument through the tiny incision. Sound waves or “Ultrasound” produced at the tip of the instrument will be used to gently break the cataract into pieces small enough to be washed away, drawn through the instrument and removed from your eye. This cataract removal technique is called “phacoemulsification”.
After the cataract has been removed, your eye surgeon will be able to insert a new, crystal clear permanent Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL) into your eye. The replacement lens will actually be inserted and placed in the correct position through the same tiny incision at the outer edge of the cornea through which the surgeon removed the cataract
Upon completion of your cataract and lens implant surgery, your doctor will have one of the surgery center staff members take you to a comfortable place where you will be able to rest and relax prior to going home. After resting for a short while, a surgery staff member will give you permission to have a family member or friend drive you home.
On the day of your procedure, the entire cataract surgery process usually requires only two to three hours of your time from start to finish. The actual cataract surgery procedure is painless and typically takes less than 15 minutes.
We will arrange to see you at D’Ambrosio Eye Care within 24 hours of your cataract and lens implant procedure so we can examine you in order to confirm that you are healing and seeing as planned. The doctors may also prescribe some eye drops for you to use and will ask you to wear a protective shield, mainly at night, to remind you not to accidentally rub your eye. Although each patient will heal a little bit differently, the majority of patients having cataract surgery with the cataract surgeons at D’Ambrosio Eye Care are able to see well enough to return to their routine daily activities within a day or so after their operation
Important Note About Cataract Surgery
A significant number of men in their 50’s and 60’s and beyond experience an enlarged prostate as part of the aging process. Today, many of men are taking the prescription medication Flomax® or other similar medications that are members of the class of drugs called “alpha-antagonists” or “alpha blockers”. These may include Hytrin® (terazosin), Cardura (doxazosin), Flomax® (tamsulosin), Uroxatral® (alfuzosin) and Rapaflo® (silodosin).
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU NOTIFY OUR STAFF BEFORE YOU HAVE CATARACT SURGERY IF YOU ARE TAKING ANY MEDICATION FOR AN ENLARGED PROSTATE
Certain medications commonly used to treat an enlarged prostate can cause abnormal movement of muscles controlling the opening and closing of the Iris. During cataract surgery, the pupil must stay enlarged or dilated to allow your cataract surgeon to easily view the cataract lens. Flomax® and certain other alpha-blockers including Hytrin®, Cardura and Uroxatral® can interfere with pupil dilation, creating a condition known as Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome (IFIS). If you are taking one of these medications and alert any member of our staff, your cataract surgeon will be able to take extra care to make sure the pupil stays dilated to prevent unexpected complications during your cataract surgery.
Laser Cataract Surgery
At D’Ambrosio Eye Care, our cataract surgeons use the CATALYS® Precision Laser System to perform laser cataract surgery at the Gardner Cataract & Laser Center. Using the femtosecond laser for cataract surgery gives us amazing reproducibility, precision, safety and allows us to perform a gentler cataract surgery procedure. While cataract surgery is one of the most frequent types of eye surgery procedures performed by D’Ambrosio Eye Care surgeons-and, typically with excellent results, it is technically complex and requires considerable surgical skill in order to perform the great number of manual steps required. Our cataract surgeons have incorporated the femtosecond laser into cataract surgery procedures so that with surgeon control they can:
- Create incisions, without using a blade or knife, in terms of size, position and architecture. This is important in order to have self-sealing, “sutureless” incisions without the use of stitches, and to help in preventing infection.
- Create a perfectly centered and sized “capsulotomy”. The capsulotomy is the “opening” prepared in the front of the crystalline lens through which the cloudy lens material is removed. It also plays a critical role in the centering of the lens implant, which can provide better uncorrected vision, especially when used in conjunction with multifocal lens implants and other complex intraocular lens implant designs.
- Liquefy and soften the crystalline lens where the cataract has formed. This allows the surgeon to use less energy to remove the cataract, which is gentler on the eye.
- Create the possibility of precisely sized and placed corneal incisions to minimize or eliminate astigmatism.
Under our skillful surgeon control, the laser cataract surgery procedure allows D’Ambrosio Eye Care surgeons to deliver a number of the manual skill intensive steps of cataract surgery in an safe, more precise, and gentler manner.
YAG Laser Capsulotomy
In up to approximately 30% of patients having cataract surgery, a specific condition called Posterior Capsular Opacification (PCO) may develop that can cause blurry vision, glare, haloes and even double vision. YAG Laser Capsulotomy
is a type of laser eye surgery that’s used to treat this specific condition which occurs when the lens capsule-which is left in place to support the placement of the permanent clear lens implant-becomes clouded. The condition may occur a few weeks after cataract surgery, but also could take years before it appears. The YAG Laser Capsulotomy procedure is quick, painless and involves no surgical restrictions afterward.