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Cataract Surgery Procedure

By Francis D'Ambrosio, Jr., M.D.

About Cataract Surgery
Among seniors and “baby boomers”, cataract surgery is one of the safest, most effective, predictable and common operations performed the U.S. More than 2.5 million people have cataract surgery and lens implants each year. At D'Ambrosio Eye Care our cataract patient satisfaction results from the combination of the skill of our cataract surgeons as well as the use of advanced technology and procedures to help achieve the patient goals. These include the incorporation of the CATALYS? Precision Femtosecond Laser for cataract surgery, the ORA Optiwave Refractive Analysis System® for meticulous measurement during your cataract surgery procedure and the Zeiss IOLMaster laser biometry measurement system to provide accurate eye measurements for lens implant power calculations.

Coupling the eye surgeon skill and experience and the technology and delivering the actual 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. 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. Experienced nurses and staff are present to help us with your actual surgery as well as to assist you and make your experience a pleasant one.

The 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.

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 will 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.

An 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).


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 Crystalline Lens. Flomax® and certain other alpha-blockers including Hytrin®, Cardura and Uroxatral® in particular 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. 

If you, a family member or friend, has questions about cataract surgery or would like to learn more about cataract surgery or to schedule a cataract surgery exam please call D'Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937.