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Custom Cataract Surgery

The Custom Cataract Surgery program at the Brevard Eye Center is a cooperative process designed to better educate those patients considering cataract surgery regarding the latest surgical options available today. The doctor, staff and patient will work together to match the best Intraocular Lens, or IOL, taking into consideration each individual’s lifestyle, eye health, and vision goals. The IOL is the artificial lens that will replace the clouded natural lens in the eye during the surgery. New Medicare rulings now allow for eye surgeons to offer all cataract patients more options than in the past improving excellent outcomes. In addition, the patient’s lifestyle now has a more dramatic impact on IOL selection.

A New Level of Cataract Treatment

Cataract patients have traditionally been offered only one option for their treatment. Limited by technology and Medicare or private insurance coverage, the only option was a single vision IOL that corrected distance vision and usually required reading glasses or bifocals for near and intermediate vision. With the advent of new multifocal, accommodating, and wavefront-designed IOL’s and new rulings from Medicare these IOL’s are available to everyone. The new focus is on a visual outcome that optimizes the lifestyle and eye health of each patient. The ultimate goal is to have the best possible vision over a full range of distances greatly reducing the need for glasses following cataract surgery.

Over fifty percent of people over the age of 60, and quite a few younger than that, suffer from cataracts. Currently there is no medical treatment to reverse or prevent the development of cataracts. Once they form, the only way to see clearly again is to have them removed from within the eye.

In your parents’ or grandparents’ day, cataract surgery was considered risky, required a lengthy hospital stay and was usually postponed for as long as possible. Today, cataract surgery is performed on an outpatient basis over 50 times a week at Brevard Eye Center. It is considered one of the most successful and elegant medical procedures performed. In fact, here at Brevard Eye Center we broadcast the five to seven minute procedure live to the waiting area. And following Custom cataract surgery, many patients experience vision that is actually better than what they had before they developed cataracts.

Cataract surgery is for those who:

  • believe that their quality of life has been impaired by poor vision
  • have been diagnosed with cataracts
  • have no health issues affecting their eyes

 

What to expect on surgery day:

You will arrive at the surgery center about an hour prior to your procedure. Once you have been checked in you may be offered a sedative to help you relax. You will then be prepared for surgery. The area around your eyes will be cleaned and a sterile drape may be applied around your eye.

Eye drops or a local anesthetic will be used to numb your eyes. When your eye is completely numb, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking during the procedure.

A very small incision will be made and a tiny ultrasonic probe will be used to break up the cataract into microscopic particles using high-energy sound waves. This is called phacoemulsification.

The cataract particles will be gently suctioned away. Then, a folded intra-ocular lens (IOL) will be inserted through the micro-incision, then unfolded and locked into permanent position. The small incision is “self-sealing” and usually requires no stitches. It remains tightly closed by the natural outward pressure within the eye. This type of incision heals fast and provides a much more comfortable recuperation.

IOLs-replace-the-Natural-Lens Intra-Ocular Lens replaces the natural lens of the eye.
IOL-is-placed-inside-the-Capsular-BagThe IOL is placed inside the capsular bag of the eye.
If your eye has pre-existing astigmatism, your surgeon may elect to make micro-incisions in the cornea to reduce your astigmatism. These are called LRIs or limbal relaxing incisions.

Micro-Incisions-can-reduce-AstigmatismPre-existing astigmatism can be treated with limbal relaxing incisions.
You will go home soon after the surgery and relax for the rest of the day. Everyone heals somewhat differently, but many patients report improvement in their vision almost immediately after the procedure. Most patients return to their normal activities within a day or two.

Realistic expectations:

The decision to have cataract surgery is an important one that only you can make. The goal of any vision restoration procedure is to improve your vision. However, we cannot guarantee you will have the results you desire.

Once removed, cataracts will not grow back. But some patients may experience clouding of a thin tissue, called the capsular bag, that holds the intra-ocular lens. In most cases, a laser is used to painlessly open the clouded capsule and restore clear vision with a procedure called a capsulotomy.

The-Capsular-Bag-can-become-Cloudy The capsular bag may become cloudy in the future.
Serious complications with cataract surgery are extremely rare. It is a safe, effective and permanent procedure, but like any surgical procedure, it does have some risks. Going to an eye specialist experienced with the procedure can significantly minimize the risks involved with cataract surgery.

After a thorough eye exam, you and your doctor will determine if cataract surgery is an option for you. You will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.

You may also choose to make an appointment or request additional information to learn more about this exciting procedure.

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