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Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery

Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery

One of the safest procedures in ophthalmology, cataract surgery, is now even safer, more precise and recovery time is faster with state-of-the-art bladeless laser technology. When it comes to the very latest technology- and the experience to make the most of it- Atlantic Eye Institute continues to lead the way.

Like traditional cataract surgery, an incision is made in the eye, the natural clouded lens is removed and a new lens is inserted. The laser replaces the traditional hand-held blade to allow the most precise and smallest possible incision, about 1/18th of an inch. The computer-guided laser allows your surgeon to plan and perform the surgery to exact, individual specifications not attainable with traditional surgical methods, resulting in better overall vision.

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside your eye. Normally, light passes through the clear lens and is focused on the retina; however, cataracts block light preventing clear images from being seen. Cataracts may be the reason sharp objects become blurred, colors become dull, or seeing at night becomes difficult. It may also be why reading is difficult, or why glasses that used to help you are no longer effective.

Cataracts are a result of the aging process, although their progress may be more advanced by injury or certain diseases and medications. As the majority of cataracts are part of the natural aging process, they cannot be prevented. Diet, and lasers are not effective in treating cataract. The best way to treat a cataract is with surgery that removes the old clouded lens and replaces it with a new, clear artificial one.

Cataract Surgery

Cataract removal is one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures performed today. Atlantic Eye Institute’s surgeons have performed thousands of successful cataract operations, and are up to date on the latest technological advances in cataract surgery.

We are proud to offer our patients two different surgical techniques for cataract surgery; no stitch cataract surgery and the newest, groundbreaking technology of bladeless laser cataract surgery with the LenSx technology. During your cataract consultation your surgeon at A.E.I. will explain to you which technology would be best for your visual needs and lifestyle.

Traditional, NO STITCH, cataract surgery entails making a tiny incision in the eye and inserting an instrument about the size of a pen tip to break up and remove the cloudy lens. This process is called phacoemulsification or “phaco”, and utilizes ultrasound to gently and safely break up, or “emulsify”, the cataract. The small fragments can be safely removed through the tip of the probe, without making a larger incision. After the cloudy lens has been removed, an artificial intra-ocular lens implant (IOL) is inserted through the same tiny incision and set into its permanent position. In most cases, the incision is so small that it does not require stitches to close.

Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery using the LenSx system is the most advanced technology in cataract surgeries to date. Either type of procedure can be effective when performed by a skilled surgeon, however laser-assisted cataract surgery procedures are generally more predictable and precise. Laser-assisted cataract surgery technology can automate certain steps during the procedure with laser precision.

With LensSx®, patients now have the option of choosing a computer-controlled, bladeless cataract laser to take off he most critical steps of the cataract surgery procedure. LenSx®, made by Alcon, is the most technologically advanced option for cataract patients today. Like the Wavefront laser, a custom map is made of your eye which means the cataract surgery procedure is 100% customized. The LenSx® uses integrated optical coherence tomography (OCT) which captures precise, hi-resolution images of your eyes. LenSx® uses a femtosecond laser to make the corneal incisions, break apart the couldy cataract lens and creates a perfect size capsulotomy, which is a key step in cataract surgery. LenSx® automates the most challenging steps of traditional cataract surgery. Prior to the introduction of this laser, traditional cataract surgery involved the creation of several small incisions during the procedure. All of these incisions were made manually with a blade. With LensSx®, the surgeon can create those incisions with a significantly higher degree of precision. This combined with the real-time image guided feature aids the physician in seeing the activity taking place in the eye during surgery and aids the surgeon. The LenSx® Laser first images your eye to plan a procedure that’s unique to you. A bladeless, computer-controlled laser then helps surgeons perform your surgery with exacting, individualized precision not attainable with traditional surgical methods.

What to expect before, during, and after surgery.

Most people are surprised to find out just how easy and pain free cataract surgery is. The procedure itself usually takes 15 to 20 minutes or less, and most patients are able to resume most of their normal activities the following day. Atlantic Eye Institute surgeons perform cataract surgery in an outpatient surgery center, allowing patients to return home shortly after their procedure is finished. Prior to surgery, you will be given a prescription for drops to prevent infection which you will begin taking several days before surgery. Upon arrival of the day of surgery, an anesthetic will be given to numb the nerves in or around the eye so your surgery will be comfortable and pain free. After the surgery many patients have improved vision right away; however, it is normal for your sight to improve greatly over the first days or weeks.

Custom Cataract Surgery at Atlantic Eye Institute

Our physicians realize that every patient is different and has unique goals for their vision after cataract surgery. Fortunately, you have encountered cataracts at a time when both surgical procedures and lens implant technology have taken great leaps of progress. Measurement s obtained at your pre-operative consultation allow us to incorporate most or all of your glasses prescription in your lens implant. Micro incision surgical techniques allow for quick healing and vision recovery. These advances allow us to not only treat the cloudy lens, but potentially to give you the best vision of your life!

Astigmatism Correction with Cataract Surgery

Sometimes the surface of the eye, or the cornea, is curved more like a football than a basketball, with both flatter and steeper curves. This common irregularity, called “corneal astigmatism”, causes blurred or distorted vision unless it is corrected using glasses, contacts, or surgical procedures. The standard monofocal lens implants used at Atlantic Eye Institute are the best and most technologically advanced available, but they do not correct for astigmatism. They provide excellent vision after surgery, but for patients with large degrees of astigmatism, glasses may be required after surgery. Patients who desire to have better vision along with freedom from glasses have several options available.

One option to consider is a premium astigmatic correcting lens implant, or a toric IOL. A custom lens is selected based on measurements taken during your evaluation which includes not only your near or far sighted prescription, but also your astigmatic correction. These toric lens implants effectively reduce or eliminate mild to moderate astigmatism.

Another treatment for astigmatic correction after cataract surgery is laser vision correction. After your cataract surgery is complete, any residual astigmatic error is measured, and is then removed using our Allegretto Wave Eye-Q laser. This procedure, commonly known as LASIK or PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy), is safe and effective for treating moderate to advanced astigmatism.

If you have astigmatism and would like to be free from glasses after your cataract surgery, talk to your surgeon about which option is best for you.

Reading After Cataract Surgery

By the time most patients are diagnosed with a cataract, they have already been wearing reading glasses due to presbyopia. Presbyopia is the age related condition that blurs near vision due to the loss of flexibility of the natural lens and surrounding muscles. Modern cataract surgery can allow many patients to read without glasses for the first time in years. Depending on your goals for cataract surgery, there are several options available.

The standard lens implant used in cataract surgery is a monofocal lens, meaning that has one point of focus to give clear vision. If your visual goal is excellent distance vision for tasks such as sports or driving, these implants can give you the best distance vision possible, but reading glasses will be required for close vision. If independence from glasses is important to you, these lenses still can be used effectively with “monovision”. Monovision correction utilizes a lens for your best distance vision in your dominant eye, and utilizes a “close up” lens for your non-dominant eye for reading vision. Most patients readily adapt to the different lenses and are left with good distance and reading vision.

Recent advances in IOL technology have made improved “multifocal” IOLs an attractive choice for some patients. These premium IOLs are designed to replace cataracts and correct both near and distance vision at the same time in each eye. The Acrysof® Restor® was one of the first premium lenses to achieve a high level of success in giving patients great distance, reading, and intermediate vision. The FDA studies show that 80% of patients with Acrysof® Restor® implants achieved independence from glasses. These lenses can be used to to correct near sightedness, far sightedness, and presbyopia. This technology allows Atlantic Eye Institutes Surgeons to give you a full range of clear vision. Talk with your doctor about whether the Acrysof® Restor® premium IOL is right for you.

FAQ

When should I have cataract surgery?

Everyone begins to develop cataracts by the time they reach their 50s or 60s, but not all cataracts bring down vision. Many people believe that cataracts have to be “ripe” before they can be removed. Advances in cataract surgery’s safety and effectiveness make this procedure available as soon as your cataracts affect your vision and interfere with your daily activities and quality of life.

What IOL implant is right for me?

No single lens is right for everyone. Only you and your ophthalmologist can decide which implant is the most appropriate for you. Talk with your surgeon about your goals for your vision after surgery.

Can cataracts come back?

Once cataracts are removed they do not return. Occasionally, months or years after their surgery, patients note that their vision again becomes cloudy. This condition is known as a secondary cataract, and can be easily and rapidly treated with a laser in the office.

Is cataract surgery covered by insurance?

In most cases standard cataract surgery is covered by insurance. Premium lens implants and astigmatism correction may not be covered by your insurance carriers. Our surgical planning department will go over these details with you.

How safe is cataract surgery?

All surgeries carry some risk. Cataract surgery is among the safest procedures performed today, with an overall success rate of 97% or greater. Your surgeon will provide you with all the risks and benefits of cataract surgery.

Who performs my cataract surgery?

Atlantic Eye Institute’s ophthalmologists who have special advanced training in eye surgery perform our cataract operations.

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