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 and takes only a few minutes. It is now one of the most common and successful medical procedures performed. In fact, following cataract surgery, many patients experience vision that is actually better than what they had before they developed cataracts.
The only Treatment for cataracts is cataract surgery, whereby the natural cloudy intraocular lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial intraocular lens, or IOL.
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
Phacoemulsification cataract surgery has been around since 1967. This technology pioneered the way to small incision surgery that has made cataract surgery one of the safest and most successful procedures in medicine today. Phacoemulsification is still considered the state of the art cataract removal technique, however there are many steps in the cataract procedure that are still performed manually with either a surgical blade, a bent needle or forceps. Surgeons using the femtosecond laser, like Dr. Planchard, now perform these steps using a laser adding a greater amount of precision and improved visual outcome to the entire cataract procedure.
Use of the femtosecond laser in cataract surgery has become our standard of care for all the cataract surgeries performed by Dr. Planchard, so there is no additional charge for this service.
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 intraocular lens in place. In most cases, a laser is used to painlessly open the clouded capsule and restore clear vision with a procedure called a capsulotomy.
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.
Photo courtesy AMI.org, © 2018 Sam Nigro