Cataract surgery is not only one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures performed in the United States, but it is also one of the safest and most successful surgical procedures that you can have. Modern cataract surgery today is safe, effective, predictable and quite common. In the United States alone, more than 2.5 million people have cataract surgery each year. The cataract surgeons at The Eye Clinic of Texas use the most modern technique of cataract surgery-a small incision, “no stitch no needle” technique that is performed on an outpatient basis. The entire process usually requires only two hours of your time from beginning ending. The actual surgical procedure is painless and takes less than 15 minutes. The nurses and staff are present to help us with your actual surgery as well as to assist you and make your experience pleasant.
When to have cataract surgery is a decision to be made when the presence of cataracts has become significant enough that it interferes with one’s lifestyle and ability to carry on everyday tasks and activities comfortably and safely. Early cataracts may not need any surgical intervention. You may only need a new prescription for glasses or contact lenses. You also may want brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses, or magnifying lenses. If these measures don’t help, surgery is the only effective treatment. A cataract needs to be removed when the loss of vision interferes with your daily activities, such as driving, especially at night, and reading fine prints or in any way interferes with your safe mobility.
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).
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 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, The Eye Clinic of Texas cataract surgeons will be able to take extra care to make sure the pupil stays dilated to prevent unexpected complications during your cataract surgery.
When you arrive at the surgery center, the staff will check you in and review any paperwork that might require clarification or additional information. You will be escorted to a private changing area and asked to cover your street clothes with a gown and your shoes with “booties”. Once you are ready you will be escorted to a comfortable waiting area. Your actual cataract surgery procedure will begin with a staff member placing some drops in your eye to dilate your pupil. Your eye will then be treated with an anesthetic so that you will feel little if anything during your surgery and minimal if any discomfort. For most cataract surgery patients this involves having a few sets of eye drops placed in your eyes. Typically, it is not necessary for your cataract surgeon to use any injections or needles to anesthetize your eye. In order to help you relax, a small dose of anti-anxiety and/or sedative medication will be given as directed by your doctor. At the beginning of the surgery, your cataract surgeon will place a very tiny incision at the outermost edge of your cornea.
This incision will be just large enough to allow microscopic instruments, about the size of a pen tip to pass through it.
These microscopic instruments include a sophisticated and precise instrument that allows the removal of your cataract using ultrasound.
This cataract removal technique is called “phacoemulsification” and is the preferred technique of cataract surgery for most patients.
Next, your 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. Using sound waves or “Ultrasound” produced at the tip of another instrument, The Eye Clinic of Texas cataract surgeons will gently break the cataract into pieces small enough to be washed away, drawn through the instrument and removed from your eye.
After the cataract has been removed, your surgeon will 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 your cataract surgeon removed the cataract. Upon completion of your cataract and lens implant surgery, one of the surgery center staff members will 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 discharge you and have a family member or friend drive you home.
Your cataract surgeon will arrange for you to be seen at The Eye Clinic of Texas within 24 to 48 hours of your cataract and lens implant surgery so we can examine your eye and confirm that you are healing and seeing as planned. He or she will also prescribe some eye drops for you. Although each patient will heal alittle bit differently, the majority of patients having cataract surgery with the cataract surgeons at The Eye Clinic of Texas are able to see well enough to return to their routine daily activities within a day or so after their cataract surgery.