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FAQ's Regarding Cataracts & Cataract Surgery
When can I return to work after cataract surgery?
Patients can resume normal activities the day after surgery. There are no physical restrictions. Bending and lifting are not a problem. You can wash your hair the day after surgery. We do request that you not rub your eye for several months.
Will the cataract come back?
No. Once cataracts are removed, they cannot come back. In about 30% of patients, the lens capsule that supports the intraocular lens will become cloudy over time. This usually happens one to two years following surgery. We then do a YAG laser to open the capsule, and this restores good vision.
Will I need my glasses changed after cataract surgery?
Probably. One of our goals with modern-day cataract surgery is to reduce patients’ dependence on glasses. We frequently have patients able to drive without glasses following surgery. Many patients still need glasses for reading. We will take measurements and change glasses approximately four weeks after surgery.
Will cataract surgery hurt?
No. Your eye will be thoroughly anesthetized with either drops or a local anesthetic. We will also give you some intravenous sedation to take care of any anxiety.
Will my eye be removed for cataract surgery?
No. We gently prop your lids open with a speculum during surgery and your eye stays right where it belongs. The topical anesthetic makes this quite comfortable, and there should be no pain involved.
FAQs Regarding LASIK Surgery
What is laser vision correction?
It is an outpatient treatment first performed in 1987 that uses a light beam to gently reshape the surface of the eye (the cornea) and improve vision. The light gently pulses to remove microscopic amounts of tissue, altering the curvature of the cornea and allowing visual images to be more focused on the retina.
What are the benefits of laser vision correction?
Laser vision correction reduces or eliminates nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism and with it, the need for glasses or contacts.
What is nearsightedness?
The normal eye is a perfect sphere, where the cornea and lens focus light to form an image on the back inside surface of the eye, known as the retina. With nearsightedness (myopia), the cornea’s curvature is too steep for the shape of the eye. The light is focused in front of the retina, causing images of distant objects to appear blurry.
What is farsightedness?
In a farsighted (hyperopia) eye, the image focuses beyond the retina. In our youth, the innate accommodating (focusing) power of the eyes often compensates for farsightedness. But as we age, our eyes become less able to accommodate. For this reason, farsightedness most commonly becomes a problem later in life. Many farsighted eyes do not need correction until the individuals reach their forties or fifties.
What is astigmatism?
The front of the astigmatic eye has an irregular shape, more oval, like a football. Incoming light focuses at multiple points instead of one. Astigmatism can make wearing contact lenses difficult or even impossible. Laser vision correction with an excimer laser is now an FDA-approved option for people with astigmatism.
How does laser vision correction improve nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism?
The cool beam of light gently reshapes the surface of the cornea, making it more like a normal eye. Light can then focus at the back of the eye, on the retina, making images on the retina clear, thereby improving vision.
What can I expect on the day of treatment?
Laser vision correction is an outpatient procedure that takes approximately minutes to complete for most patients. Your entire visit will be complete in about an hour. Anesthetic drops will be placed in your eye and you will be positioned under the laser. A retainer is used to gently and comfortably hold your eyelids open during the procedure. You will be asked to fixate on a blinking light for a minute or less. The doctor will view your eye directly through a surgical microscope to ensure that you are fixating properly and can pause at any time. Once finished, you get up, receive instructions from the staff, and rest for a few minutes. Afterward, you will go home and relax for several hours.
How do I know if I am a candidate for laser vision correction?
Currently, the FDA has approved laser vision correction for nearsightedness, astigmatism and farsightedness. Not every patient is a candidate. There are several factors to consider. Patients with high nearsightedness, astigmatism and farsightedness are not good candidates. There are certain eye and medical conditions which makes a patient not suitable for LASIK surgery. To get the process started, we recommend you call for a phone consultation with our patient counselor. If you have your eye glasses or contact lens prescription available, we can tell you if you are a potential candidate for laser refractive surgery.
What will my vision be like following laser vision correction?
Laser vision correction has been shown to reduce dependent glasses and contacts. Over 95% of our patients undergoing laser vision correction achieve 20/40 vision or better. This will enable you to pass a driver’s license exam without glasses. We will be happy to review the potential benefits and risks of laser vision correction with you.
How long will the procedure actually take?
You will be at the Surgery Center approximately 1-1/2 hours. The time in the surgery suite with the surgeon is 15-20 minutes. The actual laser treatment time is approximately one minute per eye.
Is LASIK really painless?
For many patients, LASIK is indeed painless. However, some patients experience some discomfort usually less than 24 hours after the procedure. The eyes may feel scratchy, gritty or watery. These are temporary symptoms and are not a problem for most patients. Keeping the eyes closed and using the medication as instructed minimize discomfort. Discomfort during the procedure, if any, usually happens when the suction ring of the microkeratome (the flap maker) is seated on the eyes. The suction can give the eye a pressure sensation.
Why must I discontinue contact lens wear before my preoperative exam?
Contact lenses can change the shape of the cornea similar to the way a watchband can make a skin imprint on your wrist. If you have your eyes examined too soon after taking out your contacts, some of the eye tests could give inaccurate results. You should discontinue wearing soft contact lenses seven days prior to the operative measurements and surgery. Rigid gas permeable contact lens wearers should discontinue wearing lenses three weeks prior to pre-operative measurements. Our doctors will advise you if they suspect your corneas have not returned to their natural shape after removing your contact lenses.
What kind of vision can I expect after surgery?
Many patients notice improved vision immediately after the procedure, although it is normal to be somewhat blurred immediately after an operation. The next day, most patients have excellent vision and do not need any glasses or contacts. Patients continue to see gradual increase in their visual acuity during the first five to seven days after the surgery.
Do the results last?
Refractive surgery is considered to be a permanent procedure. However, refractive surgery will not prevent any age-related conditions such as presbyopia (the need for reading glasses) and cataracts. In a small number of cases, eyes do change over time and develop a new prescription, but the effect of the laser on the pre-operative prescription is permanent.
Does insurance cover refractive surgery?
Most insurance companies consider refractive surgery an elective surgery, and it is not usually a covered benefit. However, it is certainly worth checking with your insurance company, and we encourage you to call them.
How much work will I miss?
Most patients return to their normal activities the day after the procedure. The doctor can give you more details on what you can expect when you come in for an evaluation.
Can both eyes be done at the same time?
Because the advanced technology associated with laser vision correction, both eyes are usually done at the same time.
What are the risks of refractive surgery?
While enjoying a very high success rate, refractive surgery is still surgery, and like all surgery there is some risk associated with LASIK. Our most important goal is your safety. Some potential complications include conditions such as dryness, complications making the surgical flap, night glare, over or under-correction, infection, and loss of best-corrected vision. Your surgeon will go over the potential risks with refractive surgery and measurement to avoid them. Be sure to have all your questions answered before having surgery.