Dr. Montgomery has performed thousands of cataract surgeries and would like to provide you with some information regarding current techniques of cataract surgery.
A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye, which can interfere with vision. Most commonly causing blurry vision but also glare. When the degree of blurriness is bothering a patient’s visual needs, removal of the cataract is needed to improve vision. A lens implant is placed in the eye to replace the natural lens.
Cataract surgery has advanced tremendously over the last decade. It is done now through a 3-mm. incision that self-seals tighter than sutured wounds. Anesthesia is usually done with numbing eye drops and no injections around the eye are needed in the majority of cases. IV sedation is also provided and an anesthesiologist performs this. This reduces complications and allows for a very comfortable surgery for the patient.
The cataract is removed by a process called phacoemulsification. This instrument uses ultrasound to break up the cataract and then sucks out the material through the small incision. Dr. Tripp was first trained in phacoemulsification in 1983. A lens implant is then placed into the eye to replace the focusing power of the removed natural lens (the cataract). This implant folds like a burrito to enable it to enter the eye through the small incision, then is unfolded within the eye and positioned behind the iris as a permanent part of the eye.
There is very little discomfort associated with cataract surgery and there is vision as soon as surgery is finished, although the best post-surgery vision can take up to three weeks to be achieved. The surgery lasts about 30 minutes but patients are generally at the surgery center for about three hours. New glasses are prescribed after three weeks.
Calculating the lens implant power precisely can reduce nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. There are lens implants available that are designed to reduce astigmatism. These lens implants are inserted in the eye at the time of cataract surgery and are effective for treating moderate amounts of astigmatism. Higher amounts of astigmatism can be better dealt with intraoperatively or postoperatively with small corneal incisions or with LASIK after healing from the cataract surgery is complete. To achieve the best results, we are one of the few practices in the state of Colorado that have the state of the art IOL Master which uses wave front technology to measure the length of the eye. Obtaining the most accurate measurement of the length of the eyeball is critical to reaching the desired refractive outcome. This is used along with the traditional ultrasound measuring devices to have the highest accuracy possible.
If you have cataracts, Dr. Tripp and Dr. Montgomery would be happy to discuss whether your eyes are ready for cataract surgery as well as all of the details of surgery with you. Please call our office for an appointment.