Those patients who simply want to see better but do not mind wearing contact lenses or eyeglasses are generally best served by having Basic Cataract Surgery. Basic Cataract Surgery is the least expensive option for our cataract patients, yet we find that these patients enjoy excellent quality of vision after surgery. Basic Cataract Surgery uses traditional monofocal lenses with powers that can be calculated to help you see far away or up close. This is the option that most of our patients choose. It uses the tried and true technology of traditional monofocal IOL’s that has been developed with great success for over 50 years.
After Basic Cataract Surgery, most patients require reading glasses and/or bifocals to achieve their best vision. Reading glasses have the virtue of being inexpensive (generally around $10) and readily available without a prescription.
Understand that although an effort is made to lessen dependence on glasses even with our basic surgery, there is no guarantee to eliminate glasses, especially for reading. The monofocal lenses used in Basic Cataract Surgery are covered by Medicare and private insurance. Patients who choose Basic Cataract Surgery who later desire reduced dependence on glasses after surgery must understand that further refractive procedures such as LASIK, PRK, or intraocular lens exchange are the financial responsibility of the patient.
Understand that the primary goal of cataract surgery is to remove the cloudy lens (the cataract) and replace it with a clear lens (the intraocular lens [IOL] or “implant”). Replacing the cloudy lens with an implant allows the eye to regain its potential for vision. In order to get the best vision after cataract surgery, it is often necessary to wear glasses or contact lenses. The vision obtainable with glasses or contact lenses after surgery is what we call “Best Corrected Visual Acuity” (BCVA).
A secondary goal of cataract surgery is to reduce your dependence upon glasses and contact lenses. Because of recent advances in IOL technology, as well as technology used to measure the eye and plan surgery, we can often make our patients less dependent on eyeglasses. Some patients are able to eliminate glasses entirely, although it is impossible to guarantee with any of these technologies that you will be able to function without glasses for all tasks.
For patients without clinically significant cataracts who undergo Refractive Lens Exchange, the goals are somewhat different. Because these patients already have adequate vision with glasses (whereas cataract patients do not), the primary goal of Refractive Lens Exchange is to reduce your dependence on glasses and contact lenses. Understand that although most of our patients who undergo Refractive Lens Exchange will have decreased dependence on glasses and contacts, it is impossible to guarantee that you will be able to function without glasses for all things.
Understand that the primary goal of Basic Cataract Surgery is to remove the cloudy lens (the cataract) and replace it with a clear lens—the implant. Replacing the cloudy lens with an implant allows the eye to regain its potential for vision. In order to get the best possible vision after cataract surgery, it is often necessary to wear glasses or contact lenses, especially for reading.
Because of recent advances in IOL technology, as well as technology used to measure the eye and plan surgery, we can often make our patients less dependent on eyeglasses. The use of special implants and surgical techniques to reduce our patients’ dependence upon glasses and contact lenses is what we call Custom Cataract Surgery. With these techniques, many of our patients are able to eliminate or substantially reduce their dependence on glasses or contacts. Unfortunately, Medicare and private insurance carriers do not cover the extra testing and screening involved with Custom Cataract Surgery.
For patients without clinically significant cataracts who desire the benefits of the newer technology intraocular lenses, we offer a procedure that we call Refractive Lens Exchange. With Refractive Lens Exchange, the goals are somewhat different from patients having traditional cataract surgery. Because these patients already have adequate vision with glasses (whereas cataract patients do not), the primary goal of Refractive Lens Exchange is to reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses and contact lenses. Understand that although most of our patients who undergo Refractive Lens Exchange will have decreased dependence on glasses and contacts—and many function entirely without them—it is impossible to guarantee that all patients will be able to function without glasses for all things.
We’ve revamped the site with an eye towards making it more user friendly for both mobile devices like smartphones and tablets as well as our more traditional computer users. You’ll find tons of useful information, such as reviews and testimonials from our patients, descriptions of the custom cataract solutions we offer, and information regarding the types of refractive surgery we offer, such as LASIK, PRK, and the implantable contact (collamer) lens, the ICL.
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Richard R. Schulze, Jr., M. Phil. (Oxon), M.D.
Everyone heals somewhat differently, but many cataract patients report improvement in their vision almost immediately. Most patients return to their normal work and lifestyle routines within a day or two.
Using numbing eyedrops and gel, rather than injections with needles into the eyesocket, cataract surgery can be performed quickly and safely. Because no needles are used around the eyeball, there is no risk of perforating the eye or causing bleeding into the eyesocket. Therefore, patients on blood thinners (because of a previous stroke or heart condition) can continue those medicines, rather than having to stop them as was previously required. Finally, the use of numbing eyedrops preserves the function of the both the eyelids and the optic nerve. Hence no patch is required after surgery, and patients typically recover useful vision within an hour, rather than having to wait until the patch is removed the day following surgery to see again.