What is a cataract? When do we take it out? What are our options regarding taking it out? What are our lens options? What should a patient expect from their postoperative outcome? Board-Certified Ophthalmologist, Dr. Michael Sherman discusses the latest techniques in laser-assisted cataract surgery and the different types of lens options by answering these questions.
What is a cataract? A cataract is a natural clouding of the lens. A clear lens is self-explanatory; it’s clear, you can see through it on both sides. When you don’t have a cataract, or most commonly when you are younger, you will have a clear lens. Someone who does have a cataract, the lens will be very clouded. There are also different types of cataracts, nuclear sclerotic cataracts (the most common age-related cataract), cortical cataracts and posterior subcapsular cataracts. At Garden City Hospital, we do the latest in cataract surgery. We offer premium lenses, state of the art surgery, whether it’s traditional or laser.
Cataract surgery. Many years ago when they started to do cataract surgery, they created a very large incision in the eye which required multiple sutures to close the wound. In today’s world, we do cataract surgery without stitches, with only topical anesthetic, which means faster healing times and better post-operative outcomes and visual acuity. At GCH, we do the traditional way of removing cataract surgery along with the most advanced techniques like laser cataract surgery.
Currently, at GCH we use traditional means in removing a cataract which is based on the small incision, anesthetic is just eye drops, patients are here for less than two hours and the surgery itself takes up to anywhere between six-eight minutes.
Laser-assisted cataract surgery. At GCH, we also offer femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery. This consists of using a laser, which helps perform about half of the surgery. It makes the corneal incision and arcuate cuts in the cornea help remove the superficial layer of the cataract and cut your cataract into smaller pieces that are easily removed. It is infinitely more precise to have laser-assisted cataract surgery because the depth, width, and length of the incisions are all measured by a computer that speaks directly to the laser. The laser also helps us reduce a patient’s post-operative astigmatism. The laser performs cuts on the cornea which help reduce astigmatism through very precise incisions.
Lens options. After the cataract is removed, there are a few different lens options including mono-focal lenses, torque lenses-which correct astigmatism, and multifocal lenses-meaning they have multiple focuses and you can see both distances intermediately. Multifocal lens have concentric rings in the middle that helps you have multiple focal points so you can see both distance and near at an intermediate level. in contrast, a mono-focal lens only has one focal point and will help you have sharper distance vision only, not reading. However, with the laser-assisted cataract surgery or the femtosecond laser to help reduce astigmatism, a mono-focal lens also corrects astigmatism and should give you a very sharp picture for distance.
An implant sits where your normal, natural crystalline lens used to be. We take out your dirty cataract, the dirty lens in your eye, and we replace it with a clean one. This lens sits exactly where your old cataract was. All of these options in cataract surgery are based on what you need to give you a better quality of life.
Call 734-458-3300 to find out which lens fits your lifestyle.