PREPARING FOR SURGERY
Prior to cataract surgery, an evaluation will need to be completed. This appointment consists of testing, meeting with your ophthalmologist to discuss the procedure and lens options, and visiting with our Surgery Scheduling department to choose a surgical date. A Pre-op History and Physical will be required within 30 days of surgery and can be completed at Minnesota Eye Consultants for your convenience.
During cataract surgery, a small incision is made and the cloudy natural lens is broken into microscopic particles, then removed by using an ultrasonic probe. This process is called phacoemulsification. The surgeon will implant the new intraocular lens, which is typically made of materials like silicone and acrylic as to not irritate your eye or induce an allergic reaction. The intraocular lens is foldable and once inserted through the micro-incision in the eye, the lens will unfold and settle into place. Once the cataract surgeon centers the lens and is happy with its placement, the surgery is complete. Because of the micro-incision, there are usually no stitches required following the procedure.
The surgery is performed on an out-patient basis at one of the various Minnesota Eye Consultants Ambulatory Surgery Centers, and takes only a few minutes. Patients are free to return home to rest in comfort and avoid the inconvenience and expense of a hospital stay. In most cases, daily activities such as driving and reading can be resumed fairly soon thereafter. We do ask patients to refrain from swimming, lifting heavy objects, and wearing make up for two weeks following surgery.
Cataract surgery is considered one of the most successful procedures performed, with improved vision occurring in over 90 percent of cases. However, some people will still need glasses to enhance their vision following the procedure. It is important to discuss your vision goals and expectations with your surgeon during your initial evaluation.
PREMIUM VISION PACKAGES
Some people will choose to further reduce their dependence on glasses after cataract surgery and Minnesota Eye Consultants offers a wide range of Premium Vision options to help achieve this goal. Some patients will choose a premium intraocular lens to use during surgery, while others will choose to have a laser vision correction procedure done after the cataract surgery is complete. Your surgeon will discuss with you your visual goal, what lens options are best for you, and what their recommendation would be to help get you to where you want to be.
It is essential to do your homework when considering any type of eye surgery, and to choose an ophthalmology practice that can treat and care for the whole health of your eye, year after year.
After cataract surgery, it is also possible to experience blurred vision and the sense that the cataract has recurred. This is referred to as a secondary cataract and occurs when the thin membrane (the posterior capsule) that supports the lens implant becomes cloudy. Secondary cataracts occur in up to 50 percent of patients after cataract surgery and can appear months or even years after the original cataract procedure.
A laser treatment, called a YAG Capsulotomy, is performed to treat the secondary cataract. The YAG laser creates an opening in the central part of the posterior capsule, allowing light to pass through, resulting in quick visual improvements. The procedure is quick and painless, and there are no restrictions following.