A cataract is a “clouding” of the natural crystalline lens inside your eye. It is similar to a fogged-up lens inside a camera. There are many causes of cataract development, including inherited diseases and diabetes. Most are thought to be caused by sunlight exposure over many years, but cataracts can occur at any age, even in newborn babies.
When the cataract creates difficulty with visual tasks, is causing glaucoma, or is otherwise endangering the eye, we remove it using a surgical procedure called phacoemulsification with implantation. Many steps of the cataract surgery can now be performed by a computer driven laser system, delivering accuracy and precision far beyond that capable by the human hand. Dr. Ferguson was the first Ophthalmologist in Kentucky to perform femtosecond laser cataract surgery, having been selected by Optimedica as their surgeon of choice to introduce this unparalleled technology.
Phacoemulsification with implantation is the most advanced technique for the removal of cataracts. Via a tiny incision, Dr. Ferguson or Dr. Wörtz removes the cataract by using an ultrasonic tip vibrating at more than 40,000 times per second, and implants a permanent intra-ocular lens.
This implant, specifically selected for you, focuses light the way your natural crystalline lens did before it developed into a cataract. In many cases, the implant focuses the light better than your natural crystalline lens and can correct astigmatism, aberrations, and can provide some near vision in selected cases. This implant also has an ultraviolet filter to protect the retina in the back of your eye from sunlight injury.
The incision self seals and requires no sutures. Topical anesthesia, or drops alone, makes the standard painful injections unnecessary. The entire procedure requires less than 10 minutes and the recovery period is a mere three weeks.
Cataract surgery, the most successful surgical procedure in all of modern medicine, is highly effective in the safe restoration of vision.
Commonwealth Eye Surgery offers both standard and advanced technology implants. If you need help in your decision, please discuss it with our doctors and staff. New Technology lenses are an investment in your vision which pays “dividends” the rest of your life.
Standard Lens Implants—give good vision at distance or near, but not both. There is a 95% chance that you will need reading glasses and may require distance correction. There is no additional charge to you for this lens, which is covered by your insurance.
Distance and Near Lens Implants—the Crystalens provides excellent distance vision and mid-range vision for driving, watching TV, and working at the computer. The ability to read newspaper size print without glasses is likely with this lens, but for very fine tasks, readers may be required. The Crystalens also provides excellent night vision without disturbing haloes and glare common with multifocal implants. There are additional out-of-pocket expenses associated with this lens.
Toric Lens Implants—provide sharper unaided distance vision than all other implants if you have astigmatism, but you will require reading glasses for near work. There are also additional out-of-pocket expenses associated with this lens.
EDOF: Extended Depth of Focus
The Symfony and Symfony Toric (for patients with astigmatism) is an example of an extended depth of focus intraocular lens. In our experience, it has provided the best overall range of vision with the fewest unwanted side effects. It is engineered to provide excellent distance vision, with a limited incidence of bothersome glare and halos. Most patients will see some halos, glare or spider web light effects at night, especially in the first few months after surgery. These disturbances are typically mild, and get better over time as the brain gets used to the way the lens provides the vision. These lenses help patients achieve excellent intermediate and some near vision as well without loss of distance vision. Also, because of the way the light is focused, it is less common to require a secondary laser refractive surgery after cataract surgery for fine-tuning.
The CATALYS Femtosecond Laser – The Ultimate in Precision Cataract Surgery
The Catalys femtosecond laser is now FDA approved for use in cataract patients. This ultra-short pulse laser creates incisions, corrects astigmatism, precisely opens the cataract, and softens the center of the cataract before the surgery actually begins. The surgeon simply opens the computer created incisions, evacuates the cataract, and implants an artificial lens.
The degree of precision and accuracy is exquisite, and cannot be consistently replicated by the surgeon’s hand. Once programmed, the femtosecond laser automatically creates perfect arcs and incisions, painlessly, which are customized to the individual patient’s needs. And although highly skilled surgeons may be threatened by the technology, it will quickly become the standard of modern cataract
The femtosecond laser uses technology incorporating one of the fastest existing reactions in nature. To appreciate how short a time period a femtosecond is, consider that one femtosecond is to one second, as one second is to 37 million years!
Commonwealth Eye Surgery is proud to have been selected by Optimedica as the flagship ophthalmic surgical practice in Kentucky for the introduction of the Catalys Femtosecond Laser.
About 30% of cataract patients eventually demonstrate a clouding of the capsule, the back surface of the cataract intentionally retained for support of the lens implant. If this cloudiness compromises your vision, the YAG laser can painlessly restore your vision in a matter of minutes.