Frequently Asked Questions
Would lens replacement be best for me?
If you are over 45 years old, lens replacement should be an option you consider along with contact lenses, glasses, and LASIK. Lens replacement provides a balanced distance and near vision solution, unlike blended vision with contacts or LASIK. It is the only permanent vision correction procedure that, through replacement of your natural lens, corrects near and distance vision issues.
What are the risks of lens replacement surgery?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved. These risks may include infection, retinal detachment, an increase in eye pressure, reactions to medicines and vision changes. Your cataract specialist will discuss all risks and benefits with you before your surgery. There is a small chance that your vision could be made worse by the operation, especially if bleeding or infection occur. These risks are rare and should be weighed against the potential benefits of restoring your vision. Please read the informed consent that will be provided to you for additional information.
Are there any side effects of this procedure?
Common side effects include redness, scratchiness to the eye, and light sensitivity. In addition, you may have glare, rings around lights, and blurred vision. These side effects may make it more difficult to see while driving at night or working in low light for a period of time after your procedure. These side effects generally resolve over time.
Should I have a lens replacement in both eyes?
You will get the full benefit of the multifocal IOL when it is implanted in both eyes. Please discuss your work and hobby considerations with your doctor so that they can recommend the optimal IOL for you.
How is the procedure performed?
Once you and your doctor have decided that you will have your lens removed, a complete eye health exam will be performed, and your eye will be measured to determine the proper power of the intraocular lens that will be placed in your eye.
Your lens replacement procedure will be performed in an outpatient surgery center. You will be in the center for approximately two hours on surgery day. You will be given medications to relax you and numb your eyes. A local anesthetic will make the operation virtually painless.
The skin around your eye will be thoroughly cleansed, and sterile coverings will be placed around your head. Under an operating microscope, a small incision is made into the eye and your natural lens will be gently removed using an ultrasound instrument. The new lens will be placed in your eye through the same tiny incision. A stitch is occasionally needed to close this small incision.
When the operation is over, we will usually place a shield over your eye. After a short stay in the outpatient recovery area, you will be ready to go home. Plan to have someone drive you home. You will return to our office for a post-operative visit the next day. You will notice an improvement in your vision at that time which will continue to sharpen over the next 30 days.
People used to say you had to wait for a cataract to become ripe. Is this still true?
Up until 15 years ago, cataract removal required heavy sedation and a large incision so that the entire cataractous lens could be removed at once. It was safest if the cataract was hard (ripe), so that it easily popped out of the capsular bag. However, cataract surgery today requires minimal sedation and a very small incision. The lens is emulsified using ultrasound before being gently washed away using a sterile saline solution. This advanced technique is safest and easiest on the patient when the cataract is softer, so the approach of waiting for a cataract to “ripen” is now outdated.