The Cataract Surgery Process
You have decided to have your cataracts evaluated and you arrive at SkyVision for your appointment. The very first part of your pre-surgical evaluation is a detailed history taken to determine how your vision is affecting your daily activities. If appropriate an attempt may be made to improve your vision by simply improving your spectacles. After this, a complete and comprehensive examination of the health of your eyes will take place. After the decision to proceed with cataract surgery has been reached it will be necessary to perform various tests to measure your eye in order to choose the appropriate implant power and type.
Whether you have chosen cataract surgery with a traditional or advanced technology implant or cataract surgery requiring additional refractive laser surgery (such as for residual astigmatism), special measurements of the surface of your eye and length of your eye are obtained by SkyVision Center technicians. If you have chosen cataract surgery requiring additional refractive laser surgery, further topographical measurements are needed. After reviewing the risks, benefits and alternatives of cataract surgery you will have an opportunity to have any questions about the procedure answered. At this point you will meet with one of our surgical counselors who will help make arrangements for the day of surgery. Our surgical counselors work very closely with the staff at the surgery centers to make sure that the scheduling process goes as smoothly as possible.
Removing the Cataract
Opening the capsule to reach the cataractInserting the Implant Cataract surgery is among the most frequently performed and safest surgical procedures in all of medicine. Cataract surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. You come into the operating room, have the surgery done, and go home on the same day. Your surgeon will send you home with a protective shield covering your eye. Since you are awake for the surgery you may hear your doctor and the other people assisting at surgery talking while you are in the operating room. This is a very normal part of the experience.
Cataract surgery is usually performed using a procedure called phacoemulsification. A very thin instrument is inserted into the eye either through the sclera or white part of the eye or the cornea or window to the eye. This instrument breaks apart the cataract using high frequency ultrasounds. Once the cataract is emulsified it is removed using the same instrument. This allows your SkyVision Center doctor to remove the cataract through a very small incision. After the removal of the cataract is completed the lens capsule remains behind, now empty following the removal of the cataract. The intraocular lens that you and your doctor have chosen is then inserted through the same incision into the capsular bag.
The procedure typically lasts just a few minutes and at the conclusion of the operation the cataract is gone and an intraocular lens has taken its place! The procedure is usually quick and painless.
At the conclusion of your surgery you will spend a very short time in the recovery room at the surgery center. Highly trained staff will care for you and provide you with post-operative instructions for the rest of your surgery day. We like to send our patient’s home with a shield covering the surgical eye, for piece of mind if nothing else!
When you come back to the SkyVision office the next morning, a staff member will remove your shield and check your vision. Additional detailed postoperative instructions will be given to you, and a written instruction form will be provided as well. A SkyVision doctor will then examine your eye and answer any questions you may have. You will be instructed to continue your eye drops for several weeks after your surgery.