Cataract surgery is done on an outpatient basis. The patient will be asked to bring someone to drive them home. Prior to surgery, Dr. Phillips and his highly trained staff will examine and measure the patient's cornea and the size and shape of the eye. Utilizing multiply biometric devices including the Aladdin Biometer which supports the Surgeon in calculating the best choice for standard and premium IOLs for each individual case we also use sound based technology called Bio ultrasonography to assure the most accurate measurement possible which in combination with the detailed clinical evaluation and corneal topography results in a most accurate customized lens selection process possible. Certain supplements and medications may need to be avoided before and after surgery to prevent complications, so be sure that your doctor is aware of all medications and supplements being used.
There are two main types of cataract surgery:
Extracapsular Cataract Extraction: In this surgery, an incision is made where the cornea and sclera meet. After opening the lens capsule, the cataract is removed, and the soft lens cortex is suctioned out. The capsule is left in place. In most cases, a plastic intraocular lens (IOL) is placed inside the capsule to replace the cloudy lens. It requires no care and becomes a permanent part of the eye. This lens implant replaces the thick cataract glasses patients used to have to wear.
Phacoemulsification (Small Incision Surgery) is performed under an operating microscope, with at least one small incision is made into the eye through which the surgeon mechanically removes the cloudy lens (the cataract). A small probe is placed in the eye emitting ultrasonic waves that softens and breakups the cloudy center of the lens, which is then removed by suction. The back membrane of the lens, or posterior capsule, is left in place. A plastic or silicone IOL will be inserted inside the eye to replace the natural lens that was removed. After the intraocular lens implant is placed inside the eye, the incision is closed. Most incisions used for cataract surgery are self ‐ sealing. However, on occasion, incisions may need to be sutured. When stitches are used, they rarely need to be removed.
After surgery, the post operative eye may remain dilated for up to a day and half and the patient may experience itching and/or mild discomfort for a day or two. There may be some sensitivity to light. Vision may be blurry, for patients who receive an intra ‐ ocular lens implant. After the eye has healed, the patient will probably need new glasses. During the recovery period, the patient should:
- Use eye drops as prescribed.
- Wear protective eye shield as directed by Dr. Phillips
- Use the protective sun shades provided in bright light
- Use over ‐ the ‐ counter artificial tears as needed
- Avoid rubbing or pressing on the eye
- Avoid strenuous activities that may cause you to fall or lose your balance.
- You may shower or bathe three days following your surgery, but avoid getting water or soap in your post operative eye
- No Lifting Over 25 lbs
- Avoid the hot tub and swimming for 1 week following your surgery.
- Avoid dust, grime or other infection causing contaminants (i.e. cat litter)
- Always attend follow ‐ up visits with the doctor.
In Addition, follow any specific instructions depending on the outcome of your surgery. Always follow your surgeon's specific postoperative instructions, which are given to you prior to your discharge from the outpatient facility.