Eye Matters
December 4, 2009
Advanced Cataract Surgery

Last week we discussed the use of anesthesia in Cataract Surgery. We have learned that cataract surgery is one of the most common and safest surgical procedures today. In a relatively quick outpatient procedure, the cloudy cataract is removed and is replaced by an intraocular lens implant (IOL).{{more}}

This artificial lens has the ability to focus light just like a patient’s natural lens.

Phacoemulsification (Phaco for short) is one of the surgical techniques used today to remove cataracts.

Ultrasound technology is used through a small incision to extract the lens.

This technique shortens the recovery time for the patient and restores vision much faster than most other techniques. Of great advantage here is that sutures are often not required.

Self Sealing Incision Surgery

With “phaco”, a probe is inserted through a small 1/8 inch opening which is created in the cornea (clear part of the eye that covers the iris) with a special self sealing technique.

The advantages of the clear corneal incision are as follows

* No need for sutures
* Can be performed under local or topical anesthesia
* Incision does not bleed
* No restrictions after surgery
* Vision after surgery greatly enhanced
* Astigmatism after surgery greatly reduced

So, is no stitch, no patch, topical anesthesia surgery suitable for everyone?

Due to the structure of some patients eyes, their health and other factors, no stitch, no patch, topical anesthesia cataract surgery may not always be the ideal technique to be employed.

In such cases, traditional cataract surgery with or without sutures is preferred. Patients can also expect to do well with these techniques.

Normal or advanced cataract surgery?

Normal cataract surgery usually corrects vision for one distance using an IOL known as a mono-focal lens implant. This means that most patients gain the ability to see distant objects clearly after surgery. They still will require reading glasses, bifocals or progressive lenses to enhance near or intermediate vision. Patients with astigmatism will need corrective lenses to see clearly in the distance.

With today’s advanced cataract removal methods, more patients are moving towards options such as multi-focal IOL’s or Toric lenses. These new IOL’s are now available in many different designs and materials. It has worked so well for many patients that they no longer need corrective lenses again.

Multi-focal lenses are designed to better mimic the eye’s natural ability to change focus. They provide a better range of vision from distance to intermediate to near vision. They are similar to the progressive lenses people wear in their glasses.

It is necessary to have a complete eye consultation and examination with the doctor in order to determine each patient’s individual needs and their potential for much improved vision.

Next week we take on the topic of lifestyle choices.

Have a great weekend.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us Send questions to: [email protected]

Tel: 784 456-1210