Cataract Surgery at Eye Centers of Racine & Kenosha
A focus on patient care that utilizes the most advanced technology
Modern cataract surgery is much different from the cataract surgery of your grandparents where long hospital stays were required and technology was limited. The cataract surgery today involves various levels of high-tech equipment all based around the phacoemulsification process created by Charles Kelman, MD in the early 1970’s. The cataract surgery of today involves small incision sizes, anesthesia improvements, improved antibiotics to prevent infection, high-tech lens implants for visual clarity and also use of lasers for better precision. All of these combined technologies are life changing for many patients and enable a great deal of lifestyle flexibility. Nowadays; cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that takes a half-hour or less and lets you get back to your normal activity level within a few days. We strongly encourage you to have a discussion with our office staff or eye doctors to better understand all the options at play during your cataract surgery process. The decisions that are made during your initial visits will determine how well you will see long after surgery.
We are the first eye center in Wisconsin to perform No-Stitch Cataract Surgery.
Things to think about before cataract surgery
- Should I consider laser cataract surgery instead of traditional cataract surgery?
- What type of lens implant would be best for me after cataract surgery, a monofocal, astigmatism correcting or multifocal lens implant?
If you are seeking the most advanced cataract surgery, be sure to contact our eye care office directly. We have board certified eye surgeons who are among the firsts to offer many types of treatments.
What is a Cataract?
Is your vision foggy or blurry? Do colors appear dull or not sharp? Do your eyes hurt when you go out in the sun? If you answered YES to these questions you may be experiencing cataracts.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens. The lens typically becomes cloudy and has a bit of a yellowish hue to it. When the natural lens experiences this clouding effect, vision quality is diminished. Many people describe this sensation as looking through a foggy car window or a piece of wax paper. Cataracts can be burdensome especially to people who have had clear vision most of their life. The lens in your eye is responsible for focusing light rays on the retina, which is the part of the eye that senses light and transmits these images to the brain. When the natural lens becomes cloudy light rays cannot possibly pass through. Vision becomes blurry at this point and as the cataract develops it becomes increasingly difficult to see. Developing cataracts is part of the normal aging process. It has been stated by many eye doctors that if you live long enough you will develop cataracts.
How fast does a cataract develop?
How quickly the cataract develops varies among individuals, and may vary even between the two eyes. Most age-related cataracts progress gradually over a period of years. Other cataracts, especially in younger people and people with diabetes, may progress rapidly over a few months. It is not possible to predict exactly how fast cataracts will develop in any given person.
During cataract surgery, the natural lens of your eye is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens called an intraocular lens implant. The surgical process involves a small incision phacoemulsification technique and why many eye doctors refer to this as micro-surgery. This means that the cataract surgery is accomplished using the smallest possible incision, and removal of the lens material is accomplished using an ultrasonic needle. Once the eye has been properly dilated, the eye is then prepared with a cleaning solution. Topical anesthetic is then administered to the surface of the eye. Next, under a microscope an incision of 3 millimeters in length is then created at the junction of the cornea (the clear structure on the front of the eye) and the sclera (the white part of the eye). Another dose of anesthetic is then administered inside the eye through this incision. The front part of the lens envelope, known as the lens capsule, is carefully opened so that the lens material can be removed. This is accomplished using a needle-like ultrasonic device, which pulverizes the hardened and yellowed lens proteins known as the cataract. The pulverized material is simultaneously vacuumed from the eye.
Once all of the cataract material has been removed a foldable intraocular lens is then inserted through the original incision and positioned into the lens capsule. The lens will remain inside your eye in this location without moving. Intraocular lenses cannot be felt or sensed in any way by the patient.
Cataract surgery is virtually painless and recovery is quick. Your eye may be patched when you leave the facility, but the patch will be removed the next day. You will notice improvement in your vision; however, you may still need glasses for some tasks. In 60 percent of cataract surgery patients, the capsule that holds the new intraocular lens becomes cloudy. This can happen anywhere from months to years after the procedure. If this occurs, a laser is used to make a small opening in the capsule. This procedure takes just a few minutes in the office and will make your vision clear again.
Cataract Surgery Risks
There will always be risk involved with any type of surgery, and eye surgery is no exception. Fortunately, cataract surgery is much safer and quicker than many other surgeries, and complications are rare. The major risks of cataract surgery include, but are not limited to, bleeding, infection, swelling in the cornea or retina, high eye pressure, and retinal detachments. There is no guarantee that cataract surgery or astigmatism reduction will improve your vision.