Advancements in technology now provide a wide variety of options,
allowing you to decrease your dependence on glasses after cataract surgery. There are many options to choose from that fit your personal visual needs and your lifestyle.
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Blade-Free Cataract Surgery
Over the years, cataract surgery has evolved from a fairly intense surgery with a long recovery time to the advanced “no-shot, no-stitch, no-patch” procedure we perform today. The average cataract procedure itself, typically takes less than 10 minutes to perform and patients are back to most normal activities the next day.
Recently, the LenSx™ laser has received FDA approval for use inside the eye during cataract surgery, and allows surgeons to perform a blade-free laser version of cataract surgery. This is the same laser technology that has been used for over a decade in All-Laser LASIK surgery to provide increased safety and precision.
The current studies are based upon very limited data, but early results might suggest a slightly lower risk for complications with this technique when compared to currently utilized cataract surgery methods. Heaton Eye Associates is carefully considering this technology, but is in the process of evaluating current and future study data before implementing it.
This proposed “Blade-Free” Laser cataract surgery option is currently substantially more expensive for the physician and the patient. Unfortunately, insurance does not cover Blade-Free Laser Cataract Surgery.
Heaton Eye Associates is always examining the best, and safest options for our patients. We will continue to monitor and follow this research and keep you informed of the latest advances in technology and methods so we can continue to provide you with the best and most advanced vision care available anywhere.
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The normal lens of the eye is like a grape, having an outer skin and inner gel-like material. When a cataract forms, the material inside the lens turns cloudy and interferes with good vision. Cataract surgery removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with an intraocular lens implant. During cataract surgery the fine skin (like a capsule) of the lens is left in place to support the new lens implant. In some cases, the capsule may become cloudy after surgery. This is sometimes called a “secondary cataract”. The YAG laser can be used to create an opening in the capsule and a clear path for light to enter the eye. It is painless and is done on an outpatient basis at the Heaton Laser and Surgery Center. The YAG laser is a surgical instrument that produces a short pulsed, high-energy light beam that can be precisely focused by computer to cut, perforate or fragment tissue.
While being treated with the YAG laser, the patient sits in a chair in front of the laser. The doctor focuses the YAG laser onto the cloudy capsule using a special aiming beam. The laser beam passes through the cornea and the lens implant. As the beam reaches its focal point on the cloudy capsule, the energy becomes highly concentrated and creates a new window in the capsule. The procedure takes only a few minutes.
What to expect the day of treatment:
We treat one eye at a time.
The eye that is being treated will be dilated before the procedure. By opening the pupil of the eye, the doctor is able to see the lens implant and the cloudiness he will be treating.
A driver is not necessary to take a patient home following treatment. Some patients choose to bring a driver due to light sensitivity following dilation.
Eating and drinking as normal is allowed before arriving. Patients are not given a sedative before the procedure.
Following the procedure, patients are asked to remain in the office for 45 minutes to allow a measurement of the eye pressure.
The eye that is treated is not patched.
Medicated drops are used to promote healing after the treatment.