A cataract is a clouding or discoloration of the natural lens.
No, the cataract has to be visually significant before cataract surgery. The longer the cataract is in the eye, the harder it is to remove.
Generally cataract surgery does not hurt. Cataract surgery is performed with a local anesthetic, therefore you should not feel pain. Occasionally, you might feel some slight discomfort. If you should experience any discomfort, please make your doctor aware.
No, cataracts are removed with rapid frequency sound waves called ultrasound. This process is termed phacoemulsification. A laser, however, is used in other areas of treatment for the eye.
No. Because of the very small risk of infection, it is important to wait at least two weeks before operating on the second eye.
The surgical procedure itself takes approximately 30 minutes, but cataract surgery patients can expect to be at the hospital surgery center approximately two to four hours for the preparation and recovery period.
Yes, an intraocular lens (IOL) implant is used to replace the human lens. This prevents the patient from wearing thick glasses or contact lenses after cataract surgery.
No. Once implants have been placed in the eye and they have healed in place, they are very difficult to remove. Crystalens®, ReSTOR®, and other newer types of implants are best suited for people who have never had cataract surgery before.
In many cases we perform no-stitch cataract surgery at Karlik Ophthalmology. If the doctor feels it is beneficial to the patient, the doctor may use a suture, though usually just one. This suture, if needed, is easily removed in the office.
The cataract will not grow back, but at a later time the tissue behind the lens implant may become clouded. This condition is known as capsular fibrosis and it can be painlessly treated with a laser in the offices of Karlik Ophthalmology. This procedure is called a posterior capsulotomy.
The lens implant will last for the rest of your life.
In most cases you will require glasses after cataract surgery, especially for reading. You may require a very thin lens to see distant objects along with normal reading glasses. Deluxe IOLs are now available to reduce a patient’s dependence on glasses. The cost of these lenses is not currently covered by Medicare or other insurances. The doctor’s at Karlik Ophthalmology may discuss this option with you.
You will receive a new pair of glasses usually four weeks after cataract surgery. This will give the eye time to heal, giving you the best possible vision after surgery.
Your ability to return to work usually depends on your occupation. Most people can return to work the day after cataract surgery once a doctor has given his approval.
Each patient's case is evaluated on an individual basis, though generally patients can drive 24 hours after cataract surgery. Please ask your doctor at Karlik Ophthalmology for more information.
You can wash your hair right after cataract surgery, but do not let the water run directly into the eyes.
You will usually be able to engage in physical activity the day after cataract surgery. You should consult your doctor at Karlik Ophthalmology for more information on your individual case.
You may swim two weeks after cataract surgery.
You should avoid wearing eye make-up for at least one week after cataract surgery.