Cataracts

What Is A Cataract?

A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens. The lens is part of the eye that helps focus light on the retina. The retina is a light-sensitive layer of tissue lining the inner surface of the eye. The optics of the eye create an image of the visual world on the retina through the cornea and lens. The clouding caused by a cataract reduces the sharpness of images reflected in the retina resulting in blurred vision.

Cataracts Illustration

Most cataracts are related to aging, usually starting at age 40. Cataracts are so common that by age 80 more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have already had cataract surgery.

How Is My Vision Affected By Cataracts?

Healthy eye vs eye affected by Cataracts

A cataract is caused by one of two changes in the lens: clumping of protein or discoloration. The lens is primarily composed of water and protein. In the case of cataracts, the protein clumps up in areas clouding the lens and reducing the amount of light that reaches the retina. This can start with small clumps and increase in size to completely cover the lens requiring cataract surgery.

In the case of discoloration the lens slowing changes to a yellow and/or brownish color. Over time this brown tint to the lens becomes more prominent making it difficult to read and identify colors such as blues, purples, and blacks. Gradual discoloration of lenses does not affect the sharpness of the image. The natural wear and tear on eyes due to job requirements, lifestyle and environment are possible factors causing cataracts.


Laser Cataract Surgery

Eye doctors performing Eye SurgeryAre you having trouble driving at night, reading the small print, or watching TV? These are typically the starting signs of a cataract. If you’re having trouble seeing or notice that images are starting to become more blurred, now is the time to schedule an evaluation with WK Eye Institute. Dr. Shelby and Dr. Coleman are highly trained ophthalmologists who specialize in refractive cataract surgery.

At The Cataract Surgeons, a division of WK Eye Institute, our top priority is to improve your vision and quality of life. From your first appointment to your last follow-up, we’ll make sure you fully understand the procedure and have the information needed for a quick and painless recovery. Alongside vision improvement, we aim to provide our patients with a stress-free cataract surgery experience and lasting patient care.

What is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is a procedure that involves removing the natural cloudy lens inside your eye and replacing it with a clear plastic artificial one. Electing to undergo this procedure will improve your vision, night vision, vibrancy, and general quality of life. Many patients report immediate improvement insight and full recovery within a few days.

FAQ’s

Is Cataract Surgery safe?

Is Cataract Surgery safe?

Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures in the history of medicine. It is also the most performed surgery in the U.S. More than 98% of cataract surgery patients have an uncomplicated course and an excellent visual result.

What is “refractive” cataract surgery?

What is “refractive” Cataract Surgery?

Refractive is a term used to describe whether an eye needs perception glasses to see clearly. People with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism have a refractive error. Standard cataract surgery has the purpose of removing the cloudy cataract allowing more light into the eye. Refractive cataract surgery also has the goal of leaving a person free from, or less dependent on glasses by eliminating all nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism at the time of cataract surgery.

What does Cataract Surgery cost?

What does Cataract Surgery cost?

Standard cataract surgery is typically covered by almost every insurance plan covering outpatient surgery. Refractive cataract surgery to decrease or eliminated the need for glasses along with cataract surgery is considered elective by insurance providers. The out-of-pocket cost is $1,000-$3,000 per eye depending on the type of intraocular lens used.

How do I prepare for the procedure?

How do I prepare for the procedure?

Preparation is relatively simple. Women are asked not to wear makeup around the eyes the day of surgery. Patients are asked to not eat or drink after midnight before the procedure, except for any usual morning meds with a small amount of water (the exception is diabetic meds which should be held the morning of surgery). Wear comfortable clothes to the surgery center. We will not require you to remove them, but just provide a gown to wear over the top. In most cases, all necessary eye drops will be provided to you by WK Eye Institute at no additional charge.

Will I be put under anesthesia?

Will I be put under anesthesia?

Typically, people are not put completely to sleep for cataract surgery and only require sedatives to be given through an IV. Eye drops are also used to numb the eye itself during the procedure and most people describe feeling the water flowing over the eye and feeling a mild amount of pressure.

What type of lens replaces my natural lens?

What type of lens replaces my natural lens?

Virtually everyone undergoing cataract surgery in the U.S. will receive some form of an acrylic intraocular lens. There are many different lens manufacturers and types, but in basic terms, they fall into three categories: monofocal, toric, and multifocal. A monofocal IOL is the standard lens and typically targets good distant vision. Toric IOL’s are used to correct astigmatism from within the eye. Multifocal lenses provide quality distance and near vision with the purpose of decreasing the need for glasses while reading or seeing at distance. The particular lens will depend on the specific measurements of your eye, along with your vision goals.

Can I drive home after Cataract Surgery?

Can I drive home after Cataract Surgery?

Driving is not allowed on the day of surgery, mainly because of the sedation that is given. It is important that you arrange transportation to and from the surgical center to avoid accidents and potential after-surgery risks. Before your upcoming procedure, be sure to ask a close friend or family member for transportation. If you have no access to transportation for surgery, please let a member of our staff know and we will help you make arrangements.

What Can I Expect for Aftercare?

What Can I Expect for Aftercare?

While many people report better vision the day after surgery, it is not uncommon to experience some haziness for a few days after the procedure. Pupil dilation can last a couple of days, and vision progressively improves as the pupil comes back to normal size. As a precaution, cataract surgery patients are asked to keep lifting under ten pounds for one week. You will also wear an eye shield while sleeping as a reminder not to rub the eye. Drops will be applied for about one month and a detailed schedule will be provided. Follow up visits are conducted about a day, a week, and a month after surgery. Pain is unusual and if it becomes significant, call your doctor.

Finding The Best Eye Surgeon For Your Procedure

Close up of an eye after eye surgeryChoosing an eye surgeon isn’t an overnight decision. As you conduct your research on local cataract surgery providers, make sure to consider the following details –

  • Board Certification
  • Educational experience
  • Technological expertise
  • Use of modern equipment
  • Experience and customer testimonials
  • Surgical volume per year

As is true in all fields, people are usually good at what they do the most. It is essential when choosing a surgeon, to find someone who performs enough procedures to be very proficient; 1,000 per year is a good benchmark. In a surgical field heavily dependent on technology for optimal outcomes, it is important to find a surgeon with access to and experience using modern technology. Equally important as skills and experience are a surgeon that will take time to understand your particular needs and work with you to formulate a personalized plan that achieves your visual goals.

What Technology Is Used in Cataract Surgeries?

The Cataract Surgeons in Shreveport, LA use the following technologies and methods to effectively and safely correct your vision.

  • Incision Technology: The first step is to make an incision to access your eye’s lens. Doctors may use a scalpel or an ultra-short-pulse (femtosecond) laser, which allows for a more precise incision.
  • Capsulotomy: Removing the front lens capsule is very important. This may be done with a small needle and forceps or with a femtosecond laser. The remainder of the capsule must stay intact.
  • Phacoemulsification Procedure: Next, doctors use ultrasound technology to break up and remove the cloudy lens.
  • Intraocular Technology: After the ultrasound technology emulsifies your lens, the new lens is put in, and you are ready to begin the recovery process.

FAQ’s

If you are considering cataract surgery, it helps to understand the terms and options for the procedure. The following words and definitions are important to know:

What is a lens?

What is a lens?

A lens is part of your eye that bends light to help you see clearly.

What is a cataract?

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is best defined as a vision problem that limits your visibility and clarity, especially at night. Some symptoms include cloudy blurry, or even less colorful sight.

What is cataract surgery?

What is Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is a procedure that removes the lens that is in your eye to replace it with one that allows you to see more clearly.

What is an intraocular lens?

What is an intraocular lens

An intraocular lens is a clear artificial lens that replaces your damaged lens during cataract surgery.

Schedule Cataract Surgery

If you’re having trouble seeing clearly at night, reading, or enjoying other activities because of your vision, contact The Cataract Surgeons right away. We’re dedicated to improving your vision quickly and effectively while providing a relaxing and comfortable experience! Contact us today to schedule an appointment and visit doctors who are committed to your care and experience.


LenSx – Laser Cataract Surgery

Dr. Coleman performing Cataract SurgeryTechnology has improved the safety and outcomes of cataract surgery. In traditional cataract surgery, several small incisions are made manually with a blade and a manual technique is used to break up the cataract. Our surgeons were the first in Louisiana to offer the newest LenSx technology with laser-assisted cataract surgery.

An image-guided femtosecond laser allows our surgeons to make incisions with efficiency and precision without the use of a blade. The laser also assists in breaking up the cataract so that removal of this cloudy lens requires less ultrasound energy, which is easier on the eye. This new laser technology also allows for better management of our patient’s corneal astigmatism. This technique is available only with the premium lens implants, which ensures the best visual outcome for our patients.

Our goal through this latest technology of laser-assisted cataract surgery along with premium lens implants is to increase the likelihood of patients not needing glasses following their cataract surgery.


Lens Implants

Dr. Shelby performing Cataract SurgeryImproving your vision through cataract surgery can be a multi-step process that requires input from you and your eye doctor. Selecting the best intraocular lens, or IOL, to replace your natural lens is one crucial part of cataract treatment. With the right IOL, not only will you have a clearer vision, you can correct lifelong eye problems such as near- or farsightedness and enjoy close to 20/20 vision. In some cases, however, eyeglasses may be needed after surgery to fine-tune distance and/or reading vision.

Multifocal Lens Implants

Multifocal IOL lens implants enable patients to see near, far and intermediate distances after surgery. With a multifocal IOL, the central portion of the lens has a series of steps that are carved in a very precise arrangement with varying step heights and distances between steps. Each of the steps of this diffractive optic bends the incoming light differently; creating a near focus that is quite separated from the distance focus formed by the remaining refractive portion of the lens. This large separation between the two images allows for fewer artifacts or distortion in either of the images, providing good quality of vision at both distance and near.

Accommodating IOL

Accommodating lens implants have garnered a significant amount of positive reviews and testimonials from thousands of early patient adopters. These special lenses are designed to mimic or accommodate, just like the eyes natural lens would. The hinge design of the lens enables it to move inside the eye just like the original natural lens. The end result is that patients can see better at multiple distances. The only accommodating IOL available is known as the Crystalens® by Bausch & Lomb.

Toric IOL

Toric lens implants are a unique type of lens implant that is used to correct astigmatism. A Toric lens implant is NOT the only method of astigmatism correction, so consult a doctor about the current possibilities. The asymmetric steepening of the cornea or natural lens causes light to be focused unevenly, which is the main optical problem in astigmatism. To individuals with uncorrected astigmatism, images may look blurry or shadowed. Astigmatism can accompany any form of refractive error and is very common. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, corneal relaxing incisions, laser vision correction, and special implant lenses. If a cataract patient has astigmatism and has aspirations to be glasses-free after surgery, the Toric lens implant is a good option. Toric lens implants are NOT a correction option for presbyopia. The AcrySof® Toric lens implant is a popular choice for this type of lens.

Premium lens implants can be very exciting for patients that want to have a new level of spectacle freedom after cataract surgery, or with clear lens extraction. Due to the complex nature of each person’s visual system, it is difficult for a patient to make an assessment of the right lens without consulting a medical ophthalmologist.


ORA System™ Technology

ORA System™ has been helping doctors deliver the best possible outcomes to their laser cataract surgery patients.  The ORA system offers many benefits to both doctors and patients, such as:

  • Helping your surgeon achieve better results and provide you an improved quality of vision
  • Giving your surgeon an added level of confirmation for an optimal outcome
  • And if you have astigmatism, the ORA System™ may improve the accuracy of your correction to help reduce the need to wear eyeglasses after surgeryORA System Example

ORA System™ is a big advancement in eye lens surgery, allowing doctors to make the best choices during surgery as to what will benefit your eyesight the most. The ORA system is especially helpful in astigmatic patients. Because ORA uses Wavefront technology to analyze imperfections in the eye and what is causing a refractive error, your surgeon knows exactly what needs to be corrected. Also, ORA can tell during surgery whether or not the eye is focused, and if it is not, the ORA System helps the surgeon focus the eye.