Laser Cataract Surgery

The Cataract Surgeons

Eye doctors performing Eye Surgery

Are 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 Laser Cataract Surgery?

Laser cataract surgery is very similar to traditional cataract surgery. The primary difference is the tools involved. Laser surgery involves an advanced laser to make precise, accurate incisions. This laser also makes it easier to break up the cataract into small pieces, making it less difficult for the pieces to be removed.  

The main reason that lasers serve as a more precise cutting tool than traditional methods is using a 3D map of the eye. This allows the surgeon greater visual access to minute portions of the eye that would be difficult to see through traditional methods. 

There are three steps to laser cataract surgery: the corneal incision, the anterior capsulotomy, and lens and cataract fragmentation. As those terms can be difficult to understand on their own, it’s essential to add context to make them understandable. 

Step 1 – Cutting into the Cornea 

The corneal incision is the first step of the surgery. This involves cutting into the cornea, the outermost lens of the eye, using a laser. This gives the surgeon access to the interior of the eye. With that access, the surgeon can break up the cataract into tiny parts and remove them. The cut is made in such a way that it aids healing post-surgery, typically without the need for stitches. This, in turn, reduces the risk of infection during the healing period. 

Both the 3D model of the eye and the laser are used during this step. They allow the surgeon to rely on advanced visual tools to ensure the cuts are in the exact location required without causing further cuts to the eye.  

Step 2 – Gaining Access to the Lens 

After cutting into the cornea, the surgeon then makes another cut to remove a part of the thin capsule that surrounds the eye. In surgical terms, this is called an anterior capsulotomy. 

The surgeon will not remove the entire capsule, as the remaining portion is necessary to hold in place the artificial lens that the surgeon will eventually place on the eye. The use of a laser best ensures that the non-removed portion of the capsule stays undamaged. 

Once the surgeon removes the front portion of the capsule, they gain direct access to the cataract. This will allow them to remove the cataract and replace it with an artificial lens, called the intraocular lens. 

Step 3 – Removing the Cataract 

Once the surgeon has direct access to the cataract, they can work to remove it. This process involves using the laser to soften the cataract. This breaks up the cataract into small, soft pieces that are generally easy to remove.  

Step 4 – Correcting Astigmatism 

After the surgeon removes the cataract, they can then place the intraocular lens onto the eye. Additional cuts are made to ensure the IOL flattens into a round, symmetrical shape for those also who have astigmatism. 

Reducing astigmatism also enables the patient to refrain from using glasses or contact lenses post-surgery. Several types of IOLs can provide the patient with the best visual experience when the surgery is over.

FAQ’s

What is the Difference Between Traditional Surgery or Laser Surgery?

Is Cataract Surgery safe?

The goals in both procedures are the same. They both aim to remove the cataract and replace it with an intraocular lens. However, traditional cataract surgery relies on manual tools, such as handheld diamond blades and a microsurgical instrument, to gain access into the eye. Typically, this method also depends on the surgeon’s specific skills and experience to know what size these cuts should be and where they should be made.
By using modern tools, such as the laser, the surgeon can better identify the ideal location for their intended incisions and best ensure they cause no unintended damage to other parts of the eye.
Furthermore, laser cataract surgery is considered a gentler procedure with more available options for those with astigmatism. The comparative gentleness of the procedure makes the healing process safer and more comfortable for the patient, and the variety of options for those with astigmatism mean improved visual acuity once the procedure completes.

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?

How Long is the Recovery Period?

Most patients will experience immediately improved vision. Others may have to deal with a day or two of blurriness before vision improves. Healing instructions can vary by individual, but, for the most part, you’ll be asked to refrain from strenuous activity for around a week. You should also avoid swimming or getting water into the eye for a short period after the surgery. 

It’s important to follow all post-surgery instructions given by your doctor. You may need to put drops in your eye to aid in healing, and you’ll likely have a follow-up appointment to make sure you’re not dealing with any post-surgery issues.

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.

Contact The Cataract Surgeons Today 
The Cataract Surgeons serve as the cataract surgery experts in Shreveport, LA, and the surrounding area. Request an appointment today, so we can examine your visual issues and discuss potential treatment options.