The Cataract Surgeons
Improving your vision with Lens Implants 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 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.
Benefits of Lens Implant Surgery
Lens implant surgery is a safe, FDA-approved procedure with an extremely high success rate. You’ll notice the difference almost immediately, with clear vision coming to most patients within a day or two. The surgery itself is quick, too, and without excessive discomfort.
The improved vision often lasts around 15 years or even longer in some cases. While not everyone is a candidate for lens implant surgery, many people are, and those that meet the requirements will experience vastly improved vision quickly, effectively, and safely.
Lens Implants Candidates
To determine if you’re a candidate for lens implant surgery, you should make an appointment with the Cataracts Surgeons. We’ll examine your eyes and ask you questions about your health history to help uncover whether you are a candidate for lens implant surgery. If you aren’t a candidate for some reason, we’ll also discuss with you other options to improve your eyesight.
Generally, though, to be considered a candidate for lens implants, we will consider some basic criteria:
- You are at least 21 years old.
- You are farsighted, nearsighted, or both.
- You are generally in good health.
- You are informed about the procedure and have appropriate expectations.
- You consider glasses or contact lenses to interfere with your daily work or routines.
- You aren’t a candidate for LASIK.
- You have had the same eye prescription for at least 12 months.
- You have previously received surgery to improve your vision.
Intraocular Lenses / 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 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 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.
Preparing for Lens Implant Surgery
If it’s determined you are a candidate for lens implant surgery, we’ll work quickly to schedule your appointment. Your doctor will also discuss ways to prepare for the procedure. You may have specific or unique circumstances which require additional preparations, but, generally, you’ll be asked to make some basic changes to your daily routine before the surgery:
- Apply artificial tears to your eyes four times per day
- Cease wearing contact lenses
- Take fish oil supplements that help reduce the symptoms of dry eyes
You won’t be able to drive immediately after your surgery, so you should also make arrangements for someone to transport you home after the procedure is finished.
What You’ll Experience During Surgery
On the day of the surgery, you’ll arrive around 45 minutes before the appointment. This gives you ample time to fill out any necessary forms. The procedure itself usually takes between 15 and 30 minutes per eye.
Before the surgery begins, your surgeon will apply a local anesthetic and provide a sedative. This aids in relaxation and keeps you comfortable throughout the procedure. Patients often describe the sedative as making them feel relaxed or even sleepy. This surgery is considered painless, with only mild discomfort at certain points during the procedure.
The surgery is not invasive, so most patients won’t require stitches as the eye naturally heals. When the procedure is complete, the surgeon will cover the operated-on eye with a bandage. You’ll most likely be able to remove the bandage within two to three hours.
As most patients only receive a local anesthetic, they’ll be able to return home within a few hours of arriving for the procedure. You won’t be able to drive, though, so it’s important to arrange for transportation beforehand. If your surgery falls into the rare instance that general anesthesia is required, you may need to stay on-site for slightly longer.
Your specific circumstances may stretch your recovery period longer, but most patients recover within two days of surgery. Some factors that can lead to an extended recovery period are the health of your eye and whether any complications arose during surgery.
Once the bandage is removed a few hours after the procedure, you may experience blurry vision. This is typical. Your eyes may also feel sore or swollen. There can also be superficial red spots on the white of your eyes. All of these symptoms will dissipate between a day to a couple of weeks post-surgery.
Your surgeon will also provide you with instructions to follow after your procedure, as well as schedule follow-up appointments to help ensure recovery is going well. It’s important to listen to and follow your surgeon’s specific post-surgery instructions.
Following these basic guidelines as well as your surgeon’s specific instructions are the best way to ensure a smooth recovery post-procedure:
- Refrain from work, strenuous or otherwise, immediately following the surgery.
- Take all prescribed medications, including eye drops, according to your surgeon’s instructions.
- For at least a week, wear the protective eye shield you’re given when you sleep.
- Do not swim or expose your eye to excess moisture (except for showering or bathing) for at least two weeks.
- Do not wear eye makeup for two weeks and purchase new makeup and brushes to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Wear eye protection during exercise for three months.
Lens Implants Experts in Shreveport
At the Cataracts Surgeons of Shreveport, we’re dedicated to improving the vision of our patients through a variety of services, including regular eye examinations and laser eye surgery. Our expertise, skills, and knowledge have allowed us to see patients from all over the country.
If you’d like to improve your vision, make sure to schedule an appointment today so we can examine your eyes and go over potential options.