The natural human lens in our youth, works much like a camera lens, in that it is quite supple and can rapidly change shape like a zoom lens. This allows us to quickly focus up close without the need for reading glasses or bifocals. As we pass 40, the lens becomes progressively rigid so that the zoom function takes longer and longer to occur so that by age 50-55 there is no zoom function at all! This explains the gradual loss of reading ability for most of us from 40-55. Reading glasses are then required for near vision. Taking it a step further, as the human lens continues to age in our 60’s and 70’s it becomes more and more rigid, as well as yellow and cloudy and is then called a cataract. Cataracts blocks and distort lights, which reduces the quality of our vision. To restore vision that has been affected by cataract formation, the cloudy lens must be removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens called an Intraocular lens (IOL). Cataract surgery is recommended when your vision has decreased to the
point that your quality of life is disrupted. The definition can vary
from patient to patient, but, usually involves trouble driving, working
or performing daily activities.
What to Expect on Surgery Day:
Cataract surgery is an outpatient experience that usually takes 15-20 minutes to complete, though you are in the facility for approximately 90 minutes. Topical or local anesthesia is used along with mild twilight sedation. The surgery is not painful. You might notice a slight pressure sensation or a rather pleasant light show during the procedure. A 2.8 mm microscopic incision is made in the eye and the natural lens is ultrasonically removed from the eye. The intraocular lens is then placed into the eye. Most of the time, sutures are not needed as the incision is self sealing. Surgery is performed on one eye at a time approximately one or two weeks apart.
Read more about cataracts after the age of 40.
What is Recovery Like?
The visual recovery is quite rapid, with most patients seeing better within the first hours of the procedure. The eye is covered with a clear shield for protection. You will be given an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drop schedule that will continue for a few weeks. You will also be given sunglasses. There are minimal restrictions following surgery and you will be given full instructions not only regarding use of the eyedrops, but on a few “do’s and don’ts” for the first week. Patients are required to have a driver take them home after surgery and bring them the next day. You will typically cleared to drive following your one day post operative visit. Standard post op visits are one day, one week, one month, three months.
Lens Surgery Costs:
If a patient is diagnosed with cataracts, insurance will generally cover the cost of the surgery center facility fee, anesthesiologist, surgeons fee, the cost of a “standard” IOL and 90 days of post-operative care. The patient is responsible for any co pays or deductibles. If a patient opts for a an Advanced Technology Intraocular Lens (ATIOL), that is an advanced technology upgrade that is the patient’s financial responsibility. One of our patient consultants will review all of this information with you, as well as put you in contact with a legitimate financing company if needed. The staff at Kameen Eye Associates is well versed in the discussion of
the costs of various procedures and the degree to which insurance
View our standard and premium lens options.
View our Cataract FAQ