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Advanced Cataract Surgery 

Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss among adults age 60 or older and have become increasingly common as our population ages and lives longer. Treatment requires a quick, minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove your cloudy lens and replace it with a new lens implant. Over 3 million cataract surgeries are performed each year in the United States.

Modern cataract surgery has evolved rapidly over the past few years. It is considered one of the safest and most effective medical procedures used today, giving patients more choice in lens options. By combining the most advanced lenses for distance and near vision or astigmatism correction with cataract surgery, patients are regaining the vision they had in their 20s.

Benefits

  • Convenient and fast outpatient procedure.
  • Quick recovery with patients typically returning to normal activities the following day.
  • Vision that is even better than before the onset of cataracts, with less need for glasses.
  • Permanent results. Once a cataract is removed it will not reoccur.
     

Learn More About Cataracts.

How is Cataract Surgery Performed?

The Arlington Eye Center team performs traditional and laser cataract surgery. The main difference between the two methods is how the incision is made:

  • Traditional Cataract Surgery: incisions are made using ultrasonic energy to break up the cloudy lens.
  • Laser Cataract Surgery: a 3D image of your eye is taken to determine the cataract’s location and precise measurements. A computer controlled laser uses this information to make the incisions and break up the lens into pieces. Arlington Eye Center is pleased to offer Alcon’s LenSx laser, a bladeless, computer-controlled laser that allows the surgeon to plan and perform your surgery to exacting, individualized specifications not attainable with other surgical methods. The LenSx laser can help treat a condition known as astigmatism by creating precise incisions in the cornea. Astigmatism is a condition in which the surface of the eye has a more oval shape rather than a round shape. The LenSx® laser also helps soften cataracts for easier removal. During surgery, the clouded lenses are removed and, in most instances, replaced with an intraocular lens, referred to as IOLs. Today, we are able to offer patients, a variety of options for IOLs to accommodate individual needs.

Both methods remove the eye’s cloudy lens and replace it with an Intraocular Lens. Incisions in both methods are typically so small they do not require sutures. The team at Arlington Eye Center will talk with you about which type of surgery is best for your specific needs.

Before Your Surgery

Before your surgery, our team will discuss various types of lens implants with you. How you see after surgery will depend on the type of lens implant used. It is vital that you discuss your lifestyle and vision expectations so that we can determine the right premium lens implant for you.

During Your Surgery

Cataract surgery is relatively “patient-friendly.” It is usually performed as an outpatient procedure requiring only a few minutes. “Phacoemulsification” is the microsurgical technique used. It requires a tiny incision and breaks up the cataract with ultrasound waves.

  • Eye drops are applied for anesthesia.
  • The surgeon makes an incision and uses ultrasound waves to break up the hard, yellow proteins that form the cataract, leaving the lens membrane in place.
  • Next, a soft, flexible synthetic Intraocular Lens (IOL) is inserted into the lens capsule of the eye.
  • The lens is a permanent fixture that helps your eye to focus. You will not be able to feel or sense the implanted lens in any way.

Cataract Surgery. Three eye balls in a row. The first eye has a clouded lens. The second and third each show the Intraocular lens (IOL) implanted in place.

After Your Surgery

Because there are no needles or injections, only a tiny incision, stitches and an eye patch are not required after the surgery. In most cases, the incision is so small that the eye heals rapidly, with little or no discomfort, and the patient experiences a quick visual recovery. Patients can typically return to normal activities the following day.

Types of Intraocular Lenses (IOL)

Our team will work with you to decide when your cataracts must be removed and which type of IOL is best for your visual needs. Arlington Eye Center uses three basic types of lenses, each designed for a specific corrective function.

During the first 25 years that lens implants were used for vision correction, the goal was to correct distance or far vision as best as possible (single-focus). The very latest in premium multifocal and toric lenses can improve vision for various distances all at once. This means not having to wear glasses following your procedure and regaining your important reading vision:

  • Multifocal Lens: Designed to give patients the best distance and near vision with less dependence on glasses after surgery. Arlington Eye Center uses the AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® Trifocal Lens, which is the first and only trifocal lens available in the United States. Over 100 million lenses and counting have been implanted. And 99% of people surveyed with the PanOptix Lens would choose the same lens again. Compared to the older "monofocal" intraocular lenses (IOLs), the AcrySof® IQ PanOptix®  provides an extended depth of focus, producing enhanced near and intermediate vision to reverse the effects of presbyopia. The PanOptix Lens enhances quality as well as range, so your vision will be as sharp and vivid as it is complete. We will discuss your day, night and reading vision expectations following surgery.
  • Toric Lens (Astigmatism): Toric lenses deliver clear distance vision with less dependence on prescription glasses for patients with moderate to high astigmatism. Near and intermediate vision will still require glasses.
  • Single-Focus Lens (Basic): The single-focus lens is inexpensive and effective in clearing vision. If you receive a single-focus lens, the focus will be set for distance and you will regain your ability to see objects that are far away. After surgery, patients will likely need to wear corrective lenses, especially for activities like reading and driving.

Affordability

Medicare and most insurance plans cover the costs for cataract surgery with single-focus lenses, with an additional charge for multifocal and toric lenses. Patients find the extra expense for well worth the exchange for freedom from glasses or contacts.

Financing is also available for a portion of the premium lens charge. Our staff will review all of this information with you before your surgery.

We offer several payment options to suit your needs:

  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA): You can save up to 30% by using tax-free dollars to pay for your cataract surgery. Many employers offer an FSA or Health Savings Account.
  • Financing: Arlington Eye Center is pleased to offer 6-12 months’ special financing for vision correction procedures, such as cataract surgery, with approved credit through Care Credit.
  • Credit Cards: Many patients opt to pay for their procedure using a personal credit card. This may be a good option, especially if you have a card that carries a low interest rate or offers points and other rewards.

Contact us today about the best financing options for you.

Quick Cataract FAQs

What Is a Cataract?

A cataract is the clouding that develops in the eye’s crystalline lens. As the leading cause of vision loss among adults age 60 or older, cataracts impair vision, making everyday activities increasingly difficult. Read more.

Is Cataract Surgery Effective?

Yes! Many patients report vision that is even better than before they developed cataracts. Modern cataract surgery is considered one of the most effective medical procedures used today. And these results are permanent. Once removed, the cataract won’t reoccur.

Over time, the lens implant can develop a "film" behind it, which can again cause symptoms of blurred vision. A simple laser capsulotomy procedure can be performed to create an opening in the film in order to restore normal vision. Laser capsulotomy does not require going to the operating room nor does it involve any incision into the eye. It only takes a few minutes and is painless. 

Where is Cataract Surgery Performed?

Your cataract procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and takes only a few minutes In most cases patients can resume daily activities such as driving or reading, almost immediately.

Does Insurance Cover Cataract Surgery?

Yes. Medicare and most insurance plans cover approved cataract surgeries. There is an additional charge for advanced technology lenses. Our staff will review all of this information with you.

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