How Does a Laser Improve My Advanced Cataract Procedure?
Although it’s common belief that lasers have been used in cataract surgery for years, this is not true. With the introduction of the LENSAR® Laser System, available at West Texas Eye Associates, laser cataract surgery has become a reality, and your surgeon can now remove your cataract in a more advanced way. Laser cataract surgery is made even more precise by Augmented Reality™, a unique imaging system that provides your surgeon with a sophisticated, 3-D view of your eye to help plan and treat your cataract. Additionally, using Streamline™ II, advanced astigmatism management can be performed.
With this advanced technology, your surgeon can offer you a better, more precise cataract removal procedure that is customized to your eye’s own unique size and shape.
What Are the Benefits of LENSAR?
The surgeons at West Texas Eye Associates offer the LENSAR® Laser System as part of your advanced cataract procedure because it is safe, effective, and uses the same proven laser technology that’s been used in LASIK procedures for over a decade. Other benefits include:
- A unique, high-resolution, 3-D view of your eye that allows your surgeon to tailor your treatment, which can improve visual outcomes.1
- The most advanced technology available, which may reduce the time it takes to remove your cataracts.2
- A system designed with comfort in mind, so you can relax, knowing the latest technology available is being used to treat one of your most valuable senses – your sight.
Why Should I Elect To Have An Advanced Cataract Procedure?
Advanced cataract surgery is designed to improve your vision and reduce your dependency on glasses or contact lenses. During your procedure, your surgeon will use the most advanced technology available, including premium intraocular lenses and the LENSAR® Laser System with Augmented Reality™, an advanced imaging system.
LENSAR’s superior Augmented Reality imaging system represents a more intelligent approach to cataract surgery. With Augmented Reality, your surgeon can see everything inside your eye in greater detail. This allows the surgeon to plan the surgery better, to precisely soften the cataract in preparation for removal, and to ensure the appropriate condition for the most accurate placement of your intraocular lens.
It is LENSAR’s precision, imaging, and laser incisions that allow your surgeon to ensure that the cataract is safely removed and that the new intraocular lens is perfectly placed, resulting in better visual outcomes.
At West Texas Eye Associates, we pride ourselves in having the ability to provide no-stitch cataract surgery, often without the use of needles (shots) for anesthesia, and often with bifocal type implant lenses. The purpose of this article is to help you better understand what a cataract is, how it can affect your vision, and how it can be treated. Please feel free to discuss with us any questions or concerns that remain after reading this information.
Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL)
Our preferred way to restore vision for nearly all of our patients after cataract removal is to insert an intraocular lens implant into the eye at the time of surgery. This clear implant is placed in the eye behind the iris and pupil in the same position as the natural lens, and it stays in the eye permanently.
Implanting an intraocular lens adds little additional risk for the surgery. Only very rarely does an eye “reject” an implant, and it is even rarer that a lens implant needs to be removed after surgery. Patients who have certain unusual eye conditions might not be good candidates for intraocular lens implantation. We will discuss this with you when planning your surgery.
An intraocular lens is permanently implanted in the eye after the cataract is removed.
It is possible to implant an intraocular lens in an eye that has had previous cataract surgery. This can be especially beneficial to those who are having difficulty using cataract glasses or contact lenses. Not all patients are good candidates for this surgery. However, secondary lens implantation can be a very rewarding operation for those who have become frustrated with cataract glasses or contact lenses.
A contact lens can restore good vision following cataract surgery, and there have been many advances in lens design and materials in recent years. Contact lenses do not cause the visual distortions that occur with cataract glasses. Unfortunately, there are several disadvantages with contact lenses. The major one is that one must learn to insert and remove the contact lens either every night or every few days. In addition, some people are not able to adapt to wearing a contact lens on the eye. Another disadvantage is that a contact lens can be easily damaged or lost, and improper care or use may cause eye infections.
These are thick, heavy glasses that cause a number of significant visual distortions, although the central vision is generally excellent.
Only rarely do we recommend the use of cataract glasses to correct vision after cataract surgery.
Are there Different Types of Intraocular Lenses?
There are countless varieties of intraocular lenses. All lenses contain a clear central portion for focusing the light (called the “optic”) and some type of flexible arms for supporting the lens inside the eye. The optic of the lens acts just as your natural lens once did, except that it cannot adjust its focus. As a result, you may need to wear regular bifocal glasses following surgery in order to get the best possible vision, especially for reading.
Recent advances in intraocular lens designs and surgical techniques have permitted us to implant lenses through small incisions. These incisions are so small that almost no astigmatism is created and, depending on the particular circumstances, sutures may not even be required to close the incision. Depending upon the condition of your eye, you may or may not be a candidate for one of these types of implants.
Another new type of implant has a bifocal built into it. In some patients, this type of implant may reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses after cataract surgery. One type of bifocal implant has recently been approved by the FDA. Though it is not recommended for all patients undergoing surgery, it shows great promise for those who meet the carefully defined criteria for receiving this lens.
There have been remarkable advances in cataract surgery in the past several years. We have gone from the time when people needed to lie still in bed for six weeks to an era in which outstanding vision is usually restored, often within a few days. We look forward to discussing any of these matters further with you.