Couple BikingCataract Surgery

The removal of the natural lens of the eye that has developed an opacification, which is referred to as a cataract. During cataract surgery, a patient’s cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic lens to restore the lens’s transparency. The operation is minimally invasive with quick post-op recovery and is performed as an outpatient procedure.

Visit our section on Diseases and Conditions to learn more about Cataracts.

Intraocular Lens Implants (IOL)

Twenty-five years ago the usual treatment for cataracts was removal of the clouded lens followed by wearing glasses with very thick lenses, while Presbyopia required the use of reading glasses. Today, due to the amazing advancements in IOL technology over the past two decades, a patient can typically hope for and achieve good to excellent vision quality from a lens implant without the need for, or minimal need for glasses. Depending on the type selected, an IOL can also correct the eye’s existing refractive error (myopia or hyperopia). An IOL is an implanted synthetic lens that replaces the eye’s natural lens. The type of IOL determines the quality of vision improvement. After performing a comprehensive examination. Dr. Thomas counsels each patient about his or her best IOL option according to lifestyle, medical and eye health history

Premium Lens Options

When it comes to selecting your intraocular lens, Dr. Thomas and his staff offer a variety of exciting lens options available to you. Our premium lenses are recommended based on your individual lifestyle needs, wants and desires.

Deluxe Monofocal Lenses

These types of intraocular lenses have one focal power, much like single-vision glasses (not bifocals). Patients have the option of selecting near or distance vision, depending on their needs. The deluxe monofocal lenses we offer to our patients are excellent lenses and provide precision optical quality for the sharpest vision possible. Many people feel they see better than they ever have after having cataract surgery after we correct for their pre-existing errors of myopia or hyperopia.

Premium IOL (Multifocal and Toric Lenses)

Dr. Thomas uses the most advanced lens technology available and tailors it to each patient’s specific needs. Our multifocal and toric lenses are implants that offer patients the very latest technology, affording maximum independence from glasses. In practical terms, they allow patients to see far and near. Glasses may be required to fine tune vision; however, these lenses are the best option for creating freedom from glasses or contacts.

Astigmatism Lenses versus Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI)

For patients found to have astigmatism, there are lenses or surgical procedures that can reduce or eliminate this problem. Dr. Thomas will discuss the option of corneal incisions (LRI’s) placed at the time of cataract surgery to reshape the cornea and rid a patient of their corneal astigmatism. An LRI can be done along with the implantation of a premium IOL or a deluxe monofocal IOL. If astigmatism is not treated during cataract surgery, a patient’s post-op vision will be blurred unless glasses or contacts are used.

Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI) are a refractive surgical procedure to correct minor astigmatism in the eye. Incisions are made at the opposite edges of the cornea, following the curve of the iris, causing a slight flattening of the cornea. These incisions do not cause glare and other visual effects that result from other corneal surgeries like Radial Keratotomy.

LRI have become the most common technique to correct astigmatism as part of cataract surgery. They are simpler and less expensive than laser surgery such as LASIK or PRK. Recovery is generally quick and painless, although the patient may experience slight discomfort.

Secondary Cataracts

The natural lens of the eye is situated in an elastic-like capsular bag that holds it in place. When performing cataract surgery, the front portion of the capsule is opened in order to remove the lens. After completely removing the natural lens, the intraocular lens is positioned inside the capsular bag. The capsule holds the intraocular lens and serves as a protective barrier for the back of the eye.

Following cataract surgery, the capsule may produce cloudy cells that typically cause blurry vision. Some patients may also experience glare problems when driving at night. This common condition, known as a posterior capsular opacity (secondary cataract), occurs in approximately 25% of patients who undergo cataract surgery. Posterior capsular opacity may occur months or years postoperatively.

Posterior capsular opacity can be simply treated using a YAG laser. Dilating drops are instilled and the laser is used to create an opening in the center of the cloudy capsule. Most patients notice an instant improvement in their vision, while others experience a gradual improvement over several days. YAG capsulotomy is an outpatient procedure and takes just minutes to perform.