Cataract Surgery: Experiencing Better Vision

Being told that you have a cataract that will require surgery is frightening to many people. This is why Dr. Burns and his staff are ready to answer all of your questions about what a cataract is and how it is removed in order to make the experience a pleasant one. We will let you know everything that is going to happen before, during, and after the surgery so that there won’t be any surprises. We always feel that a well informed patient will always have a better experience than a patient that is uninformed about what to expect.

Before your surgery

One of the most important parts of cataract surgery is the preoperative evaluation. During your exam, Dr. Burns will do a thorough medical evaluation of the eye which will include dilation of the pupils. This is done in order to evaluate the severity of the cataract and to assess the eye for any other diseases which may be present, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration.

Once it has been determined that you require cataract surgery in order to improve your vision, Dr. Burns will provide a detailed explanation of how the surgery is performed and the risks and benefits of the surgery. At this point, he will also discuss the newest technologies available, such as the ReSTOR®, Tecnis Multifocal, and Symfony extended range of focus lens, to help restore near and far vision following cataract surgery. After this, an ophthalmic technician will perform preoperative measurements on your eyes in order to help Dr. Burns pick the correct intraocular lens for your eye. The technician will also schedule a date and time for your surgery and answer any final questions that you may have.

Dr. Burns and his staff are available to discuss any questions that you may have prior to your surgery, so please contact us or call 502.245.0305 if you have any questions.

The Day of Surgery

Typically, you will need to arrive at the surgery center an hour to an hour and a half prior to your scheduled surgery. You will be examined by an anesthesiologist or a nurse anesthetist and an IV will be placed in your arm. Most patients will receive a mild sedative called Versed, in order to relax you. Your pupil will be dilated and anesthetized with eye drops in order for Dr. Burns to perform the surgery. Following this, you will be taken to the operating room and you will be prepped for surgery.

The surgery itself will take 10 to 20 minutes. During the surgery, Dr. Burns will give you simple instructions that are very easy to follow as you will be awake during the surgery. Some patients require more sedation during the surgery, and this will be determined by Dr. Burns. Most patients do not experience any sensation during the surgery, but occasionally, some patients may experience a feeling of pressure on the eye. This only lasts for a few seconds.

When the surgery is completed, you will be taken to the recovery area and given instructions on how to care for the eye after surgery. The eye will be covered by a clear plastic shield for protection. The shield is usually removed about three hours after the surgery.

After Cataract Surgery

You will be able to return home about half an hour after the surgery. You will start using eye drops the afternoon of the surgery and continue using them for about three weeks following the surgery. You will use one kind of antibiotic drops and two kinds of anti-inflammatory drops. The antibiotic drops are typically stopped after a week and the anti-inflammatory drops are continued for three weeks. You will wear the clear plastic shield over the eye at night for about four nights in order to protect the eye. You will need to avoid any heavy lifting for about a week, but otherwise most people can return to normal activities, including driving, the day after surgery. Postoperative visits at Dr. Burns’ office are usually at one day, one week, and three weeks after surgery.

Premium Intraocular Lenses

Multifocal IOL

The multifocal lens is designed to provide improved vision at all distances without aid from the muscles in the eye that normally control the lens. Instead, the lens distributes light coming into the eye as a function of pupil size. Most patients have reported never wearing glasses again, according to clinical studies.

How is the multifocal IOL different from monofocal IOLs?

Monofocal IOLs are a traditional type of IOL that provides patients with only one focal point. Most commonly, these lenses only correct distant vision, although sometimes the patient wants their near vision to be corrected. This means that you will likely require glasses following surgery either for distance or near, and sometimes for both. The multifocal IOL differs from regular monofocal IOLs in that it focuses at distance and near, decreasing your dependency on glasses at all distances.

What is the difference in cost between a traditional monofocal lens and the multifocal IOL?

Insurance policies vary, but Medicare, supplemental insurance, and private insurance will typically still cover the basic cataract surgery procedure with a conventional, monofocal IOL. However, if you decide to have the multifocal IOL implanted, there will be an additional cost that is not covered by insurance or Medicare. Medicare now allows you to pay the difference for the added benefits of the multifocal IOL. This additional cost may be financed through CareCredit®, which can be set up through our office.
If you are interested in finding out more about the benefits of the multifocal IOL or in an explanation of your policy coverage, please contact us or call our office at (502) 245-0305.

Is the multifocal IOL right for me?

This is a decision that you should reach only after a thorough discussion with Dr. Burns. You should consider all the risks and benefits of the IOL, and because of this, Dr. Burns always allows you plenty of time to make your decision. Very often he will not schedule your surgery at the time of your office visit in order to allow you to think it over at home and to discuss it with your family members. Frequently, certain activities in which you participate will help you make the decision. For example, if you do a lot of reading, and you don’t want the hassle of reading glasses anymore, the multifocal IOL may be an excellent choice for you. Whatever decision you make, Dr. Burns and his office staff will be ready to answer all of your questions regarding cataract surgery and your lens options. Please contact us or call (502) 245-0305 if you have any questions.