Cataract Surgery

Cataract Surgery performed at PCVI in Eugene Cataracts are one of the most easily treated causes of vision loss. They can seriously interfere with quality of life and activity level, and happen so slowly that many people don't even realize they are forming.

Medical problems such as diabetes, injury to the eye, medications such as steroids, long term exposure to sunlight and previous eye surgery can all contribute to the formation of cataracts, but the most common factor is age. At this time there is only one real treatment for cataracts and that is to replace the clouded lens with a synthetic lens. This surgery is performed millions of times a year, and is the procedure with the least problems that is performed today. Until recently there were few options to those needing lens replacement surgery. Vision was fixed, for the most part, at either distance or close vision, and glasses needed to be worn for clarity at other distances.

Now, however there are some choices. Variable power lenses and adjusting lenses offer multiple focal lengths and more potential freedom from glasses to the cataract lens exchange patient.

When Is Cataract Surgery Appropriate?

Cataract surgery should be performed when your visual needs require it. It is fine to wait on cataract surgery if you are comfortable with your vision for what you need to see. If things such as driving, watching TV, reading, shopping or other activities become difficult due to cataracts, it is beneficial to have them removed. Based on your symptoms and the recommendations of your medical eye doctor, you and your doctor can decide if surgery is appropriate.

It is important to the professionals at PCVI that each person's care is individualized in the treatment of cataracts so a consultation appointment should be scheduled with one of our professionals to determine the best treatment for you. Call us today for a comprehensive cataract consultation!

What Does Cataract Surgery Entail?

This highly successful treatment, for one of the leading causes of vision loss, is offered at PCVI in the latest, most highly advanced surgical facility.

Cataracts are typically age related but can occur at any age, even in infants. This treatment consists of removing the clouded lens, or cataract, by painless microsurgery and replacing it with an artificial lens designed to give clear, brilliant vision. Technology today has advanced to the point that cataract surgery can be completed in as little as 10 minutes! The surgery is done under local anesthetic with a specialized microscope using miniature instruments. The surgery is now done without the use of needles, stitches or patches and takes approximately 10 minutes. Many people comment that vision is improved within hours of the treatment and note that colors are brighter.

Surgery for cataracts is done using high frequency ultrasound which softens the cataract, thus allowing it to be vacuumed out through a tiny incision under the eyelid or on the cornea. The incision is designed to not require sutures and seals on its own. Full activity is allowed after surgery. Many people golf, drive and enjoy a movie just a short time after treatment. To clarify one common misconception, lasers are typically not used in cataract surgery. They are being investigated currently and may one day provide an alternative to current techniques.

With state-of-the-art instruments, our surgeons can determine the power of the implant that will give the best visual outcome after treatment. Many people will see 20/40 or better on the first day, depending on previous astigmatism or other factors such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. If a person prefers, the power of the implant can be adjusted to provide clearer reading vision. There are also new lenses available that adjust with your eye such as crystalens.

After Cataract Surgery

Typically, there is very little pain during or after the surgery, and people are able to go about their normal activities right away. Few restrictions exist afterward, most people are able to golf, drive, shop, or visit friends without worry. Often people comment about their desire to have their other eye done soon after their initial surgery! Improvement is usually rapid; as the eye heals, generally the vision improves within hours or days. The surgeon will replace the cataract with a lens that often corrects most near or farsightedness, and can result in glasses that are very thin and used primarily for reading.

Occasionally, after cataract surgery, a person will need a laser to remove a film from behind the implant. This film clouds over in approximately 25% of all persons following surgery and the laser used removes the film in just 2-3 minutes. Once removed, the film will not return.

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