Cataract Surgery

How Cataract Surgery is Performed

The Cataract Surgery Procedure

LenSx® femto laser technology provides highly customized treatment, allowing our Florence, SC cataract surgeons to use real-time, 3D visualization of your eye during every step of the cataract surgery process.

In traditional cataract surgery, the doctor makes a very small incision at the edge of the cornea using a hand-held blade. This method is still performed with great success; however, your doctor may recommend the programmable and computer-guided femto laser method for the corneal incision.

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Using the laser can also make the procedure more precise, accurate, customizable and less invasive. During both procedures, the cloudy lens is carefully broken up into fragments:

  • Traditional method uses high-frequency sound waves
  • Bladeless method uses the LenSx® laser

The cloudy lens is then removed and a replacement lens implant is inserted through the same incision. Most of our cataract surgeries do not require sutures – the small incisions simply heal on their own. This speeds the recovery process and also allows most patients to see well soon after surgery.

This is a 10-15 minute procedure that is performed on one eye at a time. If you have cataracts in both eyes, you will be asked to return for the second procedure after your first eye has healed, approximately 2 weeks later.

Benefits of LenSx® Femto Laser

  • Advanced technology procedure
  • Astigmatism management
  • More precise incisions
  • Customized to each person’s eyes
  • Better lens positioning
  • Less surgical trauma to the eye
  • Less inflammation
  • More predictable visual results
  • Quicker visual rehabilitation

VERION™ Image Guided System

Our doctors use the VERION™ Image Guided System to add even greater accuracy during the planning and execution of cataract surgery in Florence, SC. This system is used to create a blueprint of the best ways to perform the procedure for the best outcome. Every aspect of your procedure is well planned in advance from pre-surgery calculations and measurements of your eyes to lens power selection recommendations and computerized guidance of the actual surgical procedure.  VERION™ is used in conjunction with the LenSx® femto laser to produce enhanced results.

ORA with Verifeye+™ Technology

Optiwave® Refractive Analysis (ORA) technology is utilized during the second half of the cataract surgery procedure, after the cataract is removed. This system allows your doctor to more accurately place the intraocular lens Implant (IOL) – again improving your vision results.

The ORA® technology is used to provide real-time analysis of your eye to recheck the measurements of your eye during surgery. This is done to obtain the true refractive power of your eye so your doctor can implant the correct power of lens implant. The goal is to provide a truly tailored lens implant procedure and reduce the need for retreatments.

You Have Cataract Questions; We Have Answers

There is much to learn about your cataract surgery options in Florence, SC, and we want to help you fully understand the process. Prior to your cataract evaluation appointment, we will email to patients several educational videos that explain bladed and bladeless cataract surgery, intraocular lens implants and cataract surgery steps. Our clinical staff and doctors will gladly answer your cataract surgery questions.

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What to Expect During Cataract Surgery

Preparing For Your Cataract Surgery

It’s natural to be nervous the day of your cataract surgery in Florence, SC, but we want you to know that our team is prepared to make you as comfortable as possible throughout the process. Plan to be at our office for at least 2 hours on the day of your procedure to complete any necessary paperwork, ask any last minute questions and relax before and after surgery. Be sure to have someone drive you to and from your appointment.

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The entire process will only take 15-30 minutes.

Your eye will begin to heal over the next two weeks and vision will continue to improve. During that time, you may experience temporary mild irritation. Any discomfort can be minimized by taking the prescribed medications and eye drops.

Cataract Surgery Post Operation

It is important to follow your doctor’s post-op instructions carefully to promote healing after cataract surgery in Florence. If you experience any complications, contact us immediately.

The Day of Surgery

  • Wear the eye shield until the next morning before your appointment, then start using all 3 medicated eye drops as soon as possible
  • Rest and relax
  • Wear your eye shield when sleeping or napping for the first week

Acceptable Activities the Day After Surgery

  • Bend and stoop
  • Take a shower and wash your hair (don’t let the water hit you directly in the eye; if you do get water in the eye, gently blot it dry from the outside)
  • Resume all your normal activities such as reading, watching TV, household chores like vacuuming, etc.

Restricted Activities for the Weeks After Surgery

  • No lifting anything over 35 pounds for 2 weeks
  • No swimming for 2 weeks
  • No exercising for 2 weeks (you can walk as much as you want, but no machines, treadmills, bikes, lifting weights, golfing, fishing, etc.)
  • No eye make-up for 1 week

Cataract FAQs

Yes. Cataracts can be caused from disease, injury or they can be present at birth. However, typically cataracts are age-related and begin to form after age 40. They are the most common cause of blindness worldwide. After age 80, over 50% of Americans will have a cataract.

Not necessarily. Age-related cataracts can take a long time to interfere with your vision. In fact, many adults have cataracts and don’t even know it! Even when you are aware of your cataract, you can live for years with it. As the cloudy area in the lens begins to grow in size and opacity, your vision for normal, everyday tasks will be diminished. That is the point at which you will want to consider surgery. Regular visits to your eye care professional will help to monitor the progress of your cataracts. 

Just like any medical procedure, there are risks with cataract surgery. Studies have shown that 99.9% of cataract patients do not experience any significant vision threatening complications – provided the surgery is performed by a skilled cataract surgeon. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the United States; in fact, there are 3 million procedures each year.

Even though this is eye surgery and you are awake during the 10-15 minute procedure, the fast-acting IV sedation administered prior to the surgery provides a twilight sensation and blocks most pain. You will be alert and awake after the procedure. Most patients say that they only felt mild discomfort after the procedure – discomfort that can be minimized by taking the prescribed post-surgery eye drops.

No. Cataract surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure in our adjacent AAAHC rated surgery center, Florence Surgery and Laser Center, LLC. After the procedure, we will have you rest in our recovery area. Our team will go over the post-surgery instructions for wearing a protective eye shield, taking the prescribed eye drops and activity recommendations. You must have someone else drive you home after surgery. Most patients can return to work and other activities within 2-3 days after surgery but strenuous activity should be avoided for several weeks.*Source: International Society of Refractive Surgery

If you needed reading glasses before cataract surgery and you choose a monofocal intraocular lens (IOL), you will probably still need to wear reading glasses after surgery. However, patients who upgrade to premium multifocal and multifocal/Toric Extended Depth of Focus IOLs can often say goodbye to reading glasses unless they are viewing very small type.

Cataract surgery in Florence, SC with monofocal IOLs is typically covered by Medicare and most health insurance plans. If you choose bladeless femto laser cataract surgery, you will incur some out-of-pocket costs for the lens chosen. There are many different parameters regarding the cost of cataract surgery that our financial counselors will be happy to discuss in detail with you during a Cataract Evaluation.

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