About Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most commonly performed procedures in the United States. At our offices, our experienced physicians have performed thousands of surgeries for our patients with a high success rate. A cataract refers to a condition in which the normally clear lens of the eyeball becomes cloudy, impairing visual acuity. As we age, our bodies undergo natural chemical changes that may affect the protein structure of the eyeball’s lens, causing the proteins to clump together. They usually appear in individuals ranging from 50 to 80 years old.

Our doctors perform two different types of treatments at a nearby accredited Virginia ambulatory surgical facility. The ophthalmologist will decide which method is most suitable for the patient’s particular situation during the routine pre-operative exam.

Types of Cataract Surgery

Phacoemulsification: During this procedure, the doctor makes a tiny incision at the edge of the cornea and then creates an opening in the membrane surrounding the affected lens, also known as the lens capsule. The doctor inserts an ultrasonic probe through the opening, which vibrates and breaks the lens apart into small fragments. Finally, the doctor suctions out the destroyed lens and a permanent intraocular lens is implanted behind the pupil. No stitches are needed due to the small size of the incision and the natural healing abilities of the cornea. Visual acuity improves noticeably within a few days.

Extracapsular Extraction: In its advanced stages, it may be hard to break up using the ultrasonic probe. If it cannot be effectively emulsified into smaller fragments, the doctor may opt for extracapsular extraction in which the affected lens is removed in one piece. This procedure necessitates a considerably longer incision and sutures are used to close the incision. Healing and improved visual acuity return more slowly than with the other method of operations.

During the surgery, our doctor replaces the lens with an intraocular lens (IOL), which is a permanent implant that serves to focus light onto the retina in the absence of the natural lens. Today, if technological advancements such as ReSTOR® lens are selected, the IOL not only replaces the natural lens but also attempts to restore multifocal vision. Patients can enjoy significant improvements in visual acuity with reduced dependency on spectacles or contact lenses.

If you or a loved one suffers from a problem and needs surgery, contact our offices in Virginia.