Cataract Surgery

Surgery to remove cataracts can restore vision that has become blurry or distorted due to clouding of the eye’s lens. Cataract surgery with advanced intraocular lenses (IOLs) can even deliver eyesight that is better than it was before cataracts for improved vision with less dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses.

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Cataract Surgery in Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake, Virginia

At Tidewater Eye Centers, our Virginia Beach cataract surgeons are dedicated to helping you feel comfortable and confident in your decision to have cataract surgery. We will make sure you understand all of your cataract surgery options and we will develop a personalized treatment plan for you. The actual cataract surgery procedure takes just minutes to complete. Learn more about cataracts, including how cataracts are diagnosed and common cataract symptoms.

Blade-Free Cataract Surgery

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The world-class cataract surgeons at Tidewater Eye Centers use advanced technology to offer blade-free cataract surgery. During cataract surgery, small incisions are made in order to remove the clouded lens from the eye and replace it with an IOL. In a traditional cataract surgery, the incision is created by hand. With the LenSx® femtosecond laser, we are able to provide a more accurate and customized cataract surgery experience. The LenSx has a computer controlled laser that creates precise incisions using a high-resolution, 3D surgical platform.

Cataract Surgery—What to Expect

Preparing for Cataract Surgery

Your consultation appointment at Tidewater Eye Centers is the first step toward cataract surgery. One of our experienced eye doctors will evaluate your eye health and your vision to determine if cataract surgery is right for you. They will explain your options and create a treatment plan that meets your needs and fits your lifestyle.

You will receive detailed instructions prior to your surgery day, which may include eye drops. You will need to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home after your procedure.

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Cataract Surgery Day

The day of your surgery your eyes will be numbed with anesthetic eye drops. You may also be offered an oral sedative medication. Once you are ready, your surgeon will make a small incision and then use a process called phacoemulsification to gently break up the clouded lens. Your surgeon will then place your pre-chosen intraocular lens (IOL). The small incision will typically heal on its own without sutures. Cataract surgery is typically performed on one eye at a time, with many patients choosing to have the second eye operated on several weeks or months after the first.

Recovery After Cataract Surgery

Once your cataract surgery is complete, you will spend some time relaxing in our post-op area. Your surgeon will check your eyes and then you will continue your recovery in the comfort of your home. You may feel mild discomfort or itchiness after cataract surgery, but it is very important that you do not rub or touch your eyes.

Patients can usually resume their regular activities, including driving, within 48 hours after surgery. You will be given a special shield to protect your eye in the hours after surgery and while you sleep in the days after surgery. You will also be prescribed eye drops to prevent infection and reduce inflammation. You will be given post-op instructions and scheduled for a follow up appointment. It is important to follow all of your doctor’s instructions to ensure a smooth recovery.

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IOL Options for Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery works by replacing the eye’s clouded lens with an artificial intraocular lens, or IOL. In addition to eliminating cataracts, an IOL can also offer vision correction. A standard monofocal IOL corrects vision at a single distance. Advanced IOLs, or lifestyle lenses, can correct vision at multiple distances. Many patients who opt for an advanced IOL find that choosing their lens is an exciting part of the cataract surgery process. At Tidewater Eye Centers, we offer a full range of premium IOLs. Learn more about lifestyle lenses.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cataract Surgery

Am I a candidate for cataract surgery?

You may be a cataract surgery candidate if you have cloudy, blurred, or distorted vision due to cataracts. Cataracts develop gradually, so surgery may not be necessary right away if your cataracts are diagnosed early. Discuss your vision and your treatment options with your eye doctor to decide if cataract surgery is right for you.

Can I treat cataracts without surgery?

Surgery to remove cataracts is the only way to restore vision that has been impaired by this condition. If you have early stage cataracts, you may be able to get by with changes to your eyeglasses prescription. However, once cataracts begin to interfere with your day to day activities, cataract surgery is the only effective solution. This quick and routine surgery can dramatically improve vision.

Does my health insurance cover cataract surgery?

Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, offer coverage for cataract surgery and a traditional monofocal IOL. Advanced IOLs or lifestyle lenses are usually not covered. Many of our patients decide that the additional out-of-pocket cost of a lifestyle lens is worth the upgrade in vision correction, so we offer a variety of budget-friendly payment options. Learn more about insurance and financing options for cataract surgery.

Is cataract surgery safe?

Any surgical procedure carries some risk, but cataract surgery is among the safest and most commonly performed surgeries, with a success rate greater than 99%.1 While rare, potential risks or complications of cataract surgery include infection, inflammation, pain, vision loss, or swelling.2

Can cataracts grow back?

No, cataracts do not grow back. However, some patients may experience a condition called posterior capsular opacification, or PCO, after cataract surgery. PCO can cause cloudy vision, but it can be successfully treated with a simple in-office procedure.

Contact Tidewater Eye Centers for Cataract Surgery

The eye doctors at Tidewater Eye Center are committed to providing high quality eye care for patients in the Virginia Beach area. Our highly experienced cataract surgeons have helped many patients improve their quality of life with sight-restoring cataract surgery. Contact us with any questions or to schedule your consultation appointment.

1 American Refractive Surgery Council. Is Cataract Surgery with Vision-Correcting IOLs Safe? Available: Accessed April 9, 2021.
2 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Cataract Surgery. Available: Accessed April 9, 2021.

The doctors at Tidewater Eye Centers have either authored or reviewed the content on this site.




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