Cataracts are the clouding of the natural lens of the eye and can lead to blurry or cloudy vision. They can make it difficult to drive, read, or even see everything properly. Luckily, there are a number of treatment options to help with cataracts including laser cataract surgery.
But what exactly is it, what does it entail, and what is the recovery process like? Let’s take a look at this innovative procedure.
Laser cataract surgery or laser-assisted cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure where your eye surgeon (ophthalmologist) removes the clouded lens or cataract from the eye and replaces it with an artificial lens or intraocular lens implant to restore your vision.
Better healing and fewer complications are just a few benefits of laser cataract surgery compared to traditional cataract surgery.
Laser cataract surgery is a treatment for anyone who is struggling with cloudy, foggy, or blurry vision problems due to cataracts and looking to have clear vision again.
But it’s not just for cataracts. If you’re dealing with astigmatism, laser surgery can also be used for astigmatism correction as well.
The decision to have laser cataract surgery over traditional surgery can come down to several different factors that you should discuss with your ophthalmologist.
To prepare for laser cataract surgery, your ophthalmologist will take a look at the structure of your eye with a dilated eye exam. You will also likely be required to have blood tests and a chest X-ray prior to the surgery.
Before the day of cataract surgery, you will also want to plan to wear comfortable clothes and ensure your hair is pinned away from your eyes. Don’t apply any makeup or cream to the face or around the eyes on the day of surgery.
You will want to avoid eating and drinking in the hours before the surgery. You will also likely need to stop or decrease the dosage of any blood thinners you’re taking.
Additionally, you will also need someone to drive you home after cataract surgery.
The laser cataract surgery takes about 20 minutes but with signing in, getting prepared for surgery, and the recovery period, you should expect to be at your appointment for anywhere from one to three hours.
When you enter the operating room, IV anesthesia will be used to make you drowsy and help you relax. You may fall asleep. Then some numbing eye drops will be put in your eyes to ensure you don’t feel anything. Eye drops to dilate your pupils will also be used.
The area around the eye will be cleansed and then the surgery will begin.
A small refractor is used to keep your eye open and then small precise incisions will be made with the laser in the lens capsule. A femtosecond laser is also used on the lens to break it up into pieces and soften it. This makes for easier cataract removal.
The lens is then removed and the new lens is installed. The incision that’s made is self-sealing so no stitches or sutures are needed.
Your eye may be covered to protect it and then you will be moved to the recovery area.
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While in initial recovery, you will likely receive pain medication as you need it. Once you are comfortable and able to get around without much difficulty, you will be able to go home.
The healing and recovery time from laser cataract surgery can take several weeks but you will be able to start to see vision changes within a few days. Your provider will let you know when you can drive again.
You may see bright lights or halos around your field of vision and your eyes may feel dry or gritty. You can use artificial tears to help with any discomfort.
You will need to protect the eye for the first few weeks. You won’t want to get water or chemicals in the eyes. Wearing sunglasses will be necessary when you go outside or when you’re in bright indoor light.
Prescription antibiotic drops and anti-inflammatory eye drops are generally given after laser surgery to help with healing. You will also schedule a follow-up appointment so your surgeon can check on your progress.
Most patients fully recover after about three months and your vision should be completely stable at six months.
Struggling with cataracts? Laser cataract surgery might be just the solution you’ve been looking for. To get started, schedule a consultation at Advanced Eye Surgeons. Our team of ophthalmologists can walk you through the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
To schedule a consultation today, call our Boca Raton or Tamarac, FL offices or use our online scheduling form.
If you have a question or would like to schedule an appointment, please fill out and submit the form below.
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