Research and development involving cataract surgery has undergone an amazing
transformation in the last several years. With the introduction of new materials,
innovative mathematical approaches and advanced technology, cataract surgery
has been pushed from a purely medical procedure to one of refractive or "vision
What to know:
A cataract is a cloudy area in the eye's lens responsible for decreased visual
acuity. More than half of all Americans age 65 and older have a cataract. Cataracts
are a normal part of aging; they usually develop over time and don't have to
be removed immediately.
In the early stages, stronger lighting or a change in your glasses prescription may help. At a certain point, however, surgery may be needed to improve vision. Today, cataract surgery is safe and very effective.
Of all the fields of medicine, cataract surgery has been one of the greatest beneficiaries from advances in techniques and technology and has made extraordinary and exciting advances over the past few years. Last year, approximately 2.7 million Americans underwent this procedure.
Not so long ago, cataract surgery involved lengthy delays marked by deteriorating vision while the cataract "ripened," an extended and confining recovery period, plus the need for unsightly "cataract" glasses or contact lenses to achieve functional vision after surgery.
Now, the surgery is a simple, out-patient procedure. The stay at an ambulatory surgery center is just a few hours and recovery time after surgery is dramatically reduced. Many people enjoy improved vision with minimal dependence upon corrective eyewear.
Most cataract surgeries are performed using microscopic size incisions, advanced ultrasonic equipment to fragment cataracts into tiny fragments, and foldable intraocular lenses (IOLs) to maintain small incision size. Cataract surgery today is the result of extraordinary technological and surgical advancements that allows millions of people to once again enjoy crisp and clear vision. A true marvel of modern medicine, cataract surgery may restore vision to levels you may have never thought possible.
The restoration of precious eyesight is accomplished every day at Seibel Vision Surgery through tiny incisions that do not require any stitches. The chances of developing astigmatism (distorted vision) after surgery are significantly decreased by eliminating stitches, which tend to pull the eye's surface slightly out of its natural shape. Most patients are now able to enjoy their best possible vision with minimal recovery time.
The incisions are called self-sealing because the eye's natural internal pressure holds the incision tightly closed allowing the eye to heal without stitches. The self-sealing is made at the edge of the clear cornea (the transparent covering of the front of the eye), and is less than 2.5 mm in length.
The cataract is situated inside the lens capsule, which is like an elastic bag that holds the lens in place. To remove the cataract, the front portion of the lens capsule is carefully opened. The cataract is gently broken apart using ultrasonic vibrations and vacuumed out of the lens capsule. This technique is called phacoemulsification. The lens capsule is left undisturbed so a tiny lens implant can be inserted in place of the original lens.
Continue to: About Cataracts.
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