Cataract Removal Surgery
Cataracts are a common condition among older adults. According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), more than half of men and women in the U.S. are significantly affected by cataracts by age 80. Dr. Nemi, at Lotus Vision, performs some of the best cataract surgery Atlanta has available using advanced surgical techniques to restore clearer, crisp vision for men and women with cataracts.
What Are Cataracts?
Cataracts are a cloudy condition of the natural lens of the eye that is often related to an aging eye structure. When the lens becomes cloudy, it reduces the light and sharpness of the image reaching the retina of the eye.
This clouding can become severe enough to cause symptoms including:
- Blurred vision
- Poor night vision
- Double vision
- Extreme sensitivity to light
- Seeing bright colors as faded or yellow
What Causes Cataracts?
The most common cause of cataracts is the natural aging process. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), reports that changes in the eye that can lead to cataracts begin to occur at approximately 40 years of age, when proteins that make up the lens of the eye along with water begin to break down. When the protein clumps together, it can cause clouding of the lens, known as a cataract. This issue is what our cataract surgery in Alpharetta addresses.
Other causes of cataracts may include:
- Diabetes and other medical problems
- The use of certain medications
- Previous eye injury or eye surgery
- Excessive sun exposure without UV protection for the eyes
Cataract Surgery Options
Cataract surgery is done in one of two ways, both of which have their pros and cons and their ideal candidates. Your surgeon will discuss these options with you during a personal consultation and after extensive eye examinations to determine the best possible treatment option.
Phaco, also known as phacoemulsification or small incision cataract surgery, is the most common cataract surgery. In this procedure, a very small incision is made on the side of the eye’s clear dome-shaped cover called the cornea. Through this tiny incision, the surgeon inserts a probe that safely emits ultrasound waves that break down the cloudy lens so that it can be suctioned out and replaced by an artificial IOL (intraocular lens).
The alternative to phaco is a slightly more invasive procedure, called extracapsular surgery, where the incision made spans the side of the cornea, allowing the cloudy core of the afflicted lens to be removed in one piece and the remainder of the lens to be suctioned out.
Phacoemulsification and extracapsular surgery are usually followed by inserting an artificial replacement lens, called an IOL, or intraocular lens, which come in a wide range of types:
- Monofocal IOLs can help you focus on at a distance but may require reading glasses.
- Presbyopia-correcting IOLs can help you to focus on up-close objects
- Multifocal IOLs help you focus both near and far away, and can be personalized to you, possibly making eyeglasses unnecessary.
- Extended Depth of Focus IOLs can provide both excellent distant and medium vision, and improved up-close vision
How Safe is Cataract Removal Surgery?
Cataract removal is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the U.S., and one of the safest and most effective. The National Eye Institute (NEI) reports that approximately 90 percent of people who have cataract surgery have greatly improved vision after the procedure.
Our Alpharetta cataract surgery is performed on one eye at a time. Anesthesia is administered topically to numb the eye before the procedure, which Dr. Nemi usually completes in less than ten minutes.
How Is Cataract Removal Performed?
Dr. Nemi at Lotus Vision serves Alpharetta and the Atlanta, Georgia area, performing cataract removal using state-of-the-art surgical techniques and the most advanced technology. In most cases, the procedure is completed in less than ten minutes and does not require a needle, stitches, or an eye patch.
Cataract removal in Alpharetta is performed on an outpatient basis under topical anesthesia and intravenous sedation. After you are sedated, and drops are applied to your eyes, Dr. Nemi will carefully remove the cloudy natural lens. Then he will insert an intraocular lens (IOL) as a long-term replacement.
The IOL provides focusing power as a substitute for the natural lens. IOLs are made of different materials and designed for different functions. Dr. Nemi will select the most appropriate IOL for your eyes. Various types are available, including astigmatism-correcting and multifocal IOLs.
What Are the Benefits of Cataract Removal?
People with cataracts often make gradual lifestyle changes to compensate for their loss of vision. In addition to improving your vision, our Atlanta cataract surgery may have other important benefits.
Better Quality of Life
Better vision allows you to do more. Cataracts can interfere with everyday tasks, such as driving and reading, and with other things you do for pleasure. When vision is severely affected by cataracts, it can make you feel less independent and less socially engaged.
Lower Risk of Falls and Fractures
Falls are a leading cause of injury and death among older people, and loss of vision is a major contributing factor. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers found that patients age 65 and older diagnosed with cataracts had significantly decreased risk of hip fracture at one year after cataract removal.
Improved Chances of Longer Life
In addition to improving quality of life, cataract removal may improve the odds of living longer for people with cataracts. In a recent study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers found that cataract surgery is associated with significantly better long-term survival among older people. The study found a 40 percent reduction in mortality risk for people with cataracts who have surgery to remove them, as compared to those who do not.
How long will the procedure take?
The surgery itself may take from 20 - 30 minutes. For this procedure, patients are usually in the office for 2 - 2 ½ hours.
Is it painful?
Cataract surgery is pain-free. Numbing drops are used before the procedure and you won’t feel any pain.
How can one avoid getting cataracts?
Cataracts are considered a natural result of aging, however, some things can be done to possibly prevent them including: not smoking or drinking alcohol, maintaining a healthy diet, wearing sunglasses, and addressing any health problems.
How much does cataract surgery cost?
Cataract surgery is often covered by one’s vision insurance and tends to cost approximately $3,500 - $5,000 per eye depending on the conditions a patient presents with and what surgical techniques are required.