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Cataract Surgery

Deciding on Cataract Surgery

The decision to undergo cataract surgery is typically made when poor vision interferes with lifestyle activities such as driving, watching television, or reading. Today’s state-of-the-art technology can even indicate what potential vision may be post-operatively. Prior to the era of advanced cataract technology, patients often waited for their cataract to become very mature, or “ripe,” before undergoing surgery.

While patients were waiting for the cataract to “ripen,” they were losing significant vision, and daily living activities became very difficult, if not impossible. Cataract surgery was an in-hospital procedure that often saw the patient lying very still for days with his/her head wedged securely between sandbags to prevent movement.

After surgery, having useful vision depended on wearing thick, cumbersome “cataract glasses” that distorted vision and provided no peripheral vision or cataract lenses that proved to be awkward for most patients to handle. Today’s technology has made this a thing of the past.

The Cataract Surgery Process (Phacoemulsification)

After the proper anesthesia and numbing of the eye, your cataract surgeon will begin with a small incision in your eye about 2mm wide. Modern-day cataract surgery is also called micro-surgery because the incision sizes have become so small. Once the incision is made, the cataract surgeon will insert a tiny ultrasound tip and irrigation to break up the cloudy cataract and then remove the material.

This ultrasound tip will then allow for removal of the loose debris and help prepare the capsular bag for the artificial IOL implant. The foldable IOL is then inserted through a tube and then unfolds once in place. Intraocular lenses will have haptics and “lens arms” to hold it in place.

With the cataract removed and the IOL in place, light can once again travel unimpeded to the back of the eye and focus on the retina where the image is interpreted and transmitted to the brain. The end result is a clear youthful vision.

Diagram of Cataract Surgery

Does Insurance Cover Cataract Surgery?

Depending on the type of lens implant that you choose, cataract surgery can be covered by Medicare. There will be an additional cost associated with premium lens implants if you desire an implant that will enable near, far, and intermediate vision. Medicare will cover monofocal lens implants, which only allow for vision correction at one distance, not multiple distances.

Choosing Your Cataract Surgeon

Selecting a Madison WI. cataract surgeon can be difficult if you are not properly educated about cataracts, cataract surgery, and advancements in the new technology. We hope that our educational ophthalmology website has provided an easy to understand outlook on the state of cataract surgery.

Although cataract surgery is one of the most performed medical procedures it is highly suggested that you carefully select a Madison cataract surgeon with a base level of experience who is using the latest techniques and technologies.

Choosing Your Lens Implant

Selecting the right implant for your eye is very important for your vision after surgery. Your doctor will take measurements before your surgery to determine how strong your lens is, so an implant with the same strength can be put in during the surgery. If you wear glasses, the implant strength can be adjusted to replace both your lens and your glasses.

This website page on advancements in cataract surgery is intended to highlight relevant considerations in a summary manner and should not be interpreted as individual legal advice. You should consult with legal counsel before acting on the information contained in these documents.