If you are experiencing the onset of cataracts you know how difficult seeing can be. You may be struggling with night vision or you might not be able to tell the difference between pairs of socks. You may even have sensitivity to sunlight. Fortunately, we offer laser cataract surgery that can help regain what you’ve lost, both in terms of your vision and your quality of life. Now, a technological breakthrough is available for use in cataract surgery to our clients in the Austin, Round Rock, and Kyle TX areas.
The LenSx® Laser Approach – A New Era in Refractive Cataract Surgery!
When you choose to have your surgery performed with this LenSx® laser, you’ll enjoy a truly innovative solution that allows for customization in cataract surgery. A bladeless, computer-controlled laser allows the surgeon to plan and perform your surgery to exact individualized specifications, not attainable with past cataract surgery methods.
With the LenSx® laser, you can move forward with confidence knowing that you’ve chosen the most advanced technology available for this life-changing procedure, one that enables a customized cataract surgery experience.
What is Laser Cataract Surgery?
Cataracts cannot be prevented, but they can be corrected.
We perform advanced laser cataract surgery in south Texas to help patients restore clear vision. Using the computer-controlled LenSx® laser, our team is able to break up the cloudy lens and remove it from the eye using real time, 3-D visualization. This ultra-precise method is quicker and more comfortable than the more traditional method of cataract surgery, allowing for truly customized treatment for your unique eye.
Advantages of Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery
- Correcting Astigmatism with extremely precise laser incisions.
- Using less energy in the eye to remove the cataract.
- Provides extremely efficient and safe treatment for very hard or mature cataracts.
- Protects the lens capsule during surgery and provides consistent implant placement.
The LenSx® laser provides patients with computer-controlled precision as it automates some of the most challenging steps of refractive cataract surgery. The laser replaces the traditional hand-held blade to optimize all incisions for enhanced, reproducible surgical performance.
This breakthrough technology provides the surgeon with real-time three-dimensional visualization for true customization of your lens replacement procedure. In addition to using the femtosecond laser to do many of the surgical steps traditionally performed by hand, our doctors still use many of the best innovations in cataract surgery, such as drops, only anesthesia (no shots), sutureless incisions through the clear cornea and foldable intraocular lenses. These advances allow us to use the smallest possible incision, approximately 1/18th of an inch.
After Cataract Surgery: Austin Cataract Surgery
What happens after surgery?
Patients are typically concerned about the cataract surgery recovery process. Most Austin cataract eye surgeons provide the best quality care and thoroughly explain what you can expect after cataract surgery. Recovery from cataract surgery is generally very quick. Most patients obtain better vision within the first 24 hours of the procedure. Itching and mild discomfort are normal after cataract surgery. Some fluid discharge is also common. Your eye may be sensitive to light and touch. If you have discomfort, your doctor can suggest treatment. After one or two days, any moderate discomfort should disappear.
For a few days after surgery, your doctor may ask you to use eye drops to help healing and decrease the risk of infection. Ask your cataract eye doctor about how to use your eyedrops, how often to use them, and what effects they can have. You will need to wear an eye shield or eyeglasses to help protect your eye. Avoid rubbing or pressing on your eye.
In most cases, healing will be complete within eight weeks. Your doctor will schedule exams to check on your progress. Each person heals differently so it is important to discuss the cataract surgery recovery with your eye doctor. If you have any questions regarding the after care, our Austin cataract surgeons are happy to answer any of your questions.
Yag Laser Capsulotomy: Laser Treatment After Cataract Surgery
The YAG laser can be used to treat posterior capsule opacification. After cataract surgery, the tissue that encloses the IOL can become cloudy and blur vision. This can be treated with a procedure called a YAG laser capsulotomy.
When your cataract was removed, the natural lens of your eye was replaced with an intraocular lens implant or IOL. This clear lens implant is placed inside the clear natural lens capsule. Your vision is restored because the implant allows focused light to reach your retina, which sends visual messages to the brain. The YAG laser capsulotomy surgery is a laser surgery that approximately 80% of patients need months or years after cataract surgery if the posterior capsule gets cloudy with time. The YAG laser is available in our surgery center so capsulotomies can be performed when necessary.
Why YAG Laser Capsulotomy May Be Necessary
A YAG laser capsulotomy may be necessary for approximately 80% of patients who have undergone cataract surgery. Vision can again become cloudy due to clouding of the posterior capsule, a natural part of the eye holding the lens implant in place. Fortunately, your eye surgeon can usually restore your vision quickly by performing a laser treatment called YAG laser capsulotomy.
When the Capsule Becomes Cloudy
The natural lens capsule is a thin, clear cellophane-like sac around the cataract. During implant surgery, the front of the capsule is removed and the cataract is emulsified and suctioned out of the eye. The lens implant is placed inside the lens capsule behind the pupil. Months or even years after the cataract surgery, the posterior layer of the lens capsule behind the lens implant may become cloudy; this clouding blocks light from reaching the retina, just as the cataract did. This clouding occurs eventually in about 80% of patients. Modern medical science has not developed a way to prevent this clouding of the lens capsule.
How YAG Laser Works
A laser is a powerful beam of light that can be focused to a tiny point. Because laser light can be precisely controlled, it is very effective and reliable. For a capsulotomy, your eye surgeon uses the YAG laser to deliver tiny, rapid bursts of energy to create a clear opening in the cloudy posterior lens capsule about the size of your pupil. This allows light to be focused clearly in the eye again, reaching the retina. The laser passes through the clear tissue at the front of the eye and through the implant without harming them. Enough of the posterior capsule is left behind to hold the implant securely in place.
Before YAG Laser Capsulotomy
Arrange to have a driver bring you to and from the Eye Surgery and Laser Center, LLC. Your vision may be blurry for a short time following the treatment until the dilating drops have worn off. You may undergo a visual exam, and both eyes may be dilated. Drops may be instilled to regulate the pressure in the eye. Your vital signs will also be checked.
Your YAG Laser Experience
The treatment is painless, and you can usually return to your normal activities within a few hours. There are no needles or stitches and no risk of infection. You will probably find your vision fully restored shortly following the treatment after the dilating drops have worn off.
What Type of Vision Do You Want After Surgery?
After your cloudy lens is removed, it will be replaced with a new intraocular lens (IOL). There are many IOLs from which to choose; the right one for you will depend on your lifestyle and your vision goals.
Don’t Mind Wearing Glasses? Monofocal IOLs May Suffice
These traditional lenses provide clear vision at a fixed focus for one distance, so most patients will still need glasses to see after surgery.Need Reading Glasses? Two Options to Correct Cataracts & Presbyopia
- Multifocal IOLs – These lenses incorporate a different power in the center of the lens and another power in the border of the lens to provide both clear vision for distance and up-close objects. Many patients don’t need to wear reading glasses after surgery with these lenses. We recommend the AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL for some patients.
- Extended Range of Vision IOL – The TECNIS Symfony® IOL provides a continuous range of high-definition vision at all distances. Symfony is the first lens of its kind to provide this level of vision, thus reducing the need for glasses after surgery.
Have Pre-Existing Astigmatism? Toric IOLs Correct Astigmatism
Toric lenses offer customized correction of corneal astigmatism and improved distance vision allowing for greater independence from glasses. We recommend the TECNIS® Toric Aspheric Toric IOL for some patients that have corneal astigmatism.
Importance of the Cataract Evaluation
If your cataracts are not affecting your daily life, you may not need cataract surgery right away. The best way to find out if you have cataracts and if the time is right for surgery is by scheduling a cataract evaluation at Westlake Eye Specialists. During the 1-hour evaluation, our doctors will assess your vision through a series of painless tests:
- Visual acuity
- Refractive error measurement
- Lens assessment
- Health of your retina
- Eye pressure measurement
We encourage patients to ask questions during the evaluation. The more you know about your eye health and options for improvement, the better equipped you will be to make the very best possible decision on when/how to have cataract surgery.