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Cataract Extraction Surgery

Surgical removal of a clouded lens is considered the best, most successful treatment for this condition. Bascom Palmer is one of the few facilities using the femtosecond laser. Working through a small opening at the front of the eye, the surgeon gently breaks up and vacuums out the clouded lens with the laser. This lens is then replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL), a clear, artificial lens surgically implanted inside the eye to replace the natural lens. An IOL acts like the eye’s natural lens by focusing light that enters the eye through the cornea and pupil onto the retina. Similar to prescription glasses or contact lenses, the IOL is chosen to match the patient’s visual needs. If you have astigmatism, your surgeon may correct it with a Toric IOL or another procedure such as LASIK or a limbal relaxing incision (LRI) to reshape your cornea. Your doctor will guide you in choosing the intraocular lens that is right for you, depending on your condition and preferences.

Lens options include:

  • Phakic Intraocular Lenses: If your eyes are too myopic for laser surgery, a lens can be surgically placed in the front part of your eye, with your natural lens left in place behind the new lens.

  • Aphakic Intraocular Lenses: Whether surgery is done to remove cataracts or to correct farsightedness, various replacement lenses are available. The standard IOL is a monofocal lens that corrects distance vision. With this lens, you see well from a distance, but need glasses to read.

  • Presbyopic Intraocular Lenses: Newly approved alternatives to standard monofocal lenses, these accommodating lenses focus for both distance and near vision. One of these lenses, the Crystalens, is a monofocal lens that moves forward inside your eye to change focus from distance to near. This gives good distance vision and usable intermediate distance vision for a computer screen. Most people can also read large type without glasses but some need reading glasses to read small type. If necessary, correcting astigmatism is done with the limbal relaxing incision procedure.

  • Single Vision Fixed-Focus IOLs: These lenses provide sharp vision at a distance or sharp near vision. Single vision lenses do not correct astigmatism – any remaining astigmatism may produce blurring at all distances without glasses.

  • Toric Single Vision Fixed-Focus IOLs: These fixed focus single-vision lenses help people with astigmatism see better for distance or for near vision than they would with a non-Toric single vision IOL. Although Toric lenses improve visual sharpness at a distance or near without glasses, they do not provide both near and distance vision simultaneously.

  • Multifocal IOLs. The ReZoom and ReSTOR lenses provide distance and intermediate and/or reading vision. The optical results are not always perfect and some patients are bothered by subnormal distance and/or reading vision. Other common side effects include halos around lights at night and reduced vision in bright or dim light.

  • Anterior Segment Reconstruction and Secondary Intraocular Lenses.