Cataract Surgery What is Cataract Surgery

FREQUENTLY ASKED
QUESTIONS

Cataract Surgery

Is cataract surgery safe?

Every surgical procedure has risks and potential side effects. Your doctor will explain all of this in full detail. Cataract surgery is a proven treatment that is performed more than 18 million times around the world every year.

Complications with cataract surgery are rare and may include the worsening of your vision, bleeding, or infection. Contact your eye doctor right away if you experience any itching, pain, flashing lights, “floaters,” a “curtain” in your vision, redness, severe headache, nausea/vomiting, sensitivity to light or watery eye after surgery.

Is cataract surgery painful?

Your doctor will apply anesthetic eye drops to completely numb your eyes, to protect you from feeling any pain during surgery.

How long does the procedure last?

Most cataract procedures take about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your doctor and type of procedure. You can ask your doctor for a more specific answer.

Will I have the procedure at the same time in both of my eyes?

Most doctors will only perform the procedure one eye at a time. The other eye is usually treated about two to four weeks after your first one. Ask your doctor for specific details.

Do I have to stay overnight in a hospital?

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure and may be performed in your doctor’s surgical suite located in the office. You will able to go home within an hour or two after your procedure.

How long will it be before I see?

Everyone heals differently, but in most cases, people are able to see immediately after the procedure. Remember, it will take time for your brain to adjust to seeing with your new lens. The halos and glare you may experience may go away after awhile or become permanent. For most people, they will see clearly after six months.

How will I know which lens is right for me?

By assessing the health of your eyes and your lifestyle needs, your doctor will recommend the best lens to suit your needs. A traditional monofocal lens will give you sharp distance vision, but you will need to wear glasses for activities such as reading and using the computer.

  • Advanced technology lenses like multifocal IOLs are designed to give you sharper vision for near, intermediate, and far vision with less dependence on glasses, even in low-light or dim situations.
  • And if you have astigmatism, a toric lens is specifically designed to provide you with high-quality distance vision; however, you may still need glasses for near vision.

Is cataract surgery performed with a laser?

Lasers are used by some surgeons for part of the surgical procedure to help dissolve and extract the lens and to make key incisions for the surgery. Cataract surgeons also use ultrasound to help dissolve and extract your natural lens with the cataract. This is the first step in the procedure so your new lens can be implanted.

Can I expect a rapid recovery?

Today’s surgeries are performed with the smallest possible incision to speed the recovery of vision and reduce the restrictions on your activities after surgery. Your doctor will explain the details of the procedure and answer any questions you may have.

If I wear corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses before cataract surgery, can I expect improved vision and restored sight without them after surgery?

Today’s cataract surgery visual outcomes are better than ever before. This is due to developments such as smaller incisions, refractive surgery to correct vision at the same time of cataract removal and the precise matching of the IOL to the eye. You may still have to wear glasses or contact lenses after surgery for some daily activities. Your doctor will explain how cataract surgery can improve your vision and answer any questions you may have.

What Are My Payment Options?

Medicare will usually cover the cataract surgery and traditional, monofocal lenses. If you choose a multifocal or toric lens, you will need to pay for any extra costs.

Health insurance policies will differ in coverage for the different types of lenses. Usually, most of them will cover a traditional, monofocal lens. Because multifocal lenses correct presbyopia and provide sharper vision, and toric lenses are designed to treat astigmatism, these types of IOLs will cost more. You will be responsible for paying for the incremental costs for these upgraded lenses but your insurance will still cover the surgery costs.

Healthcare financial plans offer an option to pay for your upgraded lenses over time. Many doctors offer a payment plan to give you financing options that make advanced technology lenses affordable.

To find out about your coverage, you should contact Medicare, your insurance company and/or your doctor.

INDICATIONS AND IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR THE TECNIS® FAMILY OF IOLs

CAUTION

Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician.

ATTENTION

Reference the Directions for Use for a complete listing of Indications and Important Safety Information.

TECNIS® MONOFOCAL 1-PIECE IOL

INDICATIONS

AMO TECNIS® 1-Piece lenses are indicated for the visual correction of aphakia in adult patients in whom a cataractous lens has been removed by extracapsular cataract extraction. These devices are intended to be placed in the capsular bag.

WARNINGS

Existing eye conditions and surgical difficulties may increase the risk of complications. Your doctor will determine if you are a good candidate for lens replacement. Read more Important Safety Information.

TECNIS® TORIC 1-PIECE IOL

INDICATIONS

The TECNIS® Toric 1-Piece posterior chamber lens is indicated for the visual correction of aphakia and pre-existing corneal astigmatism of one diopter or greater in adult patients with or without presbyopia in whom a cataractous lens has been removed by phacoemulsification and who desire improved uncorrected distance vision, reduction in residual refractive cylinder, and increased spectacle independence for distance vision. The device is intended to be placed in the capsular bag.

RISKS

No matter what lens you choose, there are risks or problems that can happen with cataract surgery. The problems could be minor, temporary, or affect your vision long term. Complications with cataract surgery are rare and may include the worsening of your vision, bleeding, or infection. Read more Important Safety Information.

TECNIS® MULTIFOCAL FAMILY OF 1-PIECE IOLs

INDICATIONS

The TECNIS® Multifocal 1-Piece intraocular lenses are indicated for primary implantation for the visual correction of aphakia in adult patients with and without presbyopia in whom a cataractous lens has been removed by phacoemulsification and who desire near, intermediate, and distance vision with increased spectacle independence. The intraocular lenses are intended to be placed in the capsular bag.

RISKS

No matter what lens you choose, there are risks or problems that can happen with cataract surgery. The problems could be minor, temporary, or affect your vision permanently. Complications are rare and may include the worsening of your vision, bleeding, or infection. There are also tradeoffs with receiving a multifocal lens. Whereas your use of glasses may decrease, it may come at the cost of some sharpness of your vision. Even with glasses, this loss of sharpness may become worse under poor visibility conditions such as dim light or fog. Read more Important Safety Information.

TECNIS SYMFONY and TECNIS SYMFONY TORIC EXTENDED RANGE OF VISION IOLs


RISKS

Routine cataract surgery risks, irrelevant to lens selection, could be minor, temporary, or affect patients' vision permanently. Rare complications are worsening of vision, bleeding, or infection. Risks related to use of this lens include a slight loss in vision sharpness with decreased use of glasses. Even with glasses, loss of sharpness may worsen under poor visibility conditions such as dim light or fog. This may lead to driving difficulties, and not detecting road hazards as quickly at night or in fog. Patients may also notice halos, starbursts, glare, and other visual symptoms with extended range of vision IOLs. This may impact patients when there are bright lights at night. Patients should discuss all risks and benefits with their eye doctor before surgery.

WARNINGS

A small number of patients may want their Tecnis Symfony IOL removed because of lens-related optical/visual symptoms. Patients with pre-existing diseases or conditions (i.e., diabetes and heart disease) may have higher risk of experiencing complications (e.g., more difficult recovery) after routine cataract surgery. Patients should not receive this lens if they have had previous trauma to their eye. Not evaluated for use in children.

PRECAUTIONS

If the patient's eye is unhealthy (including glaucoma), vision may not be good even after cataract removal; patients may not get full benefit of the Tecnis Symfony IOL. Before surgery, the eye doctor will check for any eye diseases. Patients' vision with the IOL may not be good enough to perform detailed 'up-close' work without glasses, and rarely, may make some types of retinal treatment (e.g., retinal tear repair) more difficult. Patients should take all prescribed medicines and apply eye drops as instructed to avoid inflammation and infection. Patients should avoid bending down and playing sports, which can harm the eye during recovery. The eye doctor will tell patients what activities to avoid.