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What is a cataract?
A cataract is a cloudiness of the natural lens in your eye. When you are born, your lens is clear. As you get older, your lens will become cloudy. There are other medical reasons a person may develop a cataract as well though. Cataracts usually cause increased glare and halo at night which can cause difficulty driving a car. Distance vision and reading fine print may also become difficult.
What do I need to do to evaluate my eyes for a catarct?
The only way to know if you truly have a cataract is by having an examination for surgery with Dr. Bruening. She will do an eye examination to determine if you have cataracts. If you are diagnosed with a cataract, we will do further testing for your eyes so Dr. Bruening is able to choose your surgery plan and pick the correct lens for your eye.
What should I expect when underoing cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure. During surgery your eye if fully anesthetized so that there is no pain or discomfort. You also will receive IV anti-anxiety medicine to make sure you are relaxed and comfortable throughout the procedure.
Although it may vary, surgery usually takes 20 to 30 minutes, but you will be at the surgery center between 2-3 hours due to pre-op and post-op time required. You will not be allowed to drive yourself home and it is best if you have some stay with you the day of your procedure.
What happens during cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy natural lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens implant (IOL). Dr. Bruening uses state of the art micro-surgical techniques using an ultrasonic device (phacoemulsification) to remove the lens and replace it with the intraocular lens implant. The implant is held in place by the outer capsule that surrounds your original lens. The lens implant helps your eye focus properly after surgery but you may need glasses after surgery depending on what lens you choose.
What is the recovery after cataract surgery?
The recovery is remarkably fast. There are no patches or stiches on your eye. You will use drops in your eye for 2-3 weeks to aid in the healing process. Afterwards, we would prefer that you do not perform any heavy lifting or straining and to avoid strenuous exercise for 2 weeks. Otherwise, you can return to a normal lifestyle.
Do you do both eyes at the same time?
We do cataract surgery one eye at a time. This allows you time to heal and recover.
What do I need to do before surgery?
You will need to see your general doctor for pre-operative clearance 7-10 days before surgery.
Does insurance pay for cataract surgery?
Once your deductible is met, Medicare or your insurance will pay for your cataract surgery with the exception of any co-pay that you may also have. We also offer No Interest financing through Care Credit for self-pay patients.
What are the new advancements in cataract surgery?
The newest advancements in cataract surgery are the specialty lenses. These lenses are termed “multifocal lenses” because they potentially give you the ability to see distance and near without glasses or reduced dependency on glasses. Not everyone is a candidate for these lenses. However, for the right patient, the specialty lenses may be an ideal solution. Medicare and other insurance do not pay for these lenses as they are considered a cosmetic lens.