Cataract Surgery in Las Vegas, NV, From Siems
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens; Siems LASIK & Eye Centers performs cataract surgery in Las Vegas, NV, to improve vision by replacing the clouded lens with an artificial one. Cataracts affect millions of Americans annually. Most cataracts are part of aging, though some stem from genetics, disease, or injury. Their surgery is common, safe, and effective.
Cataracts can cause blurry vision and increase the glare from lights. They aren’t bothersome in their early stages, but, as they thicken, you may need to have them surgically removed. Typically, this is because they are interfering with everyday activities or the treatment of another eye problem.
Candidates for Cataract Surgery
When caused by aging, cataracts develop gradually, and patients may not notice the changes. Only when they start interfering with vision do patients become aware of them. An ophthalmologic exam detects cataracts and rules out other causes for vision issues, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. Patients who become aware of visual difficulties usually experience, clouded, blurred, or dim vision, particularly at night.
The Benefits of Cataract Surgery
The benefits are many, greatly enhancing quality of life. Research indicates that improved vision reduces the risk of falls, making exercise, sports, and hobbies safer. Combining this with the improvements in reading, recognizing faces, and performing everyday activities with greater ease results in improved physical health, increased sociability, and longer life expectancy. The rewards are:
- Improved quality of vision (sharper images, brighter colors)
- Less difficulty with routine tasks (particularly night driving)
- Decreased dependency on eyeglasses
- Greater independence, regardless of age or disability
- Greater safety
The Cataract Surgery Procedure
After the pupil is dilated and the area in and around the eye is numbed with anesthesia, a tiny incision is made to insert an ultrasonic probe. The probe emulsifies (breaks up) the cloudy lens into tiny pieces that are suctioned out of the eye. Once the cloudy lens has been removed, an artificial one is implanted. The new lens, known as an intraocular lens (IOL), is often inserted through the original incision. Some varieties serve multiple purposes, such as blocking ultraviolet light or working as bifocals. Depending on the type, sutures may or may not be needed.
Surgery is usually performed in only 20-30 minutes on an outpatient basis in our doctor’s office and is relatively painless. A high percentage of patients demonstrate improved vision afterward.
What Are the Risks?
Although cataract surgery is a common and safe procedure, any surgery carries risks. There is a slightly increased risk of retinal detachment, a painless but dangerous condition. Infection and bleeding are also potential problems. The risk of complications is greater if the patient has another eye disease or serious medical condition. Watch for these danger signs of complications and get help right away if you experience them:
- Increased pain in the eye
- Redness of the eye
- Light flashes
- Diminished vision
- Intense coughing
The Recovery Process
Immediately after surgery, an eye patch is worn; some doctors advise wearing a protective shield for several days even when sleeping. Vision may be blurry at first but improves within a few days. Some itching and discomfort are also present for a few days, but a patient should never rub or exert pressure on the treated eye. Heavy lifting should also be avoided. We prescribe eye drops to prevent inflammation and infection and control eye pressure.
Even though full healing can take up to 2 months, daily activities can be resumed in only a few days because cataract surgery is performed on one eye at a time. Most patients need to wear eyeglasses for at least some tasks, after surgery. If the other eye also has a cataract, which is usually the case, the second surgery is scheduled a 1-2 months after the first.
Types of Multifocal Lens Implants:
- Tecnis® Multifocal IOL
- AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL
- AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL
Tecnis Multifocal IOL Advantages
The Tecnis IOL was designed to provide cataract surgery patients with a high-quality vision similar to that of a younger person. The Tecnis IOL is meant to improve functional vision--the ability to see objects in varying light conditions—especially at night, twilight, and in rain, snow, and fog. This means improved night vision and reduction of spherical aberrations, an undesirable scattering of light that is a common side effect of cataract surgery. Unlike other multifocal IOLs, the Tecnis Multifocal IOL provides the following benefits:
- Excellent Vision at all Distances
- Excellent Vision at all Light Levels
- Do Not Require Reading Glasses
Candidates for Tecnis Multifocal IOL
Our doctor will determine whether or not this lens is right for the patient after a comprehensive eye exam and an evaluation of their medical history and the goals they want to achieve. The Tecnis IOL is ideal for cataract patients who have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty Reading
- Difficulty Seeing Objects Up Close
- Difficulty with Driving, Especially at Night
- Need for Bifocals
- Frequent Changes in their Eyeglass Prescription
The Tecnis Multifocal IOL Procedure
The cataract-impaired lens of the eye is gently removed through a tiny incision made on the edge of the cornea. Said lens is replaced with the Tecnis IOL. The procedure takes between 15-45 minutes after which patients are under observation for an hour and then return home. A follow-up appointment is usually scheduled for the day after the surgery to monitor recovery. This is usually short, with most patients able to return to their normal activities almost immediately.
There may be some itching, discomfort, and sensitivity to light, which can be managed through prescription eye drops. These symptoms usually go away within a few days as the eye heals and the new vision develops.
Risks and Complications of the Tecnis Multifocal IOL Procedure
As with any surgery, Tecnis Multifocal lens surgery has potential complications. These risks, however, are rare and normally outweighed by the potential benefits of restoring vision. The most common side effects of all cataract procedures include:
- Sensitivity to light
Complications specific to Tecnis Multifocal lenses are:
- Loss of sharpness of vision in low light
- Halos or glare in nighttime conditions
AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL
Intraocular lenses are used during cataract surgery to replace damaged lens with an implant that clears and corrects vision, often leaving patients with little to no dependence on glasses. Until now, patients with astigmatism did not have the same opportunities to correct their condition with the types of IOL lenses that were available. The astigmatic patient would need an additional surgery, such as refractive or LASIK, to correct their vision. If the patient did not want this, the only option would be either contacts or glasses.
Toric IOLs accommodate for astigmatism. They are specially designed to correct astigmatism along with overall vision during cataract surgery. The advanced Toric IOLs correct the imbalance caused by an irregular cornea shape. There are several types of FDA-approved Toric IOLs, which can correct up to 3 diopters of astigmatism.
The Toric IOL Procedure
The cataract-impaired eye lens is gently removed through a tiny incision made on the edge of the cornea and replaced with the Toric IOL. The procedure takes 15-45 minutes to complete; then patients are observed for an hour and go home. A follow-up appointment is usually scheduled for the day after the surgery to monitor recovery, which tends to be short. Most patients are able to return to their normal activities almost immediately.
There may be some itching, discomfort, and sensitivity to light after surgery, which can be managed through prescription eye drops. These symptoms usually go away within a few days as the eye heals and the new lens works its magic.
Risks and Complications of a Toric IOL
As with any surgery, Toric lens has potential complications. These risks, however, are rare and pale in comparison to the benefits in most cases. The most common side effects of all cataract procedures include:
- A sensitivity to light
Toric IOLs are considered safe for most patients with astigmatism and are the only solution to correct vision problems associated with both cataracts and astigmatism. Complications specific to Toric IOL may include:
- The lens rotating out of position
- Loss of sharpness of vision
AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL
AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL is an intraocular lens that provides a full range of vision for patients after cataract procedures, significantly decreasing their dependence on glasses or contacts. It replaces the natural lens, and its optic design enables it to bend light to a focal point of the retina, facilitating distance vision. By distributing light on the retina so that images at various distances are clearly perceived, it provides multifocal visual clarity.
The ReStor IOL has been shaped using a special process called apodized diffraction to provide increased depth of focus. Diffraction involves bending or spreading light to multiple focal points as it passes through the lens. Apodization is a process where that light is gradually tapered to create a smooth transition for accurate focus at various distances. The lens of the ReSTOR IOL is convex on both sides and made of soft plastic so that it can be folded before insertion. This allows our surgeon to make an incision smaller than the diameter of the lens itself. After the IOL has been surgically inserted into the eye, it gently unfolds to restore vision. The IOL is constructed with supporting arms for proper positioning.
Candidates for ReSTOR IOL Treatment
Any individual who desires multifocal vision without reading glasses, bifocals, or contacts may be a candidate for ReSTOR IOL. While it was originally designed for patients with cataracts, they aren’t a requirement. Patients with chronic infections, uncontrolled diabetes, or other health problems may have to wait until these conditions are under control. Benefits to the treatment include:
- A Soft, Foldable Acrylic Lens
- Smaller Incision in the Eye
- Correction for Both Cataracts and Presbyopia
- Filtering of Blue Light for More Vivid Color Perception
- Correction of Spherical Aberrations that Appear with Age
The ReSTOR IOL Procedure
The procedure is a relatively simple one. The cataract-impaired lens is removed through a tiny incision on the edge of the cornea and replaced with the ReSTOR IOL. We do this as an outpatient surgery in only 15-45 minutes. After approximately an hour of medical observation, the patient can leave almost immediately. They usually come back, however, for a follow-up appointment the next day. The recovery period is short; patients generally return to their routines the following day.
There may be some itching, discomfort, and sensitivity to light after surgery. These are usually managed satisfactorily with the eye drops our ophthalmologist prescribes. These symptoms almost always subside within a few days as the eye heals and patients enjoy the clarity of vision the new lenses provide.
Risks of the ReSTOR IOL Procedure
As with any surgery, there are potential complications. The chief risk associated with this one and with all multifocal lens procedures is that certain individuals simply do not adapt to the new way of seeing. Although most patients adjust in less than a month, many take as long as 6 months to a year. A small number are never able to adapt to the multifocal lenses which, although rare, is a serious complication. Most of the risks are side effects common to all cataract procedures, and all are complications at the surgical site. These may include:
- Swelling or Bleeding
- Retinal Detachment
- Secondary Cataract Formation
- Eye Redness or Irritation
- Sensitivity to Light
- Blurred Vision, Halos or Glare in Low Light
In general, ReSTOR treatment has a high rate of success with few complications. A majority of patients report improved vision right after surgery.