Premium Cataract Surgery in Virginia Beach, VA
At Atlantic Eye Consultants, we understand that your eyesight helps shape the way you interact with and experience the world. However, many people develop cataracts, a condition that makes clear vision increasingly more difficult. In fact, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, more than 24 million individuals age 40 and older are affected by cataracts. Although cataracts are usually caused by age, other reasons include:
- Past eye surgery
- Medical conditions such as diabetes
- Certain medications like steroids
Dr. Delianides is a specialized eye surgeon who performs cataract surgery to help you regain natural vision and return to the activities you enjoy. Our practice is fully equipped with the most advanced equipment so we can provide you with advanced surgical care, including laser-assisted procedures.
CALL US: 757-481-3800 REQUEST APPOINTMENT
Advanced Surgical Treatment Options
What makes cataracts particularly problematic is that surgical removal is needed once they have fully developed. Fortunately, advancements in eye care have made this surgery a safe, reliable procedure that can produce dramatic improvement to your sight. By incorporating the latest technologies into our Virginia Beach practice, we can minimize the risks and discomfort and improve your overall care.
Reasons to Consider Cataract Surgery
Cataracts form a cloudy or opaque area in the eye where it is normally clear. The size and location can interfere with your vision, beginning with blurred vision and difficulty reading. More common in those over 55, they usually develop slowly over many years. There is no way to prevent the development of cataracts, so surgery is the most popular option. Even though surgery is highly successful, there are different levels of improvement available depending on the severity and length of your condition. With Dr. D’s help, you can determine if surgery is a viable option for you.
For many people, replacing a cloudy lens and wearing glasses is perfectly fine. For others, the goal is to get the best possible vision without any glasses at all. To get the best results from your surgery, discuss your goals with Dr. Delianides, and make sure they are realistic.
Other reasons you may be considering cataract surgery can include:
- Difficulty seeing under bright lights
- Driving at night is difficult
- Problems reading or watching television
- Daily activities or occupational duties impaired
- Any interference in your level of independence
While laser-assisted cataract surgery represents a tremendous advance in modern eye care, and not all patients are candidates. Based on our findings from your initial eye examination, Dr. D will discuss which options are best suited for your case. Should conventional cataract surgery prove to be the most beneficial choice for your situation, our experienced team will use the most modern techniques to provide for your safety and an optimal treatment outcome.
Types of Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery involves removing the natural lens that has become clouded and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). It is typically an outpatient procedure done in our beautifully equipped surgical center.
Phacoemulsification Surgery: “Phaco” is the most common type of cataract surgery and is done with foldable intraocular lens implantation. Hand-held instruments are used to access and break down the cataract, as well as ultrasonic energy. The small fragments are removed from the eye with gentle suction.
Extracapsular Surgery: If your cataract has advanced so far that it cannot be broken up with phaco, it will require a slightly larger incision so the lens core can be removed in one piece.
Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery: LACS is similar to phaco, just a more modern variation of the procedure. Instead of hand-held instruments, many of the steps are done with a high-speed laser that is controlled by a computer. This allows for extreme precision for the initial incision, access to the cataract, fragmenting the cloudy lens, and removing the pieces.
Success Rate and Risks
Surgeons implant approximately six million lenses annually and have been performing variations of this procedure since 1750 B.C! It is successful about 95% of the time and can even improve vision in infants.
All surgery has some risk, and cataract surgery carries some risk for infection, lens loosening, lens rotation, and inflammation.
Many studies show that the procedure is much safer and more comfortable when done with a laser.
Can Astigmatism Be Corrected with Cataract Surgery?
The replacement lenses used in cataract surgery can correct nearsightedness and farsightedness but generally does not correct astigmatism. Additional surgery, such as LASIK or PRK, can treat astigmatism after cataract surgery has been performed. Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is a more involved procedure that replaces the natural lens and uses lasers to reshape the surface cornea in one operation. However, this combination is required less often because technology has improved so dramatically that the innovative lenses available now are very successful at restoring your vision to your satisfaction.
Steps of Cataract Surgery
Before you have cataract surgery, we will begin with a detailed and in-depth examination to review your health history. Together we will discuss your expectations and goals and do a few more tests to make sure there have been no changes since your last exam, and your eyes are healthy enough for surgery. Our caring team will schedule your procedure and go through each step of the process with you and answer any questions you may have.
If you are having cataract surgery using a laser, this will be your first step. We will use a device with both photo and ultrasound imaging to map the exact shape and surface of your eye. This information is sent to the computer to calculate the placement and depth of the incisions, allowing for more detailed preparation and planning.
Some cataracts can become stiff in addition to the clouding. The hardness of the lens will determine the size of the incision. If you are having laser surgery, this will be done at the same time as the mapping and takes just a few minutes.
Your eye and the area around it will be numbed, and then we will make a small incision ranging from 6 mm to 8 mm long and .3 mm deep. The incision is so tiny that it will not need stitches, especially with the use of a laser.
The technical term for this step is phacoemulsification, and it uses a small device to emit ultrasonic waves that move through the lens and breaks it up into small pieces. If you are having laser surgery, the process is done without the device.
A small suction device is used to remove the tiny pieces, or if your lens is too stiff to break up safely, it will be removed in one piece with a slightly larger incision.
According to your initial consultation, we will place your desired lens type into your eye to give you clear vision. The type of lens you decide on will depend on your goals and your budget.
Your cataract surgery will only take a few minutes to complete, and then you will stay in our recovery area for 15-30 minutes to recover from the anesthesia. After one more examination, you will be free to go home and rest. We will schedule your follow-up appointments and provide you with a list of at-home care instructions. You will need someone to drive you home and to help your recovery by listening to the after-care instructions.
What is an IOL?
An intraocular lens (IOL) is a medical device implanted in the eye for the treatment of cataracts. During cataract surgery, the damaged natural eye lens is removed and replaced with one of these implants. Which type of IOL you need will depend on many factors, including cost, your health, and your vision goals. Dr. Delianides uses premium implants, allowing you to see clearly and even eliminating the need for glasses in some cases. Before performing cataract surgery, we work with you to determine the intraocular lens (IOL) that addresses your concerns.
Types of IOLs Available With Cataract Surgery
Intraocular lenses are available in three forms: astigmatic (toric), monofocal, and multifocal lenses.
- Fixed Focus Monofocal IOLs: Great for distance but require you to wear reading glasses for optimal near vision.
- Monofocal Lenses: These have the same power over the whole lens and are the most commonly implanted lenses.
- Accommodating Monofocal IOLs: New lens option with a single focusing power that can shift from distance to near vision by flexing in response to movement of the eye muscles.
- Astigmatic (toric) IOLs: These lenses have a correction for astigmatism and can be positioned to provide optimal results.
- Multifocal Lenses: Similar to bifocal eyeglasses, but the different power levels go all the way around the lens, not just on the bottom half. These work well for some people, although, for others, there may be issues with night vision glare.
When selecting the appropriate lens strength for your eyes, our specialists use sophisticated technology to gain accurate, real-time information during the procedure itself. This knowledge provides more predictable outcomes, especially for patients who have previously undergone treatment with LASIK.
Cataract Surgery Recovery Time
After surgery, you will be asked to avoid strenuous activities that may significantly increase your blood pressure. Keeping follow-up visits with our team is essential so we can monitor your new lenses for the first few months.
In the first few days or weeks after surgery, you will have to use eye drops and avoid rubbing your eyes or pressing on them. Be careful not to get soap or water directly in your eye, and you should wear eye protection, especially a soft mask while you sleep.
Can Cataract Surgery be Reversed?
The clouded natural lens is removed during surgery, and it will not regenerate on its own. If you have any problems with the lens implanted during the procedure, it can be repositioned or removed and replaced with a different lens. Because this surgery is one of the safest and most frequently performed (even more than knee surgery!), the odds of needing to reverse a cataract procedure are very low.
How Long do Cataract Lenses Last?
The natural lens of your eye is composed of protein and water, and the clouding occurs when the proteins clump together. During cataract surgery, that lens is removed, and the replacement lens will not collect proteins. This means your new lenses will last a lifetime!
What is the Difference Between LASIK and Cataract Surgery?
LASIK is eye surgery using a laser to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism by reshaping the cornea. Cataract surgery is used to treat the clouding of the lens by replacing it altogether. LASIK can be done on both eyes in the same procedure, but cataract surgery will be done in different sessions on each eye if they both need it.
In most cases, LASIK will not be covered by your insurance, but basic cataract surgery usually is, except for upgrades to a special lens. Some insurance carriers will not cover the use of lasers in a cataract procedure because it can be done without it, so if you decide you want your surgery done with a laser, it may cost extra.
Some people may end up having both procedures during their lifetime: LASIK at a younger age to correct myopia or astigmatism, and then cataract surgery many years later when their natural lens becomes cloudy.
Let Us Restore Your Vision
With the development of the intraocular lens (IOL), the days of thick, coke-bottle glasses are nearly over. This now-common procedure helps millions of people see more clearly with a conservative eyeglass prescription or none at all. IOL placement is a simple, safe procedure that can improve your vision.
While cataract development may be commonplace, there’s no reason to let this condition be a permanent part of your life. Our team is dedicated to improving the vision of patients in Virginia Beach and the nearby areas through advanced eye care. To learn more about cataract surgery and your options for treatment, call Atlantic Eye Consultants today and schedule a consultation.
CALL US: 757-481-3800 REQUEST APPOINTMENT