OUR SERVICES : CATARACTS
The decision to have
cataract surgery is an important one. Having an
experienced surgeon who will communicate current
options, risks and benefits is vital. Combined, Dr.
Kresie and Dr. Penzler have been performing cataract
surgeries for over 50 years and make every effort to
keep the patients best interests the priority.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the eyes naturally clear
lens. The lens focuses light rays on the retina the
layer of light-sensing cells lining the back of the
eye-to produce a sharp image of what we see. When the
lens becomes cloudy, light rays cannot pass through it
easily, and vision is blurred.
What causes cataracts?
Cataracts are a normal process of aging, but they
can also develop from eye injuries, certain diseases, or
medications. Your family history may also play a role in cataract
How can cataracts be
A cataract may not need to be treated if your vision
is only slightly blurry. Simply changing your eyeglass
prescription may help to improve your vision for a
while. There are no medications, eyedrops, exercises or
eyeglasses that will cause cataracts to disappear once
they have formed. Surgery is the only way to remove a
cataract. When you are not able to see well enough to do
the things you like to do, cataract surgery should be
considered. In cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is
removed from the eye through a small surgical incision.
Sutures are rarely used. In
most cases, the natural lens is replaced with a
permanent intraocular lens (IOL) implant.
What can I expect if I
decide to have cataract surgery?
Once you and your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) have
decided that your cataract should be removed, you will
be given a thorough eye examination. During the exam,
your eye will be measured to determine the proper power
of the intraocular lens that will be placed in your eye.
Ask your ophthalmologist if you should continue taking
your usual medications before surgery. You should make
arrangements to have someone drive you home after
The Day of Surgery
Surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis,
either in a hospital or your ophthalmologists office.
You may be asked to skip breakfast, depending on the
time of your surgery. When you arrive for surgery, you
will be given eyedrops and perhaps a sedative to help
you relax. A local anesthetic will numb your eye. The
skin around your eye will be thoroughly cleansed, and
sterile coverings will be placed around your head. Your
eye will be kept open by a lid speculum or another
method. You may see light and movement, but you will not
be able to see the surgery while it is happening.
Under the operating
microscope, a small incision is made in your eye. In
most cataract surgeries, tiny surgical instruments are
used to break apart and suction the cloudy lens from
your eye. The back membrane of the lens (called the
posterior capsule) is left in place. A plastic, acrylic
or silicone intraocular lens implant is placed in your
eye to replace the natural lens that was removed. The
incision is then closed. If stitches are used, they
usually do not need to be removed.
When the surgery is
complete, your doctor will often place a shield over
your eye. After a short stay in the outpatient recovery
area, you will be ready to go home.
You will need to:
Use the eyedrops as prescribed;
Be careful not to rub or press on your eye;
Avoid strenuous activities until the eye is healed;
Ask your doctor when you can begin driving;
Wear eyeglasses or an eye shield as advised by your
You can continue your
normal daily activities. Over-the-counter pain medicine
may be used, if necessary.
Is a laser used during
Laser surgery is not part of the cataract removal
surgery. However, the posterior capsule (the part of the
eye that holds the lens in place) sometimes becomes
cloudy several months or years after the original
cataract operation. If the cloudy capsule blurs your
vision, your ophthalmologist can perform a second
surgery using a laser. During the second procedure,
called a posterior capsulotomy, a laser makes an opening
in the cloudy lens capsule to restore normal vision.
Will cataract surgery
improve my vision?
The success rate of cataract surgery is excellent,
resulting in improved vision in the majority of
Though they rarely occur, serious complications of
cataract surgery are:
Detachment of the retina.
Call your ophthalmologist
immediately if you have any of the following symptoms
Pain not relieved by nonprescription pain medication;
Loss of vision;
Nausea, vomiting or excessive coughing;
Injury to the eye.
Even if cataract surgery
is successful, you still may not see as well as you
would like to. Other problems with your eyes, such as
macular degeneration (aging of the retina), glaucoma or
diabetic retinopathy, may limit your vision after
surgery. Even with such problems, cataract surgery may
still be worthwhile.