Cataract removal is one of the most common operations performed in the United States. By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.
Quick Facts about Cataracts
A cataract is a condition which the natural lens in your eye becomes cloudy or yellowed and hardened, resulting in diminished or distorted vision. A cataract is more common as you age. With the start of cataracts, you may begin to notice blurry or double vision or have trouble seeing at night because of glare.
Traditional Cataract Surgery
During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and is replaced with a clear artificial lens. Standard cataract surgery is performed using a scalpel, and the artificial lens is a mono-vision lens that provides only clear focus at a single distance (i.e. either near, intermediate, or far). Prescription eyeglasses will be needed for clear vision at the other distances.
Traditional Cataract Surgery Versus Premium
Whereas standard cataract surgery uses a scalpel, premium services use a laser to not only make the necessary incisions more precisely but to also take real-time measurements during surgery to individualize lens selection. This leads to optimal visual results and increased patient satisfaction.
“Cataract surgery is not just a lens replacement surgery,” says Dr. Ralph B. Hester III, an ophthalmologist at Dean McGee Eye Institute. “Cataract surgery has progressed significantly in the past 10 years. Through the use of new technology and premium lens implant options, we are able to correct vision in ways that we never before thought possible. These options decrease dependence on, and often eliminate the need for, glasses after surgery.”
Advantages of Premium Cataract Surgery
This technology not only treats cataracts, but it also corrects prevalent vision problems that were previously only managed through contact lenses or glasses. Premium cataract surgeries now offer you options that can improve your outcomes and your vision beyond what is available through the standard cataract surgery
Amongst other things, one advantage of premium cataract surgery is the use of smaller incisions, which is now down to a size of 1.8mm. This significantly improves patient comfort and decreases the amount of time for healing. Lasers also allow for precise alignment of these lenses, which is important to give you the best visual outcome.
Lastly, adjunct procedures like minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) or combination retinal/cataract surgery have allowed surgeons to treat conditions like glaucoma or retinal disease at the same time as cataract surgery. This accessibility helps treat diseases that could potentially complicate cataract surgery and lead to a non-ideal outcome. Learn more by watching our video, “Two Surgeries in One” with Drs. Shah and Hester and patient, Ed Brandt III.
Premium Cataract Surgery Options at Dean McGee
Today, there is an assortment of premium Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) to choose from. The right IOL for you and your eye condition depends on many factors. Your surgeon will need to perform a full, comprehensive eye exam, and, depending on the results, may recommend one of the following premium cataract surgery options:
Advanced Diagnostic Testing and Premium Lenses
Our most advanced premium option, this surgery includes a premium lens implant designed specifically for individuals who wish to reduce dependence on glasses for distance, intermediate, and near vision.
Advanced Diagnostic Testing and Astigmatic Reduction
Astigmatism is a refractive error caused by an uneven curve in your cornea or lens. This premium surgery includes a lens implant that reduces astigmatism and is specifically designed for individuals who wish to reduce dependence on glasses for distance vision.
Advanced Diagnostic Testing and Laser Incision
This premium option includes a monofocal lens implant with a focus at a specific distance (far, intermediate, or near) but with a more precise lens power for optimal visual outcomes as compared to standard cataract surgery.
“Premium Cataract Surgery is like a first-class ticket on the Millennium Falcon. The laser accuracy, precision of the surgery, and intraoperative lens selection put you on a visual journey once only imagined,” says Dr. David W. Jackson, an ophthalmologist at Dean McGee Eye Institute.
It’s important to mention the additional cost of these premium cataract surgery packages is not covered by Medicare or other insurance plans and is therefore an out-of-pocket expense. Please keep this in mind when discussing your options with your surgeon.
The overall goal of cataract surgery is to enhance the lives of patients by allowing them to see better and to rely less on reading glasses or contacts. You can learn more about cataracts by reading our blog post about saving vision through cataract surgery.
To schedule a cataract evaluation and learn which premium cataract surgery option might be best for you, schedule an appointment with one of our premium cataract surgeons today.