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Drs. Fine, Hoffman & Sims Opthalmologists in Eugene Oregon

Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is very successful in restoring vision. In fact, it is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States, with over 1.5 million cataract surgeries done each year. Nine out of 10 people who have cataract surgery regain very good vision, somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40.

Intraocular Lens
Lens in the Capsule

Intraocular Lens: When the clouded lens of the eye is removed during cataract surgery, a replacement for the human lens is needed to restore focus to the eye. This implant is called an intraocular lens.

In clear corneal cataract surgery, as developed by I. Howard Fine, M.D., a tiny incision is made into the perimeter of the cornea on the side of the eye which is closest to the temple. This incision provides a corneal tunnel through which the cataract is removed and the intraocular lens is implanted. It is the architecture of this incision that makes it self sealing, thus requiring no stitches.

We Now Offer Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery
A common question I get from patients when discussing cataract surgery is, “Do you do it with laser?” Cataract surgery is traditionally performed using ultrasound, or sound waves, to break up the hardened lens material. It is then extracted from the eye using instruments placed through microincisions. While the incisions and various surgical steps can be made in the eye manually with surgical instruments, there are now femtosecond lasers that are approved to perform these various steps. Ultrasound is still used to soften the lens material, but the laser can make corneal incisions, capsulotomies, astigmatism correction and initiate some cataract softening.

Femtosecond laser machineThe move towards the sophistication of laser technology to assist in cataract surgery is both exciting and costly. Its development came about to provide ophthalmologists a tool to improve patient outcomes and safety in cataract surgery. Studies have shown the visual outcomes using laser are just as good as traditional cataract surgery. Complication rates from cataract surgery using both the traditional method and laser assistance appear the same thus far. Studies have also suggested the greater precision provided by laser may benefit patients in more precise intraocular lens positioning, and a decrease in effective ultrasound time may shorten healing time.

You now have the option to choose a laser platform for your LASIK or cataract surgery with us. We look forward to great surgical results from this new technology.

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Who is a good candidate?
Think about surgery when your cataracts have progressed enough to seriously impair your vision and affect your daily life. Many people consider poor vision an inevitable fact of aging, but cataract surgery is a simple, relatively painless procedure to regain vision.


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Commonly Asked Questions:
Are you one of the millions of men who take Flomax?

If so, you should make sure to alert your eye physician. Flomax has been associated with extra difficulty during cataract surgery and requires extra preparation to ensure a good outcome. Tell your doctor if you take Flomax.

Are cataracts found only in older people?
Most cataracts develop as part of the aging process, from a change in the chemical composition of the lens. They don't usually become a problem until your 60s or 70s.

Cataracts can also occur at a younger age from any number of causes: an eye injury (even many years earlier), certain eye diseases (such as uveitis), medical conditions (such as diabetes), heredity, birth defect, some medications (such as steroids - even if just used in an inhaler), excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking.

How do I know when I need surgery for my cataracts?
When your cataracts have progressed enough to seriously impair your vision and affect your daily life.

Am I a good candidate for an intraocular lens implant?
If your symptoms are impairing your vision and affecting your daily life, it might be time to talk to your eye care professional. Make an appointment here.

How soon after surgery will I see well?
If you have an intraocular lens (IOL) implanted during surgery, normal vision should be restored within a few weeks.