At Riverside EyeCare Professionals, we utilize the latest advances in cataract surgery to safely and effectively remove cataracts. Our board-certified cataract surgeons, Drs. Michael Sumsion and Sean Sumsion, have made cataract surgery a special focus of their practice, and are committed to helping you restore your vision and lifestyle. During your initial consultation and eye evaluation, your ophthalmologist will discuss the procedure, explain all your options and answer any of your questions about cataract surgery.
Cataracts are a common condition that typically develops with age and is characterized by a clouding of the eye’s lens. As a result, patients with cataracts most often experience blurry vision. Because cataracts are a progressive condition, cataracts that are left untreated may cause the vision to continue worsening. Although men and women of any age may develop cataracts, it is estimated that approximately half of all Americans over the age of 65 have cataracts.
Cataract surgery is designed to remove the clouded lens, replace it with an intraocular lens implant (IOL), and ultimately restore clear vision. Over two million cataract surgeries are performed in the United States every year, and the procedure has an extremely high success rate. Depending upon the quality of the patient’s eyesight, in addition to other factors, cataract surgery can be customized with various IOLs that are matched to suit the patient’s unique needs and lifestyle.
The procedure: Cataract surgery generally takes about 15-20 minutes per eye. During the procedure, the cataract will be carefully removed and an IOL will be inserted to replace the natural lens and improve vision. An anesthetic and possibly a mild sedative will also be used to alleviate any discomfort or anxieties.
Who will perform the surgery?: Drs. Michael Sumsion and Sean Sumsion perform all cataract surgeries at our on-site surgical suite.
What about recovery?: Recovery is typically minimal. You will need to return to our office periodically for postoperative visits, but many patients are able to return to their daily routines about one to two days following cataract surgery.
Results: Cataract surgery can greatly improve the clarity of your vision and help restore your lifestyle. You can expect to experience a noticeable improvement in vision in the days following your surgery.
There are two general types of cataract surgery: traditional cataract surgery and laser cataract surgery. Traditional cataract surgery is generally considered one of the most routine surgeries performed around the world. During traditional cataract surgery, eye surgeons uses a thin, specialized blade to create a precise incision and an ultrasonic instrument to break up the clouded lens. Laser cataract surgery, on the other hand, utilizes laser technology instead of surgical tools to create incisions and break up the cataract. While some practices may emphasize that laser techniques offer greater precision and a more rapid recovery, our ophthalmologists have not identified measurable benefits with laser methods, and therefore opt to perform traditional cataract surgery. Offering traditional cataract surgery also keeps costs lower for our patients.
Unfortunately, there are currently no effective non-surgical treatments for cataracts. Surgical removal of the clouded lens and replacement with an intraocular lens is the only reliable method available.
Following your consultation, our ophthalmologists will provide you with comprehensive pre-op instructions on how to prepare for your cataract surgery. General speaking, here are some important points to remember:
If you have questions before your surgery date, we encourage you to contact our practice to get the information you need. We are always happy to take your call.
Cataract surgery is typically performed in our surgery center as an outpatient procedure. Prior to surgery, Dr. Sumsion will apply a topical anesthetic to your eyes in order to alleviate any discomfort. Additionally, he can also provide a mild sedative to put you at ease and relieve any anxieties you may be feeling. During surgery, a small incision will be made in the front of your eye. Dr. Sumsion will use special instruments to carefully remove the cataract and the eye’s natural lens. Dr. Sumsion will then place an intraocular lens implant (IOL) in your eye to replace your natural lens.
Due to the small size of the incision, the natural pressure of your eye will typically ensure that it seals without the need for any sutures.
Cataract surgery is performed one eye at a time. The other eye will generally be treated about two weeks later to ensure the first eye has had ample time to heal. The actual procedure can generally be completed in about 15-20 minutes, and most patients experience little to no discomfort throughout the entire operation.
Intraocular lens implants replace the natural lens of your eye and are designed to restore your vision after cataract removal. The degree of vision correction you achieve may vary depending on the type of IOL selected:
Learn more about the variety of intraocular lenses we offer. During a consultation with with either Dr. Michael Sumsion or Dr. Sean Sumsion, you can learn about the IOL options that may be right for you.
Cataract surgery is a very common procedure that helps millions of men and women in the United States improve their vision and quality of life each year. Though extremely rare, there are potential risks of cataract surgery, which include infection, inflammation, bleeding, retinal disorders, glaucoma, secondary cataract, and vision loss. If you choose Riverside EyeCare Professionals you can be assured that Dr. Sumsion will perform a comprehensive eye exam to detect any risk factors before surgery and abide by all safety protocols during surgery to reduce the likelihood of complications. Furthermore, if any of these complications do arise, many of them can be effectively managed or resolved with further treatment.
While some patients are able to see very well the day after surgery, vision typically starts improving within a few days following surgery. Vision generally starts off blurry and gradually improves as your eye heals and acclimates to its new lens. Once both eyes have been treated and you are healed completely, Dr. Sumsion can thoroughly assess the quality of your vision and make any required adjustments to your vision prescription. In many cases, cataract removal and the addition of an advanced multifocal IOL that is well suited to one’s vision needs can significantly reduce reliance on glasses. Occasional use of reading glasses may be necessary, but not all patients require them.
Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) implanted during your cataract surgery are expected to last for your lifetime. It is very rare that an IOL needs to be replaced; however, in some instances, a patient may want to upgrade their conventional IOL to a more premium multifocal IOL that offers enhanced vision at multiple distances.
Since each cataract surgery is customized to meet the patient’s individual needs, there is no one set price for cataract surgery. Factors that can influence the cost of cataract surgery may include:
At the conclusion of your initial consultation, Dr. Sumsion will be able to provide you with an accurate quote for your cataract surgery. Since cataracts can lead to blindness when not treated, the condition is covered by many insurance plans. Patients with insurance coverage may still be responsible for a co-payment or a deductible. A member of our staff can help you navigate your insurance benefits and help determine your out-of-pocket cost for the procedure. In addition, qualifying patients can take advantage of the various financing options available at Riverside EyeCare Professionals.
Do you have questions about cataracts and cataract surgery? Our surgeons have a proven track record of success and can provide you with the information you need to proceed confidently toward improved, cataract-free vision. In the sections below, we have provided many of the most common questions our patients ask to help you gain a better understanding of the procedure. If you are interested in learning more about cataract surgery, we encourage you to contact our practice to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sumsion.
Cataract surgery is designed to be a virtually painless procedure. Local anesthetic numbs the eye prior to the start of surgery to prevent any uncomfortable sensations. A mild sedative may also be provided to you before the procedure begins to relax you and eliminate any anxiety you may have about surgery.
Vision typically takes a few days to improve following surgery. Your vision may be blurry as your eye heals and adjusts to the new lens. If you are concerned about an extended period of blurry vision, it is a good idea to contact your ophthalmologist for a check on your progress.
When cataract surgery is performed by a skilled and experienced board-certified ophthalmologist, the risk of side effects or complications are incredibly low. Cataract surgery is a very routine procedure, and if you follow all of your pre-op and post-op instructions closely, you will give yourself the best chance for a successful outcome.
Vitreous floaters, often just called “floaters,” are located in a posterior cavity of the eye. Since cataract surgery is designed to replace the lens of the eye, the procedure will not treat or reduce the appearance of floaters. Some patients may find floaters more prevalent after cataract surgery due to their dramatic improvement in overall vision clarity. For most patients, floaters are small in size and only noticeable in certain lighting conditions; however, patients who have their vision significantly impacted by the presence of large floaters can undergo laser vitreolysis to further improve their vision.
As long as you are in good health and do not have any other serious eye diseases or conditions, you are likely to be a good candidate for cataract surgery. There is no age limit for cataract surgery and the procedure can be performed as long as it can be deemed safe by Dr. Sumsion.
When you come to Riverside EyeCare Professionals, Dr. Sumsion will perform a comprehensive eye exam and review your medical history to determine if cataract surgery is the best option for improving your vision. If there are questions about your overall health that could complicate surgery, Dr. Sumsion may require appropriate medical clearance from your primary care physician.
In some cases, patients with retinal conditions that can complicate cataract surgery may require clearance from a specialist. Diabetic macular edema, retinal vein occlusion, peripheral retinal lesions, uveitis, and epiretinal membrane formation can potentially impact the outcome of cataract surgery. A retinal specialist will be uniquely qualified to closely inspect the retinal tissue for disease, determine the degree of disease, and perform treatments that can improve the patient’s candidacy status for cataract surgery. If or when patients are clear for surgery, the specialist will provide approval for Dr. Sumsion to perform cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery is typically classified as medically necessary since the condition can lead to blindness when left untreated. As a result, most insurance providers and Medicare cover at least a portion of the cost for cataract surgery. Patients using Medicare may be required to meet a deductible or make a copayment. For patients needing additional financial assistance, a member of our staff can review our financing options, which can provide low to no interest loans with low monthly payments.
There may be a few options to consider when deciding which intraocular lens is best for restoring your vision during cataract surgery. Dr. Sumsion offers both monofocal lenses and multifocal lenses, including the TECNIS® Multifocal Lens and Crystalens®, to meet your vision needs. While monofocal lenses are typically less costly, multifocal IOLs can deliver advanced correction that can improve vision at all distances. During your consultation with Dr. Sumsion, he will perform a comprehensive eye examination and guide you toward the IOL that is best suited for you.
In most cases, patients are able to reduce their reliance on prescription glasses to see more clearly after cataract surgery. The degree and range of vision improvement generally depends upon the patient’s vision correction needs prior to surgery and the type of IOL that is implanted during the procedure. Multifocal IOLs typically deliver the highest level of vision correction, allowing patients to see better at all distances. Patients who receive monofocal IOLs are more likely to need glasses for near and intermediate distances.
The day of your cataract surgery, Dr. Sumsion recommends arranging for a loved one to drive you home. As the eye heals, you may experience irritation, discomfort, or mild blurriness that would make it difficult to drive. Prescription eye drops may help alleviate these symptoms until the healing process is complete. After the eyes are completely healed, patients should see much better than before, and their vision on the road should be significantly improved both during the day and at night.
For more information on cataract surgery, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sumsion, please contact Riverside EyeCare Professionals today.