Surgery to remove cataracts is one of the most frequently performed, one of the most successful, and one of the safest procedures in medicine today.
Gone are the days of waiting until one’s cataracts are “ripe” or “mature”. Back in the 70’s and early 80’s, cataract surgery was usually delayed for as long as possible because it was considered risky and required an extended stay in the hospital. Nowadays, cataract surgery is performed using topical anesthesia on an outpatient basis and the procedure itself takes an average of 15 minutes. With proper screening, the risks are much lower and the recovery is much faster for most patients. Today, patients have their surgeries done much earlier.
Most cataract surgeries are elective surgeries and that is good news for the patient. There is no need to wait until your eyesight is very poor. We advise our patients to consider cataract surgery when the cataract begins to affect their life styles; driving, sports, or reading. The cataract will typically not damage your eye while it is growing, so there is also no need to rush into the surgery. You can decide when the time is right for you!
Dr. Manolette Roque will perform the procedure at hospital-based operating suites (St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City, Asian Hospital and Medical Center, Alabang Medical Center) or at an ambulatory surgery center (Eye Can Cataract Center, iVision Cataract and Lasik Center). You will arrive about an hour before your actual surgery. You may be given a mild sedative to help you relax. The area around your eye will be cleansed and a sterile drape will be applied around your eye. The surgery only takes a few minutes but plan to spend 2 to 3 hours at the center for the pre-operative procedures and recovery.
Dr. Roque uses a powerful anesthetic eye drop to completely numb the eye. Using only a topical anesthetic avoids the risks and pain associate with needle injections and provides a much quicker return of vision. There is no need for shots or injections.
A small instrument will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking. In Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery (aka Femtosecond Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery or FLACS), the laser is used to make the opening in the eye, an opening in the lens itself and to treat the lens. Dr. Roque uses the advanced Catalys system. If needed, an ultrasonic instrument will then gently break the cataract into microscopic particles, which are then suctioned away.
An appropriate intraocular lens (IOL) for your specific visual requirements has been chosen preoperatively. This IOL may be an aspheric monofocal (Alcon IQ, Hoya iSert, HumanOptics Aspira, Zeiss CT Asphina) aspheric monofocal toric (Alcon IQ Toric, HumanOptics Toric A, Zeiss TORBI), aspheric multifocal (Alcon ReStor, HumanOptics Diffractiva, Lentis Mplus, PhysIOL Tri, Zeiss AT Lisa, Zeiss Tri), aspheric multifocal toric (Alcon ReStor Toric, Lentis Mplus Toric, Zeiss AT Lisa Toric). The IOL you chose to correct your vision will be inserted into the same location that your natural lens occupied. Once the IOL is locked into position, the micro-incision seals itself, typically without the need for sutures. It remains tightly closed by the outward pressure within the eye and provides a fast and much more comfortable recovery.
You will be released soon after the procedure to go home and relax for the rest of the day. Your eye will not be patched and most patients are able to see well after surgery.Visual recovery varies from patient to patient but most patients return to their normal activities within a day or two. If you have cataracts in both eyes, the second procedure will usually be scheduled within a week or two.
Serious complications are extremely rare, but it is surgery and there are some risks involved. One of our counselors will provide you with additional information about the risks associated with cataract surgery. Choosing an experienced surgeon for your procedure can significantly minimize the risks involved with your cataract procedure.