The timing of cataract surgery has become increasingly flexible and is based on the physician's and patient’s judgment regarding the impact the cataract holds on the quality of life. Due to the advanced technique of cataract microsurgery, waiting until the “ripening” of the cataract is no longer necessary.
Today, cataracts are removed by emulsifying (breaking) the lens into very small fragments by using sound waves. A new technique with the Femtosecond Laser aids us in this procedure and can help provide additional safety and precision. With these techniques, the incisions made are so small (less than 3mm) so that suturing is usually not required. The procedure takes approximately 15-20 minutes. The return to full visual recovery and a normal lifestyle typically occurs at a rapid pace.
Newer techniques in anesthesia have created the ability to comfortably perform this procedure with topical anesthetic eye drops in most patients. Intravenous sedation may often be given for additional relaxation. When this is done, the patient may have a useful vision on the day of surgery and return home without an eye patch.