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Once You Have Decided Cataract Surgery Is For You
Once you’ve decided to have cataract surgery, your doctor will discuss with you to decide which intraocular lens (IOL) is best suited for your visual needs. It is an important part of the decision process as it determines the vision you will live with for the rest of your life.
IOL is an artificial lens that is implanted in the eye during cataract surgery to replace the eye’s clouded crystalline lens. There are two basic types of IOLs, each designed to correct vision at a specific visual range. The Monofocal IOL is an intraocular lens that provides patients with only one focal point. Typically these lenses only correct distance vision, which results in the need to use reading glasses for reading after the surgery. Multifocal IOL provides patients with multiple focal points and corrects vision at most ranges: near, far and everywhere in between. Although you cannot expect to have the full range of crisp vision at both near and distance that you had when you were young, for the most part, you will be able to see with the freedom from glasses.
Apart from the types of lenses to use, another factor to consider is cost. The Monofocal IOLs are generally fully covered by your insurance or Medicare, while Multifocal IOLs require an additional fee. Since it is considered a luxury and not a medical necessity, most insurance plans will not cover for the extra costs incurred when choosing Multifocal IOL lenses.
Procedure Of Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that typically takes only 20 to 30 minutes. Below is a brief overview of the process:
- You’ll first receive a number of medicated eye drops to prevent infection and inflammation and to ensure you feel no pain during the surgery. It is not necessary for you to be put to sleep for the procedure. You will likely receive a mild sedative to make sure you stay relaxed and comfortable throughout.
- After making a tiny incision in your cornea, your surgeon will use a probe the size of a pen tip to break apart and remove the old lens. The most common technique for removing cataracts is a process called phacoemulsification also known as “phaco.”
- Once the old lens has been removed, the surgeon will insert the replacement IOL into your eye. Typically, the IOL is rolled up into the tip of an injector tool, so that it can be inserted through the same tiny incision. Once injected, the IOL unfolds perfectly into place.
- Because of the small surgical incision, you probably will not require stitches and your eye should heal itself naturally. For protection, you will have a protective patch placed over your eye for recovery.
And that’s it! All you’ll have to do after surgery is rest up, and get ready to enjoy the benefits of improved vision.