Cataracts can dim and darken your vision, making it difficult to drive and perform other daily tasks.
At Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center in Phoenix, AZ, serving Sun City and Sun City West, we offer cataract surgery--a safe, relatively fast, and effective treatment used to replace clouded lenses with new artificial lenses.
Here is what makes cataract surgery so great...
Your surgery can typically be completed in under 15 minutes. Thanks to advancements in technology and surgical techniques, the procedure is also very safe and very successful.
By replacing your clouded lens with an intraocular lens, we can help you achieve clearer, crisper vision. After cataract surgery, many patients have a reduced need for contacts or glasses.
Following cataract surgery, you can enjoy outdoor or nighttime activities that previously put you at risk of accidents. Cataract surgery has extremely high rates of satisfaction.
See what the procedure looks like...
A Leading Cause of Blindness
Not sure if you are a candidate for cataract surgery?
Our Doctors Recommend Surgery for Patients Who:
As with any type of surgery, you need to be free of certain diseases and healthy enough to recover safely.
As cataracts progress, you may need brighter light or increasingly strong visual aids to complete normal tasks.
If your vision impairment is interfering with your overall quality of life, you may benefit from surgery.
Are you nervous about undergoing surgery?
Cataract Surgery Is Safe and Effective
Every year, more than 9.5 million cataract surgeries are performed worldwide and the majority of patients experience improved vision as a result. In addition, advancements in surgical technology have made cataract surgery far less invasive.
Let's watch the procedure in action...
We Use Advanced Technology at Every Stage of Surgery
At Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center, we offer a variety of state-of-the-art tools to provide more precise and comfortable cataract surgery. Our surgeons use the LenSx® Laser, a system which combines lasers and computer imaging for greater safety and more predictable results. We can also use the Ora® System to fine-tune the power, placement, and alignment of your IOL for improved vision correction.
What to Expect during Surgery
To stay on the cutting-edge of technology, Dr. Justo offers the most modern cataract removal technique that does not require the use of needles, stitches, or patches.
In preparation for cataract surgery, Dr. Justo may ask patients to stop taking certain medications to decrease the risk of bleeding. Also, he will take measurements of the shape and size of the eye, and the curve of the cornea. This information helps him select the appropriate intraocular lens implant.
Eye drops are administered to dilate the pupils, and a local anesthetic is used to numb the tissue in and around the eyes.
A very small incision is made on the side of the cornea, allowing the insertion of a tiny probe.
Using phacoemulsification, or gentle ulstrasound waves, the cataract is broken up into small pieces.
The damaged portion of the lens is carefully suctioned through the probe and removed from the eye.
After using the state-of-the-art ORA system to identify the ideal IOL, Dr. Justo can place the lens to restore your vision.
Once your IOL is in place, Dr. Justo will carefully assess the lens to ensure that it is the best choice for your needs.
So what should you expect during the recovery period?
Rest for Several Days after Your Surgery
For the first few days, your vision will likely be blurry. Try to resist the urge to rub or press on your eyes, even if they itch. You will be prescribed three eye drops by Dr. Justo: one with antibiotic properties and two anti-inflammatory drops. Typically, you will be instructed to use the drops twice a day, beginning two days before your surgery until roughly three weeks after.
It is important that you adhere to the instructions to minimize the risk of infection. Though extremely rare, untreated infection can ultimately result in vision loss. Other side effects, including red eyes and minor irritation, may be observed, but are benign conditions and should resolve quickly.
Your vision will begin to clear within the first few days, but it usually takes at least eight weeks to heal completely. Dr. Justo will monitor your recovery to ensure proper results.
Wondering whether cataract surgery really makes a difference?
Surgery Can Provide Dramatically Clearer Vision
What to Expect from Your Results
Having realistic expectations is the most important step toward enjoying your results after surgery. Many of our patients enjoy crisp, clear vision without glasses and contacts, but some will still rely on corrective eyewear for the best vision.
Each patient's outcome is dependent on a number of unique factors, like which type of IOL they choose to receive. Once your vision has stabilized, Dr. Justo will determine if you need glasses. If you do, measurements will be taken for your new prescription.
Generally, cataract surgery patients enjoy:
- Sharper vision
- A decreased dependency on glasses and contacts
- A reduction of glares and halos
- Brighter, more vivid colors
We sit down with you and review your individual vision and your personal goals, and work with you to develop a plan customized entirely to you. This ensures only the best results. Options we will review with you include state-of-the-art technology that ensures more precise vision correction results, including the LenSx laser for refractive cataract surgery. We also have premium intraocular lens options that can help with near vision and even astigmatism. We will review all of the options, along with what is covered by insurance, at your consultation.
The results will be customized to your individual needs and goals...
Many Factors Impact Your Personal Cataract Surgery Plan
If you opt to receive a standard, monofocal IOL, insurance will usually cover the procedure. However, premium lenses designed to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses are not always covered.
Although laser cataract surgery regularly produces more accurate results with a reduced recovery, not all insurance companies cover this advanced technology.
Choosing a new surgeon can reduce the cost of your procedure, but this is primarily because they are less experienced. A qualified surgeon with years of experience can ensure your safety and results.
Reduce your dependency on glasses and contacts with premium IOLs.
Certain lenses can restore clear vision and address astigmatism.
Premium IOLs can address age-related nearsightedness.
Benefits of Cataract Surgery
Cataracts cloud the crystalline lens within the eye, which is completely removed during cataract surgery. In addition to removing the lens, the surgeon will replace it with an intraocular lens (IOL). IOLs can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, and can reduce our patients' dependency on their glasses and contacts.
After cataract surgery, patients typically experience the following benefits:
- Seeing the world with clearer vision
- Experiencing richer, brighter colors
- Improved night vision
- Reduction of halos or glare when sunlight, lamps, or headlights enter your field of vision
- Improvement of double vision or multiple images appearing in one eye
- Stabilization of your glasses prescription
Individuals with cataracts can expect a dramatic improvement in their vision after undergoing surgery. Many of our patients are able to operate more independently than they were able to in recent years. Imagine being able to confidently drive at night, or stop worrying about misplacing your glasses. We can help you achieve dependable vision and a better quality of life with cataract surgery.
What's the first step?
Creating Your Individualized Treatment Plan
During a thorough examination with Dr. Justo, you can learn whether you are a suitable candidate for cataract surgery. If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, are in good health, and desire greater vision enhancement than can be providing by glasses or contacts alone, you are probably a good candidate for the procedure.
After the examination, you will undergo a pre-operative counseling session with one of our technicians. Questions regarding the scope of your surgery will be clarified at this time including:
- Should I receive an artificial, or intraocular lens (IOL)? Because the eye's natural, clouded lens is completely removed during surgery, almost all of our patients receive an IOL. This artificial lens becomes a part of the eye. It focuses light to achieve crisp, clear vision, and can correct farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism.
- Which power will optimize my vision? Our practice uses the most sophisticated, accurate technology available to determine which power of IOL is right for you. The length of your eye will be measured at this time, allowing the appropriate lens power to be selected for optimized vision.
- Which type of IOL is right for me? Monofocal IOLs can correct vision either far away or close up. Multi-focal IOLs (sometimes called premium IOLS) offer benefits similar to bifocals, correcting vision at close and far ranges. Toric lenses are used to correct astigmatism while also improving vision. Computerized corneal topography will be used to map the curvature of the surface of the eye, and determine whether you are a good candidate for a premium lens.
- Are there any other factors that need to be considered? For select patients, Dr. Justo will use ocular coherence tomography to create a high-resolution scan of the macula. This step checks for pre-existing conditions that might compromise post-operative vision correction. This is particularly beneficial to those patients who choose to receive a multi-focal IOL.
Each of our patients have specific needs and goals, and creating an individualized treatment plan allows us to achieve the highest success rates possible.
You will also learn more about after-care during this appointment. One of our technicians will provide a detailed explanation of steps you can take to facilitate proper healing, including using prescribed eye drops to minimize the risk of infection.
Benefit from Advanced Technology
Optical Coherence Tomography
At the Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center, we use Optical Coherence Tomography to test your vision. It is the state-of-the-art equipment that will provide the early detection needed to identify conditions that have few early signs, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. The OCT uses light to scan structures in the back of your eye, and creates a detailed image for our doctors to map out the health of your eye, and to watch for future changes.
Explore Your Cataract Surgery Options
At The Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center, we are committed to helping each of our patients preserve and improve their eyesight. Dr. Justo offers many cataract surgery options. During a consultation, you can discuss available treatment options with Dr. Justo, and learn how our treatment can be customized to meet your unique medical needs and goals.
Fast-Focus Cataract Surgery
Because cataracts cause the crystalline lens within the eye to become clouded, the entire lens must be removed. Our practice prefers small-incision surgery for its benefits: minimized discomfort, virtually no downtime, and fast results. This technique is currently the most common type of cataract surgery performed, and is also known as no-stitch cataract surgery.
During surgery, an incision is made at the side of the cornea, and a tiny probe is inserted into the eye. Phacoemulsification, or ultrasound technology, is used to gently break up cataracts. Afterwards, the entire lens is gently vacuumed from the eye. Extracapsular cataract surgery removes the entire lens in one piece, and though rarely used, may be recommended depending on your unique condition.
Most patients will receive an artificial lens, or intraocular lens (IOL), at this time. These implants can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and even astigmatism. Monofocal IOLs provide vision correction at one range only - either close up or far away. Premium and multifocal lenses act similarly to bifocals, providing vision correction at close and far distances. Dr. Justo will use advanced technology - the ORA® System - to determine the best power and placement of your IOL.
Benefits of Fast-Focus Cataract Surgery
Benefits of cataract surgery with Dr. Justo include:
- Most modern type of cataract treatment
- No stitches, no needles, no patches. It is a 15 minute outpatient procedure
- No sutures, thanks to the use of foldable intraocular lens implant technology
- Placement of the Toric intraocular lens implant also corrects astigmatism
- Placement of the ReSTOR® multifocal lens implant helps to simultaneously correct both the near and far vision
- Patients can immediately return home and resume physical activity (e.g., bending and lifting)
Other Options to Consider
To ensure our patients' total comfort during surgery, our practice offers two types of anesthesia: local and peribulbar. Both types of anesthesia are supplemented with intravenous sedation to further relax patients. Locally applied anesthetic requires no stitches or needles. Eye drops are used to fully numb the eye. Patients have control of their eye movement during surgery. After the procedure, no eye patch is needed.
If you suffer from anxiety, or your cataracts are advanced, Dr. Justo may recommend peribulbar anesthesia. Peribulbar anesthesia uses a series of injections to immobilize the eye. After surgery, a patch is used to protect the eye. Numbing general wears off within six hours, and the patient returns the next day to have the patch removed.
Real-time Accuracy Feedback
At our Phoenix practice serving Sun City and Sun City West, we utilize the most advanced technologies to improve precision, decrease discomfort, and enhance post-surgical results. One of the ways we achieve this goal is using the Optiwave Refractive Analysis (ORA) System™. Dr. Justo is one of the first ophthalmologists in the state to use the system, previously known as the OptiPlus system.
Without the assistance of this system, surgeons must wait weeks before they are able to accurately analyze the results of cataract surgery. Now, we are able to measure these results to an exacting degree during the procedure. This allows Dr. Justo to receive real-time feedback, and makes the procedure more effective than ever before. In addition, the ORA System™ can be used to assess the positioning of the implant after the operation.
So what comes next?
Advanced Technology Can Provide Superior Results
The type, power, and placement of your IOL all have significant effects on the results you experience. Previously, doctors had to wait weeks after surgery to review a patient's results. Now, Dr. Justo uses ORA®-guided surgery to provide an accurate analysis of a patients' condition after surgery. In addition to helping select and confirm which type of IOL is right for you, the ORA® System precisely assesses positioning of the implant after it has been placed.
This advanced technology provides immediate feedback on vision quality, and allows necessary adjustments to be made until the optimal results are achieved. Our practice is proud to be one of the first in the state to offer this cutting-edge technology, which provides patients with outstanding results.
As a patient, you can also take steps to make the most of your cataract surgery results. We focus largely on education, informing patients of their treatment options throughout every stage of care. Before surgery, you will learn ways to enhance healing using simple methods at home. We also conduct a thorough evaluation to aid in your decisions regarding surgical options.
Our practice takes every possible measure to ensure the best possible results are achieved after surgery. Your unique medical concerns and goals will be carefully weighed by analyzing:
- Pre-existing medical conditions: A high-resolution scan of the macula is taken using ocular coherence tomography. This step allows Dr. Justo to check for other conditions that might cause complications, or compromise vision following treatment.
- The surface of the cornea: Computerized corneal topography is used to map the surface and curvature of the cornea; if you have astigmatism, Dr. Justo may recommend a multi-focal implant.
- The length of the eye: The IOL Master system measures the length of the eye to an exacting degree. This information is used to select the appropriate power of IOL.
Our team will work closely with you to discuss the benefits each type of implant offers, and match one with your lifestyle and medical goals.
Fine-Tuning Your Vision
Dr. Justo meets personally with each of our patients to check that their healing is progressing smoothly. You will return to our office for periodic check-ups the day after surgery, and one week later. During this second post-operative appointment, your vision will be analyzed to determine whether you need a new glasses prescription. A long-term check-up at six months can further assess how your eyesight has benefited from the surgery.
Your doctor can combine cataract surgery with other treatments...
Treating Glaucoma during Cataract Surgery
Are you a Glaucoma patient preparing for Cataract Surgery?
We are excited to announce a brand new technology we offer here at the Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center, that will make managing your Glaucoma far easier.
The iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent can help treat glaucoma as yet another way you can customize your cataract surgery. The stent is a new technology that will make managing glaucoma far easier by reducing your intraocular pressure.
As tiny as a grain of rice, the stent is placed at the base of your iris during your cataract surgery, and helps to relieve eye pressure by draining excess fluids.
The iStent is the smallest medical device to ever be approved by the Federal Drug Administration, and while you will notice an improvement in your eye pressure, you will not feel or see the stent.
Ask us today if you are a candidate for the iStent as you undergo cataract surgery.
Treating Astigmatism with Limbal Relaxing Incisions
Limbal relaxing incisions (LRI) modify the shape of the eye's cornea. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is not perfectly round, resulting in double images or blurring when not corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. In simplistic terms, a cornea with astigmatism is shaped more like a football rather than a basketball. Limbal relaxing incisions, placed on the far outer edge of the cornea (the limbus), result in a rounder shape that provides clearer, sharper vision, reducing patients' reliance on glasses or contacts.
Astigmatism correction through limbal relaxing incisions is accomplished with a quick and relatively painless procedure performed at one of our Arizona practices. The LRI procedure can be completed in a few minutes after the eye has been numbed with anesthetic drops. There is usually minimal or no post-operative discomfort, although patients sometimes experience some mild temporary scratchiness. The procedure is very safe and is not associated with glare or starburst. The cornea, and your vision is usually stable within one week.
Limbal relaxing incisions provide clearer, sharper vision for patients whose primary refractive error is astigmatism. While corrective lenses are able to correct the blurriness resulting from astigmatism, patients often choose the LRI procedure in order to free themselves from reliance on glasses or contacts.
Limbal relaxing incisions have gained widespread acceptance amongst cataract surgeons, who perform astigmatism correction in combination with the cataract operation. The incisions can be made during the cataract surgery, or any time after, resulting in better post-operative vision without glasses.
Please ask Dr. Emilio M. Justo to evaluate your specific astigmatism to see if you are a candidate for the LRI procedure. If you are having cataract surgery, your astigmatism treatment options include the LRI procedure or the implantation of an AcrySof Toric Premium intraocular lens (IOL). When you discuss astigmatism correction at one of our offices serving Phoenix, Sun City, and Sun City West, Dr. Justo will determine which procedure will best treat your specific case.
Cost of Limbal Relaxing Incisions
Limbal relaxing incisions are NOT considered medically necessary by Medicare or any other health insurance as it is an elective procedure done to reduce the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. During your consultation with Dr. Justo, you will be provided with detailed financial information about your procedure. At the Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center, we offer financing plans, including CareCredit®, for the convenience of our patients.
Risks of Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries, and in general is very safe. However, as with all eye surgeries, there are a few risks, including post-operative infection, bleeding, inflammation, loss of vision, double vision, and high or low eye pressure. Dr. Justo will discuss all of these concerns during the pre-operative cataract surgery consultation.
Common Side Effects
The presentation of side effects resulting from cataract surgery varies greatly from patient to patient. During a pre-operative consultation, Dr. Justo will screen for factors that will be used to customize your treatment, including pre-existing medical conditions like dry eye. This information will also be used to determine if you are at increased risk of developing side effects after your procedure.
Common side effects of cataract surgery include:
- Irritation: The eye may feel irritated, or you may experience foreign body sensation. The condition may persist from 24 hours to a few days.
- Red eye: Rarely, patients experience redness of the eye. which should resolve within a week.
- Swelling: Post-operative swelling is rare and usually improves quickly.
- Blurriness: Some patients may observe significant vision improvement the next day; others will experience blurring for a few days after surgery.
Factors like the density of the cataract can also affect the risk of complications.
Cataract Surgery Risks
The most serious risk associated with cataract surgery is infection. Serious, sight-threatening infection is extremely rare, and occurs once every several thousand surgeries. Left untreated, this type of infection can result in permanent vision loss and increases the risk of retinal tears and detachments.
After surgery, Dr. Justo performs periodic check-ups to confirm our patients' recovery is progressing smoothly and on-schedule. Although rare, if infection does occur, we handle treatment in the most efficient, time-sensitive manner. We also inform patients on aftercare tips, and measures they can take to enhance their healing. Prescription eye drops, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory, are prescribed to minimize the risk of infection.
Weighing Risks versus Benefits
Cataract surgery has an excellent rate of success. Choosing to undergo surgery is not only an investment in improved vision, but also in restoring your ability to live independently.
One of the simplest steps you can take to minimize the risks associated with cataract surgery is to choose a trusted, reputable surgeon. Dr. Justo is a highly trained specialist with more than two decades of experience in improving patients' vision. Our practice is committed to the highest standards in safety and patient comfort. Implementing advanced technologies, like the ORA® system, further complement the quality of care we provide to patients throughout Phoenix, Sun City, and Sun City West.
A treatment that allows you to invest in your long-term health...
Boost Your Quality of Life
The life events our eyesight allows us to fully appreciate are many: looking into a loved one's eyes, watching a grandchild take their first steps, or seeing the sun set over a favorite overlook. In so many ways, clear vision is priceless. Cataracts do not only affect a sufferer's vision. On a larger scale, they compromise quality of life.
Surgery is the only treatment that can eliminate cataracts. Dr. Justo prefers fast focus cataract surgery for its minimally invasive procedure and improved healing time. The total cost of cataract surgery varies from patient to patient, and depends on a range of factors like which type of intraocular will best meet your needs. You can learn more about treatment option costs during a consultation at our office.
Flexible Financing Available
One of the most common factors discouraging cataract sufferers from pursuing surgery is their budget. We believe each of our patients deserves excellent vision, and have a range of flexible payment plans available to place the care you need within your budget. We offer CareCredit® financing, including a short-term, year-long option featuring zero-interest payments. Long-term fixed payment plans are also available, spanning between three to five years.
Trust Your Care to an Experienced Surgeon
Improving your vision through cataract surgery requires the experience of a trusted, reputable surgeon. Dr. Justo has helped thousands of patients in Phoenix, Sun City, Sun City West, and surrounding areas achieve improved vision through corrective eye surgeries, and is highly trained in the latest surgical techniques to treat cataracts. Complementing his experience, each member of our team is handpicked for their knowledge, skills, and compassionate approach to care. We strive to treat each patient as an individual, customizing your treatment plan to fit your unique health condition, goals, and budget. Forging lasting relationships with our patients helps us to preserve their eyesight for years to come.
Choose a Talented, Trustworthy Team
Our team of surgeons and health care professionals is committed to helping you dramatically improve your life with quality eye care. We are affiliated with several organizations, including the:
- American Board of Ophthalmology
- National Board of Medical Examiners
- American Academy of Ophthalmology
If you are ready to discuss your needs with one of our doctors, request a consultation online or call us at (623) 975-2020.
Contact Our Practice
“Over the years, many people have asked me my secret… The answer is simple – I listen carefully and attentively.”