Cataract Surgery Has Enormous Impact
Dr. Emilio Justo describes cataract surgery, its benefits and the steps involved in the procedure. This procedure is used to treat the clouding of the natural lens of the eye called cataracts. When left untreated, cataracts can lead to blindness, so it's essential to seek Dr. Justo's help if you're having trouble seeing clearly.View transcript
DR. EMILIO JUSTO: Cataract surgery is a modern-day procedure to help those patients, particularly those who are more elderly, who tend to develop cataracts, to help them see better. And what cataracts are? Cataracts are a clouding of the natural lens of the eye, behind the pupil. As that lens becomes more clouded, typically due to aging but in younger patients, they can develop cataracts due to trauma, due to medical conditions such as diabetes, due to certain medications such as prednisone or steroids. They can accelerate the cataract process as well. So, in a cataract procedure, by removing that clouded lens, which is referred to as the cataract, and replacing it with a new synthetic artificial lens, otherwise known as an intraocular lens implant, one is able to restore that vision that they had years ago. It is one of the most gratifying procedures that we as physicians and surgeons can do because there is nothing better than restoring a person’s eyesight. Modern day cataract surgery, which I perform, is typically a no-stitch procedure. In some cases, it is a no-stitch/no-patch procedure, meaning that those individuals had the surgery performed just under eye-drop anesthesia. In others, who are more anxious or squeeze their eyes heavily, we do it with the traditional anesthetic, where their eyes are fully numb. The cataract procedure typically takes about 10-15 minutes on most individuals. With the new lens implant that is inserted after the cataract is removed, the patient can typically see quite, quite well within the first 24 hours to 48 hours. Once their vision has improved, they can certainly resume all their normal physical activities. We do not place any restrictions on bending or lifting, or exercising. About the only restriction I ask is that they do not swim under water, so as to avoid any chlorinated water in their eye. Cataract surgery has an enormous impact on a person’s life by restoring their ability to function the way they used to. They can see street signs much better. They can read the fine print much better. And with the advent of newer premium lens implants, in many cases, they can see both distance and reading up close without any eyeglasses. So, clearly it is a life-changing event for most patients and a very gratifying surgery for ophthalmologists such as myself.