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Cataract Surgery

Cataracts are caused most commonly by the natural aging process, however metabolic changes, injury, various forms of radiation, toxic chemicals and certain drugs may contribute to the onset as well. As the leading cause of vision loss among adults aged 60 and older, cataracts impair vision, making everyday activities increasingly difficult.

What is a Cataract?

Cataracts are an opacity or clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. This clear lens focuses light onto the retina at the back of the eye, which in turn sends information to the brain where it’s interpreted into the images we see. As the natural lens becomes cloudy, it inhibits or diminishes the passage of light to the retina, often leaving patients feeling as though they are looking through a frosted or “fogged” windshield. Colors may appear dull, and glare and halos around headlights often increase, causing night driving to become more challenging.

Types of Cataracts

  • Nuclear cataracts occur in the center of the lens
  • Cortical cataracts occur as wedge-shaped spokes extending from the outside of the lens to the center
  • Subcapsular cataracts occur at the back of the lens

Causes for Cataracts

  • Age-related cataracts are the most common, resulting from a natural build-up of proteins in the lens.
  • Congenital cataracts may be present at birth or developed during childhood.
  • Secondary cataracts develop when other health or ophthalmologic conditions (such as diabetes) are present.
  • Traumatic cataracts can develop after an eye injury.

Symptoms of Cataracts

  • Blurred or dimmed vision (particularly at night)
  • Cloudy vision
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Visual distortions or “ghost images”
  • Increased nearsightedness
  • Difficulty reading or driving

Symptoms of Cataracts Include:

Concerned You May Have Cataracts?

If you’re concerned you have cataracts, we recommend scheduling an evaluation with one of our cataract specialists. If cataract surgery is recommended, your surgeon will partner with you to understand your visual goals for after cataract removal. Together you can decide on a lens implant and/or a premium vision package suited for your needs.

To see if you’d be a likely candidate for one of our upgraded lenses or vision packages, you’re welcome to take advantage of our free online screening.

Chart Illustrating a Healthy Eye Compared to One With a Cataract

Am I a Candidate for Cataract Surgery?

Take the Cataract Self-Test

Cataract self-test

Your Cataract Evaluation

The first step in determining whether or not you have cataracts is to schedule an evaluation with one of our cataract removal specialists. Due to the amount of testing involved in this comprehensive evaluation, these appointments may take up to two or three hours. Please bring a pair of sunglasses as you may be light-sensitive following dilation.

  • A visual acuity test to measure clarity at various distances
  • Pupil dilation to examine the natural lens and retina for other eye problems
  • Tonometry, a standard procedure to measure fluid pressure inside the eye
  • Necessary testing to determine if the cataracts are developed enough to be removed
  • An A-Scan Ultrasound to measure the shape and length of the eye, which will be used by your doctor to recommend a lens that will result in the best visual outcome. (Performed only if surgery is recommended)

Choosing a Lens Replacement

Our cataract specialists want to learn about your visual goals following the surgery. Do you mind wearing glasses for reading? Would you prefer to be less dependent on glasses altogether? With the removal of the natural lens, we have the opportunity to replace it with a variety of lenses and lens implant powers, offering a wide range of vision outcomes after.

Many patients choose the Standard Monofocal Lens Implant that is billable to insurance. The monofocal lens offers a single power used for optimal vision at either distance or near and glasses will be required following surgery. Some people will choose to further reduce their dependence on glasses after cataract surgery and Minnesota Eye Consultants offers a wide range of Premium Vision options to help achieve this goal.

Vision Packages

Learn More About Your Lens Options

Standard Cataract Surgery (No custom package)

The standard lens package, generally covered by insurance, focuses on addressing the cataract itself. While it can significantly improve your vision, it may not correct pre-existing refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Glasses may still be needed for optimal vision correction after surgery.

Astigmatism Correction Package

The Astigmatism advanced lens package combines the benefits of cataract surgery with advanced technology to correct astigmatism. There are different types of astigmatism correcting options available, such as toric IOLs, which have specific orientations to correct astigmatism.

The astigmatism lens package aims to provide individuals with cataracts and astigmatism the opportunity to achieve improved visual clarity and reduce their dependence on corrective eyewear after cataract surgery.

This package includes:

  • LRI (Limbal Relaxing Incisions) and/or Toric lens technology with/without standard or modified monovision adjustments
  • Advanced diagnostic technology & testing
  • Extended pre-operative measurements, calculations, planning, and care

Presbyopia Specialty Lens Package

This advanced lens package includes specialized lenses that are tailored to correct presbyopia and provide clear vision at different distances, such as reading, intermediate, and distance. These lenses often come with advanced technologies like multifocal or progressive designs. This allows the wearer to transition smoothly between different focal points with less dependence on glasses.

The presbyopia specialty lens package aims to provide individuals with a convenient and effective solution for managing presbyopia, allowing them to enjoy clear vision at various distances without compromising their lifestyle or visual comfort.

This package includes:

  • Multifocal or Accommodating lens technology with/without modified monovision adjustments
  • Astigmatism correction through LRI and/or Toric lens technology, if necessary

Light Adustable Lens (LAL) Package

With a light adjustable lens, patients have the option of choosing to correct their vision at a variety of distances. These lenses can correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or both, by optimizing one eye for each. What’s unique is that this is the first lens of its kind, offering adjustments to vision after cataract surgery. The LAL is highly customizable and allows for patients to trial their preferred focal point correction before locking it in.

Generally, patients need between 2 and 5 adjustments before locking in their best vision. UV protective goggles are necessary to wear during all waking hours for up to 6 weeks until we can get the prescription locked in.

This package includes:

  • RxSight Adjustable Lens technology
  • Special Light Blocking Eyewear that is required for the initial postoperative period
  • Light adjustment sessions using the Light Delivery Device system

Premium Vision IOL Packages

Cataract Surgery using a monofocal lens is generally a covered benefit under your health insurance. Our premium vision packages (or specialty intraocular lenses) require an additional out-of-pocket expense beyond what your insurance covers. Many patients choose premium vision packages because they allow for greater visual freedom, with less dependence on glasses, following surgery. To learn more about these upgraded lenses, visit our intraocular lens options page.

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What Happens During Cataract Surgery?

Cataract Surgery is a common, outpatient procedure that is typically performed in about 10-15 minutes, with the entire process taking only a few hours. Prior to surgery, patients are often administered anesthesia and medicated eye drops to minimize any discomfort during the operation. This routine procedure begins with your surgeon making a small incision using a tiny instrument (about the size of a pen tip) to access the clouded, natural lens. The natural, cloudy lens is broken up using high-frequency ultrasound and then gently removed by suction. At this point, an intraocular lens implant is placed and the procedure is complete. Thanks to the minimal incision, stitches are normally not required.

For patients interested in laser-based cataract surgery, the process is the same, except a laser creates the incision. Laser cataract surgery carries out-of-pocket expenses for patients. Speak with your surgeon about whether laser-based cataract surgery is right for you.

Not long ago, surgery required a hospital stay and was usually postponed as long as possible. Today, the procedure is performed on an out-patient basis and takes only 10 minutes or so. Patients are free to return home to rest in comfort and avoid the inconvenience and expense of a hospital stay.

Cataract Surgery is considered one of the most popular and highly successful procedures, with improved vision occurring in over 90 percent of cases. In fact, a study by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery reported that more than 98 percent of patients had their vision successfully improved following surgery. Many patients report a vision that is even better than before they developed clouded lenses.

  • Use your medicated eye drops as directed.
  • You may notice light sensitivity and excessive tearing for a few days.
  • Avoid prolonged bending or stooping for two days.
  • Refrain from lifting anything greater than 20 pounds for one week.
  • Avoid pools, saunas, hot tubs or any contaminated water for two weeks.
  • Refrain from wearing eye makeup for two weeks.
  • Daily activities such as driving and reading can usually be resumed almost immediately.

Patient Testimonials

"The staff are always so kind and efficient. Dr Fahmy is an excellent provider and takes the time to explain things so the patient can understand."

"I have never had a bad experience here. Everyone was very welcoming and inviting, and Dr Hanson's the best!"

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Cataract Surgery Doctors

locations

Serving Our Community

Minnesota Eye Consultants is proud to offer patients convenient access to eye care across the Twin Cities. We have 4 locations, each with an onsite ambulatory surgery center (ASC).

11091 Ulysses St NE
Clinic: Suite 300
ASC: Suite 400
Blaine, Minnesota 55434
Additional Blaine Information
9801 Dupont Ave S
ASC: Suite 100
Laser Procedures: Suite 120
Clinic: Suite 200
Bloomington, MN 55431
Additional Bloomington Information
10709 Wayzata Blvd
ASC: Suite 100
Laser Procedures: Suite 120
Clinic: Suite 200
Minnetonka, MN 55305
Additional Minnetonka Information
12501 Whitewater Drive, Suite 310
Minnetonka, MN 55343
Additional Crosstown – Coming March 2024 Information
7125 Tamarack Rd
Clinic: Suite 100
ASC: Suite 200
Laser Procedures: Suite 250
Woodbury, MN 55125
Additional Woodbury Information