What is Premium Cataract Surgery?

What is premium cataract surgery?

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cataracts, you may have heard about premium cataract surgery as a treatment option. But what does that mean? In this blog, we’ll discuss cataract surgery options and what makes “premium” treatment different. 

What is a cataract?

A cataract occurs when the normally clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy or opaque. This clouding prevents light from reaching the back of the eye, causing vision to become impaired. Cataracts are most commonly due to the normal aging process, but can have other causes.

How are cataracts treated?

The only treatment for cataracts is surgery. Surgery is necessary when symptoms begin to interfere with your daily activities. Cataract surgery can be scheduled when you are ready, and is usually safe to postpone until you and your doctor feel it is appropriate. Cataract surgery is a minimally invasive procedure, and about 9 out of 10 people who get cataract surgery see better afterward according to the National Institute of Health.

How does cataract surgery work?

During cataract surgery, an ophthalmologist makes a tiny incision in the cornea and uses a phacoemulsifier to deliver ultrasonic vibrations to the lens. These vibrations cause the lens to break down, allowing the surgeon to remove the cataract. The ophthalmologist then inserts a new artificial lens in its place. After the cataract is removed, the surgeon will implant an artificial lens. 

What is standard cataract surgery?

During a standard cataract surgery, the surgeon will replace your lens with a monofocal intraocular lens (IOL). Monofocal means that this lens only allows you to see clearly at a distance or up close, but not both. You will need glasses to see up close after cataract surgery.  Although the measurements are very accurate, they are not the most precise option available, and you are more likely to need glasses for both distance and up close with this surgical option. This standard option does not correct astigmatism. 

Insurance will usually cover this standard procedure and IOL when cataract symptoms are strong enough to interfere with your activities of daily living.

What is premium cataract surgery?

During a premium cataract surgery the surgeon will replace your lens with a monocular lens while using a specialized measurement system called Optiwave Refractive Analysis (ORA). This system provides the surgeon with continuous, real-time measurements of the eye during the procedure. These detailed measurements allow for greater precision and customized results. If you have astigmatism, your surgeon will select a specialized lens, called a toric lens. She may also make Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI) around the cornea as needed. These premium options are used to reduce or eliminate the effects of  astigmatism on your vision. As with the standard package, after surgery you will still need glasses to see up close, however this surgical option greatly reduces the chance that you will need glasses to see clearly at a distance.

What is multifocal premium cataract surgery?

During a multifocal cataract surgery, the surgeon will replace your lens with a multifocal intraocular lens. Multifocal lenses allow you to see normally at both distance and near without the use of glasses.  When used with the ORA measurement system, your chance of seeing clearly without the use of glasses will be significantly greater. Dr. Johnson uses Symfony EDF lenses for her multifocal cataract surgeries. These lenses have a unique design that helps to reduce symptoms of glare and halos after surgery. Your ophthalmologist will help you to determine whether or not multifocal cataract surgery is the best treatment option for your eyes. 

Insurance will not cover the charges for the premium or multifocal premium add-on. We recommend discussing your options at a cataract evaluation and working with your ophthalmologist to select the package that is right for you.

Talking with your ophthalmologist is the best way to decide what type of cataract surgery you need. To schedule a cataract evaluation, call or test (907) 328-2920. To learn more about cataracts, visit our website at www.mountainvieweyes.com.

 

References:

National Institute of Health, Cataract Surgery https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/cataracts/cataract-surgery

Written By: Gina Stafford COA, LDO, ABOC

Posted in: Alaska Ophthalmology, Cataract, Cataract Treatment, Eyes, Patient Education

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