Everything you need to know about laser cataract surgery in Houston
The most commonly performed surgery worldwide, cataract surgery, once considered extremely dangerous, has become an outpatient procedure lasting around 30 minutes that can leave you with clearer eyesight within one week (if not within a matter of hours).
If you or a loved one has cataracts and is curious about cataract surgery in Houston, we’ve created an outline of what you can expect during the procedure. Still have questions? Give us a call at 713-797-1010 or schedule an appointment online for a free consultation.
What is laser cataract surgery?
Cataract surgery is the surgical removal and replacement of a lens that has become clouded by a cataract. After the surgeon applies a local anesthetic, the surgery can be broken down into 4 steps :
- Corneal incision: the creation of a corneal incision so that the surgeon has access to the clear capsule that surrounds the lens
- Anterior capsulotomy: the removal of the front portion of the lens’s capsule so that the surgeon has access to the cataract
- Lens/cataract fragmentation: the breakdown and removal of the cataract using an ultrasonic device
- Lens implantation: the replacement of the lens with an artificial intraocular lens (OIL)
When explaining cataract surgery, our doctors are often asked, “Is a laser used for cataract surgery?” or “Can you remove a cataract with a laser?
Traditional cataract surgery in Houston
Traditional cataract surgery in Houston and around the world is performed using a blade. In this version of the surgery, the surgeon makes the corneal incision with a blade, performs the anterior capsulotomy with a small needle (and sometimes forceps), and then breaks up the cataract with an ultrasonic device.
Laser cataract surgery in Houston
Laser cataract surgery in Houston and around the world is performed using a femtosecond laser. Before any incisions are made, the surgeon creates a 3D map of your eye using optical coherence tomography (OCT), which helps the surgeon guide the laser with precision and accuracy.
Once this image has been made, the surgeon uses the laser to create the corneal incision, perform the capsulotomy, and then soften the cataract. The same ultrasonic device then breaks up and removes the cataract in traditional surgery is also used in laser cataract surgery for those same purposes.
Comparing traditional cataract surgery & laser cataract surgery benefits
When considering either kind of cataract surgery, one of the main questions we hear is, “Is cataract surgery safe?” The answer is yes — both traditional and laser cataract surgery in Houston are safe and effective at improving your vision. So long as you know how to choose a cataract surgeon with experience, such as those found at Eye Center of Texas, yours will be one of the many positive cataract surgeries in Houston reviews.
That said, studies have shown additional slight differences in the two surgeries that can, on a patient by patient basis, create benefits of choosing one surgery over the other. These include:
- Traditional cataract surgery is covered by more insurance carriers than laser cataract surgery, an important factor to keep in mind when considering cataract surgery cost.
- In laser cataract surgery, the 3D image provides the laser with exact directions as to the size, location, and depth of each individual’s corneal incision.
- When the laser in laser cataract surgery softens the cataract, it makes it easier for the ultrasound device to break down and remove the cataract, in turn reducing any chances for complication when the ultrasound growing heated as it works.
- Patients can have their astigmatism treated with the laser during cataract surgery (as opposed to during a different procedure), decreasing the chances that patients will still need to wear glasses after surgery.
Cataract surgery preparation & cataract surgery recovery time
Let’s say you’ve scheduled your cataract surgery in Houston and are nearing the date of the operation. What should you do to prepare? And what kind of traditional or laser cataract surgery recovery time should you expect?
Preparation for cataract surgery varies from patient to patient. Before the surgery, you and your doctor will need to discuss whether you should stop taking certain medications, use eye drops, or fast.
The laser cataract surgery recovery time and traditional cataract surgery recovery time do not differ. You will need to arrange a ride home after the surgery, take some time off of work, and avoid bending, lifting, or intense activity for a week to a month.
Some patients are able to see clearly immediately after the surgery. Others experience some cloudiness of vision for a few hours to a week after the surgery. You should not be able to feel your new IOL lens.
Choosing your lenses for cataract surgery in Houston
The type of lens you will need for your cataract surgery is a topic that requires its own post. In brief, you and your doctor will discuss which lens most thoroughly suits your needs before the surgery. Some of the most popular options include the ReSTOR multifocal intraocular lens, the astigmatism-correcting Toric lens implants, and a monofocal lens implant.
Eye Center of Texas: Experience You Can Trust
At Eye Center of Texas, we have operated over 65,000 successful cataract procedures. We are committed to improving the vision of Houstonians and will work with you to understand all the options available to you regarding the actual cataract procedure and the cataract surgery in Houston cost.
Our years of experience combined with our advanced cataract surgical technology make us one of the best places to receive laser cataract surgery in Houston. See your way to clearer vision. Contact us today at 713-797-1010 or request an appointment online.
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