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Cataract Surgery

Image by Laura Thonne


Cataracts affect millions of Americans each year, and as the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 50. Cataract Surgery is a great solution to help you get back to seeing (and feeling) your best.

Cataract Surgery Q & A

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is the thickening of the eye’s lens. Overtime, this “clouding” begins to restrict the light flow to the retina, causing eyesight to become blurred and dim, with the visual acuity similar to someone looking through a foggy window. Eventually, if no action is taken, total vision loss will occur. Though this condition is chronic and arguably inevitable, cataract surgery is a safe and effective solution, with a 98% success rate of improved vision in patients.

What does traditional surgery entail?

Originally, the procedure to remove a cataract involved using a diamond blade to make a small incision in the cornea, the clear outer coating of the eye. The surgeon would then insert a small, ultrasound wave-emitting probe to soften the cataract enough to be suctioned out of the cornea. Once the cataract was cleared, only the thin outer membrane of the cornea—the lens capsule—remained. An intraocular lens (IOL) would be inserted onto the lens capsule, allowing light to once again safely pass through to the retina.

What does surgery day look like?


As with any major surgery, meticulous planning must be done beforehand. Using the 3-D image technology, Dr. Krassin will create a detailed map of your eye to assess thickness of the cornea and depth of the anterior chamber, the fluid-filled space between the cornea and the lens. He will also measure pupil diameter and determine parameters for the incisions made during the procedure. On the day of surgery, you will remain awake, but your eye area will be numbed and your eye will be stabilized in a laser platform.  


During the 15- to 20-minute procedure, your surgeon will use the information gathered from the 3D images and maps to obtain greater accuracy and precision. The procedure itself is not painful, but you may experience slight tugging or pressure. You will be sedated for relaxation and lying under bright lights so you will not feel any discomfort.


Once vitals are normal, most patients can leave within an hour after the surgery is completed. You will most likely feel slight discomfort, itching, and blurred vision for a few days while your eye heals. Resist the temptation to rub your eyes, lift heavy objects, or perform any other strenuous tasks. Follow-ups are usually scheduled within a few days and over the next few months to ensure the eye is healing properly and no complications have arisen.

Are there risks?

Most post-surgery complications are low-risk and easily treatable. If a complication does arise, it is most commonly a posterior capsule opacification (PCO), or the slight thickening of the lens capsule due to a regrowth of the cells. This is not a new cataract because cataracts cannot grow back. However, this thickening can cause slight blurriness and sensitivity to bright lights. The cloudiness can be corrected with a procedure called a YAG Laser capsulotomy, where the surgeon uses a laser to make a small hole... in the back of the lens, allowing light to pass through to the retina. PCO is relatively uncommon, affecting only about 20% of laser cataract surgery patients.

What's the cost?

The cost of cataract surgery varies based on specific eye-correction options and insurance plan coverage. Even if a portion of the surgery is covered, there may be additional out-of-pocket deductibles or copayments that will need to be met. With so many variables, it is best if you consult with our office and your insurance company to determine cost and benefits specific to you.

Real Patient Story

With Patricia F.

Hover to read.

I was searching for a new eye clinic to try. My eye sight had been changing over the last few years and I never wore glasses before. The eye doc I was seeing told me it was just "old eyes" and there was nothing wrong. I decided to make an appointment with Southwest Eye Care in Glencoe to get a second opinion and to my surprise and much to my relief, I found out that I had cataracts.
Finally I had an answer and have had one eye corrected through surgery so far. I have to tell you that my experience has been very positive and this was my very first surgery ever. I was reassured every step of the way. I feel I made the perfect decision coming to Southwest Eye Care and recommend anyone thinking about making that change to make an appointment, get that eye check up and see what you think. Staff is professional, kind and very educational, making sure you have all your questions answered. Thank you to all who work there!
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