Advanced Cataract Surgery
EyeHealth NW surgeons collectively perform 10,000 surgeries each year. EyeHealth doctors receive more referrals from doctors than any other eye care providers in the Portland Metro area. We work with over 300 referring doctors, many of whom are our patient's. Our affiliations with all the major area hospitals have earned us a reputation as quality, caring surgeons which explains why so many nurses refer their friends and family to our offices and see us as patient's themselves.
Excellence in Eye Surgery
What makes an experience "excellent"? When it comes to surgery at EyeHealth Northwest Surgery Centers, excellence means being exclusively devoted to eye surgery only. We are leaders in Cataract and Laser surgery in the Portland Metro area because our surgeons have devoted the time and resources to create the highest quality surgery centers. Excellence in surgery means providing an unsurpassed level of experience, quality of care, comfort, and safety to our patients.. Even more import, however, is our exceptional staff of professionals committed to helping create better vision through surgery.
The Highest Standards
At EyeHealth Northwest we go beyond meeting the normal standards for eye surgery. We are often the first in the region to employ the latest Cataract and Intraocular Lens Implant technology, and of course we use only the finest equipment as a standard for all patients.
A Great Experience
Our mission is to provide you with the best surgical experience of your life. From the moment you arrive, our staff is dedicated to making your eye surgery a relaxing, pain free, and yes, even enjoyable experience. You can be confident in your decision with EyeHealth. As guardians of your eye health, our staff places your safety first.
For us, every patient experience is important. Therefore, we closely monitor our patient satisfaction surveys to continually improve, and routinely receive glowing reviews from our patients.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye's normally clear lens. It is not a film over the outside of the eye, as many people think. The lens is located inside the eye, behind the iris (the colored part of the eye), and helps to focus the light rays for clear vision. With age, and sometimes as a side effect of medications, the lens becomes clouded. This clouding of the lens results in blurred vision.
- Painless loss of visual clarity
- Changes in eyeglass prescription needs
- Glare and light sensitivity
- Reduced night time vision
- A need for brighter light to read
- Loss of color vision
While cataracts often affect both eyes, sometimes only one eye is affected. It is common for one cataract to be more cloudy, resulting in poorer vision in one eye compared to the other.
Most often, cataracts occur as a natural consequence of aging. Lens clouding forms to a greater or lesser degree in everyone with age. A family history increases the risk of cataracts. Cataracts are also caused by:
- Some medical problems, like diabetes
- Previous eye injuries or surgery
- Congenital defect
- Medications, such as cortisone (prednisone)
- Lifetime ultraviolet light exposure (sunlight)
- Other eye diseases like iritis
A comprehensive eye examination by an eye care professional (ophthalmologist or optometrist) can detect the presence and extent of a cataract. There can also be reasons other than cataract for worsened vision, including diseases of the cornea, retina or optic nerve. If another disease is present with a cataract, perfect vision may not be restored after cataract surgery. Cataract surgery involves removing the natural lens (that has become clouded) and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens implant. Other areas of this website deal in detail with this subject.
Advanced Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgery has changed dramatically over the last 20 years.Many patients remember the days when the operation required a hospital stay of several days with the patient’s head in sandbags and weeks of recovery.Retinal detachment was a frequent complication and thick aphakic glasses were necessary for clear vision.
|The actual surgery is ten to 20 minutes in length and typically painless.A mild sedative takes care of any anxiety during the surgery.|
|A very small incision is made through a bloodless area of the eye and the cataract is removed with ultrasound.|
|A foldable implant is rolled up like a carpet and insert through the same small incision.It is fit into the eye behind the pupil where the cataract was located before removal.Suturing is generally not necessary.The wound seals on its own and is quite secure.|
|A seal protects the eye the first day and then the patient wears a shield at night for a week. Regular activity is possible right away.Eyedrops are used on a tapering schedule for one month after surgery to reduce the risk of infection and help healing.|
Fortunately, today’s moderate cataract surgery is totally different.The operation is now done on an outpatient basis, usually only a two to three hour stay.
New glasses, if necessary, are prescribed two to three weeks after surgery.
If the second eye has a cataract it can be done within three to four weeks.Whether or not glasses are needed depends on the implant lens chosen.
Other areas of this website discuss the various intraocular lens implants that are available.
Complications are rare and the success rate is in excess of 95%.The cataract will not grow back after surgery.However, the membrane, which supports the intraocular lens implant, can become cloudy in some patients months or years later.If this occurs, a simple laser treatment is all that is necessary to restore clear vision.
Preparing for surgery
Your surgery scheduler will call you to assist scheduling required tests and will send you a surgery packet with information needed for your upcoming surgery. Your surgery packet will include all pre and post operative visits and instructions, prescriptions, dietary instructions and date for surgery.
Day before Surgery
You will be contacted to confirm arrival time and answer any questions you may have regarding your upcoming surgery. Please make arrangements for someone to drive you home after surgery and to your first postoperative visit. Patients will not be allowed to drive themselves, walk or take public transportation home after surgery. Please do not hesitate to notify us in advance of any special needs. We recommend drinking lots of water the day before surgery. Try to a good night sleep and we will look forward to seeing you for your surgery.
Eating or Drinking before Surgery
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery except clear liquids. If you need to take high blood pressure or heart medication in the morning, please take with a small sip of water before leaving home. Do not take any diabetic medications or insulin on the morning of surgery. The nurses will monitor and regulate your blood sugar as needed after you arrive at the surgery center. Do not take Diuretics or "waterpills" (Lasix, Furosemide, or Hydrochlorothiazide) on the morning of surgery.
Upon Your Arrival
You will be greeted by the front desk to register. Once registered, the nursing staff will prepare you for surgery. You will then meet with your anesthesia provider who will answer any questions and start your anesthesia. You will be given a sedative that will make you sleepy and comfortable for the 10-20 minutes of surgery. Our staff will monitor you throughout for your safety and comfort. A family member or friend may stay with you until you are taken to surgery.
In the Operating RoomYou are the most important person in the operating room. Your comfort and safety are our top priorities. We will explain everything.
After surgery you will go to a recovery area. Your family and friends can be with you if you wish. Your nurse will monitor your condition and give you a light snack and drink. When you are ready to leave, we will review your discharge instructions and medications with a family member or caregiver.
We strongly encourage that you make arrangements to have someone stay with you the first 24 hours after your surgery. It is important to follow the instructions that were given in the recovery room. You can find these instructions in your postoperative kit. If you have any unusual symptoms or unexpected changes in your condition, an EyeHealth Northwest surgeon is available 24 hours. A nurse will call you the day after surgery to see how you are doing and address any questions or concerns you may have.
You may shower and brush your teeth the morning of surgery. Wear comfortable clothing and a short sleeved shirt, you will wear these clothes during surgery. Flat, soled, non-skid, comfortable shoes are the safest. Please do not put on make-up. If you wear contact lenses, or eyeglasses, please bring the appropriate storage case(s) for their protection. Cell phones they will need to be turned off prior to being brought to the pre-operative area.
Wedding rings are okay to wear during surgery, but please leave all other jewelry and valuables at home for safekeeping.
In Case of Illness
If you do not feel well on the days prior to surgery, please call your surgeon as early as possible to decide if surgery should be post-pone.
You will be at our center about 2 hours. Your family member or friend may stay with you before and after surgery. During your surgery, they may wait in our lounge area. Small children should be left at home.