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Jenkins Eye Care

What happens if my cataracts are left untreated?

Cataracts will continue to develop over time, and your vision will get worse. Loss of vision affects the overall quality of life in many ways, including reading, working, hobbies, and sports. If left untreated, cataracts can cause total blindness.

Using a laser, our surgeons are able to get more precise incisions than the traditional blade. Now, cataract surgery can be performed using a computer controlled femtosecond cataract laser that performs all of the most critical steps. Using the femtosecond laser, a precise circular opening for removing the cataract is made and the laser is used to gently break up the cataract into pieces for removal. The new lens is inserted into the capsule and it unfolds into place.

Femtosecond laser affords cataract patients:

  • A more advanced procedure using 3-D imaging
  • A more precise treatment
  • Greater predictability
  • Gently and easily removes the cataract
  • A more personalized treatment
  • Little to no discomfort
  • Delivers gentle energy to perform the most critical steps in cataract surgery.
  • Cataract patients with astigmatism can be treated with the laser

Traditional cataract surgery involves using a blade to make an incision into the cornea and for the surgeon to manually create the opening to access the lens. In laser-assisted cataract surgery, these steps are achieved via a femtosecond laser called and are guided by the surgeon’s expertise and enhanced imaging. Using the LenSx allows Dr. Jenkins and Dr. Peterson to make precise incisions in less time and can result in greater consistency. Whichever you choose, you are in good hands. Dr. Jenkins and Dr. Peterson are adept, skilled surgeons and have done thousands of both traditional and laser-assisted cataract surgeries.

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The lens that the surgeon implants during cataract surgery is durable and will last a lifetime.

This depends on your overall eye health, whether or not you have astigmatism, and which lens you and your surgeon select to implant during cataract surgery. The combination of premium laser surgery and multifocal (PanOptix, Synergy) or extended depth of focus (Vivity) lenses can help people to be glasses-free for much of their day.

Cataract surgery is a quick and painless outpatient procedure, taking about 15 minutes for most people. After taking care of payment and paperwork at check-in, a nurse will help you prepare. You will also meet your anesthesiologist, who will administer a topical anesthetic and an I.V. sedative. This will allow you to be relaxed and comfortable while you remain awake. After Dr. Jenkins or Dr. Peterson performs the cataract surgery, you will rest for a little while in the recovery area.

For your safety, you cannot drive yourself home on the day of surgery. After you go home, you should take a nap. Mild to moderate discomfort is normal on the first day. We will see you at our office on Piikoi the next day.

  • Do not rub your eye.
  • Wear a shield over your eye at bedtime for one week.
  • For one week after surgery, avoid bending over, getting water in the eyes, strenuous activities, and heavy lifting. Walking, watching TV, and reading are okay during this time.
  • For two weeks after surgery, avoid water sports, strenuous exercise, and heavy lifting.
  • As a matter of habit, it is important to wear good sunglasses after surgery.

Most people are able to return to work the next day. Many patients experience significant visual improvement in the first few days after surgery, although for some, it can take longer. Over the course of the first month, your vision will continue to stabilize.

Once a cataract is removed, it does not return. However, in approximately 30% of patients, a haze can develop behind the implant, leading to blurry vision. This is called posterior capsular opacification (PCO). This can happen months or years after your cataract surgery, and it is treated with a quick, painless five minute procedure. Dr. Jenkins or Dr. Peterson will use the YAG laser in our office to remove the haze, after which you will see more clearly. You can resume normal activities immediately.

Insurance covers the standard monofocal lens. Premium cataract surgery, including laser assisted cataract surgery, toric IOLs, multifocal IOLs, and extended depth of focus lenses, is not fully covered by insurance.

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