The Princeton Eye Group: Felton, Wong, Wong and Reynolds, PA
Routine Eye Exams
Contact Lenses
No-Stitch Cataract Surgery
Glaucoma Detection & Treatment
Corneal Transplants
Eyelid and Orbital Plastic Surgery
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment
Retina Laser Treatment
Laser Vision Correction (LASIK)
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Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)
Routine Eye Exams

No-Stitch Cataract Surgery

What is a cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. The lens focuses light rays on the retina at the back of the eye to produce a sharp image of what we see. When the lens becomes cloudy, the light rays cannot pass easily through it, and the image becomes blurry. Cataracts usually develop as part of the aging process, but can also come from:

Eye injuries;
Certain diseases;
Genetic inheritance.



How can a cataract be treated?

Surgery is the only way to remove a cataract. There are no medications, eye drops, exercises or glasses that will cause cataracts to disappear once they have formed.
In cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed from the eye. In most cases, the focusing power of the natural lens is restored by replacing it with a permanent intraocular lens implant.

What can I expect if I decide to have surgery?

Before surgery
When you and your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) have decided that you will have your cataract removed, be sure to mention any special medical risks you may have. Ask your Eye M.D. if you should continue your usual medications.
Your eye will be measured to determine the proper power of the intraocular lens that will be placed in your eye during surgery.

The day of surgery
Surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis. You may be asked to skip breakfast, depending on the time of your surgery. Upon arrival for surgery, you will be given eye drops, and perhaps medications to help you relax.

A local anesthetic will make the operation painless. Though you may see light and movement, you will not be able to see the surgery while it is happening and will not have to worry about keeping your eye open or closed.

The skin around your eye will be thoroughly cleansed, and sterile coverings will be placed around your head. When the operation is over, the surgeon will often place a shield over your eye.

After a short stay in the outpatient recovery area, you will be ready to go home. You should plan to have a family member or friend drive you home. In the event no help is available, transportation can be arranged prior to the time of your surgery.

Following surgery
You will need to:

Use eye drops as prescribed;
Be careful not to rub or press on your eye;
Use over-the-counter pain medicine if necessary;
Avoid very strenuous activities until the eye has healed;
Continue normal daily activities and moderate exercise;
Ask your doctor when you can begin driving;
Wear eyeglasses or a shield as advised by your doctor.





How is the surgery done?

Under an operating microscope, a small incision is made into the eye. Microsurgical instruments are used to fragment and suction the cloudy lens from the eye. The back membrane of the lens (called the posterior capsule) is left in place.

A plastic intraocular lens implant will be placed inside the eye to replace the natural lens that was removed. The incision is so small that, usually, no sutures are required.

When is laser used?
The posterior capsule sometimes turns cloudy several months or years after the original cataract operation. If this blurs your vision, a clear opening can be made painlessly in the center of the membrane with a laser. Laser surgery is not part of the original cataract operation.

Will cataract surgery improve my vision?
Over 95% of cataract surgeries improve vision, but a small number of patients may have problems.
Infection, bleeding and swelling or detachment of the retina are some of the more serious complications that may affect your vision.
Call your ophthalmologist immediately if you have any of the following symptoms after surgery:

Pain not relieved by non-prescription pain medication;
Loss of vision;
Nausea, vomiting or excessive coughing;
Injury to the eye;
Swelling of the eyelids.




Pre-existing conditions
If the eye is healthy, the chances are excellent that you will have good vision following removal of your cataract. Problems with the eye, such as macular degeneration (aging of the retina), glaucoma and diabetic damage may limit vision after surgery. Even with such problems, cataract surgery may still be worthwhile.