Modern Day Cataract Surgery

The Past

In the past, pre-surgical measurements using rudimentary diagnostic equipment provided information surgeons used to calculate the lens power for each patient.  The surgical procedure took nearly an hour to complete and involved a 180 degree surgical wound around the cornea to remove the hardened cataract.  Hospital recovery was necessary and the patient’s head was immobilized for days using sand bags.  Intraocular lenses (IOLs) were not widely used to replace the natural lens until the 1970’s, and outcomes were marginal at best.

Even as recently as ten years ago, the goal of cataract surgery was to remove the cataract and replace it with a basic IOL. Over the past decade technology has become so much more sophisticated that we now offer customized refractive cataract surgery.  New goals include, not only removing the cataract, but, also to optimize our patients’ vision to include specialized implants and astigmatism correction.

The Refractive Cataract Surgery Process

After your personal cataract consultation and before surgery, you will have several tests designed to allow your doctor to match the new lens implant to your lifestyle.

When you arrive at the ambulatory surgery center, your eye will be numbed with anesthetic eye drops. In the sterile operating room an incision of less than 2mm is made in the clear cornea of the eye using a blade or one of three cataract lasers.  Which laser we use is determined by your individual treatment plan. With computer level accuracy and precision, the laser creates entry wounds, softens the cataract, and corrects any astigmatism (or irregularity in the shape of the cornea).

The softened cataract is further broken into microscopic particles using ultrasonic waves (called phacoemulsification) and then gently removed from the eye. The lens selected especially for you is implanted to replace the natural lens. Another laser, called the ORA System, provides a refraction in real-time machine1 that provides our surgeons information about lens power, lens positioning and whether the astigmatism has been minimized.  With this information, our surgeons are able to compare pre-surgical data with a real-time analysis so adjustments can be made on the fly to ensure the best possible vision outcome at the time of the surgical procedure – a process not offered with traditional cataract surgery.

The incision is usually self-sealing so that no stitches are needed. There is generally no pain and no patch and you can return home immediately.

For Post-LASIK / Post-RK Patients

Patient who previously underwent LASIK or RK can confidently enjoy better vision results after cataract surgery.  To achieve optimal visual results, LASIK and RK patients had to undergo corneal surface augmentation.  These procedures would later challenge cataract surgeons by making it difficult to measure the right lens strength for the eye.  Now with the ORA System, lasers precisely measure the size of each eye to determine the right intraocular lens implant power needed for the best possible visual results.  Our surgeons use the ORA system to take the guess work out of lens selection and match the right lens strength for your eyes.

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148 13th Street S.W., Largo Florida 33770

Phone : (727) 581-8706

St. Petersburg

6133 Central Avenue St. Petersburg, Florida 33710

Phone : (727) 344-3008

North Pinellas

3165 McMullen Booth Rd Building A, Suite 1 Clearwater, FL 33761

Phone : (727) 723-8706

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Our Specialists

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Stephen M. Weinstock, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Founder of The Eye Institute of West Florida in 1974, pioneering sub-specialty eye care in Pinellas County.
Cataract and LASIK specialist
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Robert J. Weinstock, M.D.

Board-certified ophthalmologist and is fellowship-trained in cataract and refractive surgery.
Refractive Cataract & LASIK Surgery
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Neel R. Desai, M.D.

A fellowship-trained ophthalmologist strictly specializing in LASIK, cataract and corneal diseases of the eye.
Refractive Cataract, Cornea & LASIK Surgery