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Eye Specialists of Westchester

Office (914) 235-9500
Optical (914) 235-8262

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Cataract Surgery

With over 600 cataract surgeries performed per year, small incision, no-stitch cataract removal is the most common surgical procedure performed by Dr. Scharf. It is a highly modern and successful procedure that is performed quickly, efficiently and pain free. Topical anesthetic is used so there are no injections. Usually no stitches are required which makes the recovery time minimal.

This method uses ultrasound technology (called phacoemulsification) to break up and remove the cataract (the patient’s natural cloudy lens) through an incision that is about 1/8 of an inch wide. Through this same incision, a soft, foldable intraocular lens (IOL) is then placed in the eye replacing the natural lens. The tiny surgical opening self-seals.

Most patients are pleased with the rapid return to good vision following surgery. In most cases, patients are able to see relatively well without glasses on the day after surgery. Small incision, no-stitch cataract surgery allows for a quick return to an active lifestyle.

Benefits

This surgical method provides the benefits of a quick recovery with very little discomfort. The clear benefits over any other cataract surgery method are:

  • no stitches – self sealing incision
  • topical anesthesia provides a rapid recovery
  • clear vision returns almost immediately
  • minimal chance of surgically induced astigmatism
  • procedure takes about 20 minutes
  • few follow up care visits
  • minimal discomfort

Expectations

Before Surgery – To determine if your cataract should be removed, Dr. Scharf will perform a thorough eye examination. Before surgery, your eye will be measured to determine the proper power of the intraocular lens that will be placed in your eye. Ask Dr. Scharf if you should continue taking usual medications before surgery. Please make arrangements for someone to drive you home after surgery.

Day of Surgery – Surgery is performed by Dr. Scharf in an ambulatory surgery center. You may be asked to skip breakfast depending on the time of your surgery. When you arrive for surgery, you will be given eyedrops and possibly a mild sedative to help make you comfortable. A local anesthetic will numb your eye. The skin around your eye will be thoroughly cleansed, and sterile coverings will be placed around your head. You may see light and movement, but you will not be able to see the surgery while it is happening. After surgery is completed, Dr. Scharf will place a shield over your eye. After a short stay in the outpatient recovery area, you will be ready to go home.

Following Surgery – You will need to:

  • use eyedrops as prescribed;
  • be careful not to rub or press on the operated eye;
  • avoid strenuous activities until Dr. Scharf tells you that it is okay to resume them;
  • wear eyeglasses or an eye shield as prescribed

You may continue most normal daily activities. Over the counter pain medication may be used, if necessary.

Complications

Though they rarely occur, possible serious complications of cataract surgery are:

  • infection;
  • bleeding;
  • swelling of the retina;
  • loss of vision.

Even if cataract surgery is successful, some patients may not see as well as they would like to. Other eye problems such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, or diabetic retinopathy may limit vision after surgery. Even with these problems, cataract surgery may still be worthwhile. Ask Dr. Scharf to learn more about cataract surgery and its risks and benefits.