Where we are in Cataract Surgery

The surgeons at SightMD, previously North Shore Eye Care with offices in eight locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties are the official LASIK providers of the New York Mets. We have been a leader in cataract surgery in Suffolk County for the past 50 years. While cataract surgery has been going through a steady evolution during this time some of the biggest ways that this surgery has changed have occurred recently. Our Board certified Ophthalmic surgeons, many of whom are included in Castle Connelly’s Top Doctors in the New York Metro area are all well versed in the very latest techniques.

In the early 1970’s large incisions were made in the eye necessitating the use of many sutures that were required to seal the wound. Hospital stays were lengthy usually requiring a period of three days. Prior to the use of sutures strict bed rest for at least one week was required until the wound developed some level of closure. Intraocular lenses used to replace the cataract were not yet in vogue and most patients used thick cataract glasses which caused a great deal of distortion and magnification in order to see.

As lens implantation became FDA approved we started implanting intraocular lenses at the time of surgery as early as 1976 which enabled patients to have the natural vision they once enjoyed before their cataracts developed. Modern intraocular lenses are aspheric offering improved vision while minimizing glare. Other intraocular lenses can correct for large and small amounts of astigmatism and still others offer excellent distance, intermediate, and near vision often reducing or even eliminating the need for glasses.

The next big development that occurred was due to the pioneering efforts of Dr. Charles Kelman. Instead of removing the cataract from the eye in one piece requiring a large wound he developed the concept of fragmenting it within the eye enabling the cataract to be removed through a microscopic incision. This all came about when he had an epiphany while having his tooth drilled at the dentist. The machine relying on ultrasound energy used to drill his cavity was a Cavitron machine, the same on with some refinements used to emulsify a cataract. Still more recently we have been using lasers to soften the cataract so far less ultrasound energy is required. With the use of lasers to aid in cataract surgery quicker recovery can occur while also offering enhanced vision and safety. Thanks to these major innovations we are now able to safely perform your surgery on an outpatient basis requiring only a 2 hour stay in an outpatient ambulatory unit.

While everyone over the age of 70 has some degree of cataract formation and many people may require surgery even before this age, our philosophy is not to operate simply because a cataract is present. Cataracts represent a clouding of the natural lens of the eye and its only when this clouding becomes visually significant do we recommend surgery. In other words when cataracts get sufficiently cloudy tasks such as reading or driving will become difficult which is the prime motivating reason for performing surgery.
Should you or a family member have questions regarding your cataracts we welcome you to come for a consultation.

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