Cataract Surgery

About Cataract Surgery - How are Cataracts Treated?Cataract Surgery | New York

The general treatment for cataracts requires cataract surgery. Cataract surgery has undergone numerous advancements in the last decade, which have not only made the procedure faster but also shortened the length of recovery time.  New lens implant options, such as the Tecnis, ReSTOR, and the Tecnis Symfony intraocular lenses, are now available, as well as an innovative measurement system called the ORA, used during the cataract procedure itself to refine results. Patients also have the option of having FEMTO laser-assisted cataract surgery. This revolutionary technology allows Dr. Koster to use a laser to make all of a patient's cataract incisions, correct astigmatism and soften the cataract prior to removal. Dr. Harry Koster is a corneal specialist and was one of the first eye surgeons in New York to use these innovative technologies.
With skilled and experienced surgeons such as Dr. Koster, cataract surgery is now one of the safest and effective surgical procedures available in medicine. Prior to a cataract procedure, a patient who has a cataract will be evaluated in great detail to assess whether they have any other eye conditions which may affect results. Our technicians obtain precise measurements of the patient’s eye to ensure the most accurate results. These include measurements of the length of the eye and of the curvature of the cornea. These measurements are then used with various formulas to optimize the intraocular lens implant power for the targeted results. Determining the correct power of the lens implant is critical because the implant determines the patient’s post-operative prescription. Patients also have the option of an additional measurement system, the ORA, during the procedure.

Next, a formal evaluation of the patient's visual needs and goals occurs, including what the patient has been used to in the past and whether they want to be less spectacle free going forward. Based on the exam findings, eye measurements, and the patient's goals, a decision is made on the best implant for that particular patient. This is a very individualized approach and is different for each patient. There is an array of implant options available, including implants that correct somewhat for distance (Monofocal Implants) or more premium implants that correct for astigmatism (Toric Implants) or correct for near and far vision (Accommodating Implants). While these options represent an excellent advantage to previous implants, a face-to-face consultation is imperative in deciding which implant is best for a given patient.

Not long ago, cataract surgery required a hospital stay. Today the surgery typically takes less than 10 minutes and is performed in the comfort of Dr. Koster’s own outpatient surgery center in midtown Manhattan. Before the procedure, an anesthetic gel is used to numb the eye. Through a small incision (2 mm) the cataract is emulsified (broken up) using sound waves, with the resulting particles irrigated out of the eye. This process, where the natural lens is emulsified in the eye before removing it, is called phacoemulsification. Once the cataract is removed, an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted that focuses light properly for good uncorrected vision. This lens will stay well positioned naturally and will not be felt in the eye. Most of the time the wound is self-sealing and no suture is needed. A clear shield is then placed over the eye for a few hours before the patient removes it at home to start using drops. Patients can see immediately after the procedure through the shield but the final visual result will take a few days to sharpen.

Patients also have the option of utilizing the Optiware Refractive Analysis (ORA) during the cataract procedure. ORA measurements are taken after the cataract is removed, but before the new lens is inserted.  Dr. Koster has a clearer view of the eye, allowing him to tailor the procedure to your individual eye, including adjusting the IOL power, to refine and improve a patient's visual outcome.

Different Intraocular Lens Options

Traditionally, the only intraocular lenses available to cataract patients were "monofocal". This type of lens corrects unaided vision at only one point, either distance or near, depending on the power of the implant. Most of the time, an implant power is selected to completely correct a patient’s distance vision so that after the operation, the patient will only need reading glasses.
IOL | New YorkAs a result of technological advances, new  "multifocal" lens implants are now available. Lenses such as the ReStor, the Tecnis, and Tecnis Symfony can correct a patient’s distance AND near vision, making the patient less dependent on reading glasses. Other lenses, such as the Acrysof Toric lens, can reduce or eliminate astigmatism. Prior to cataract surgery, the doctors and staff at NY Vision Group discuss the various type of intraocular implants available so that an informed decision can be made regarding the appropriate type of intraocular lens for each patient. We are dedicated to helping patients find the best optical solution for their lifestyle and vision needs. In addition, prior to the procedure, NY vision Group will discuss potential side effects of cataract surgery and important pre and post-operative instructions, including required post-op appointments. We will also review the insurance plans accepted by the practice and alternative financing methods.
Cataract surgery is considered one of the most popular and highly successful procedures for improving vision. In fact, a study by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons recently reported that 98% of cataract patients had their vision successfully improved following surgery. Many patients report that their vision is even better than it was before they developed cataracts. Notwithstanding the popularity of cataract surgery, the success of a patient’s procedure depends on skilled and experienced surgeons such as Dr. Koster, who has performed over 15,000 cataract surgeries. Indeed, other doctors often refer to difficult surgical cases to him. If you think you are a candidate for cataract surgery (or are over the age of 40 and have not seen an eye doctor in the past year), please Contact Us in Manhattan or Richmond Hill to set up a consultation.

Whether you choose monofocal or multifocal lenses, there are risks and possible complications of cataract surgery and lens implantation. During your visit to NY Vision Group, the risks, benefits, and alternatives will be discussed with you. Complications are rare and usually minor, but they could permanently affect your vision. Complications include the worsening of your vision, bleeding or infection. It is essential that patients follow their preoperative and postoperative instructions, and in the event of unusual symptoms, patients should contact an eye doctor immediately.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact our surgical coordinator at 212.243.2300.