Cataract Surgery Questions

Do I need cataract surgery?

If you are over 55 years old, cataract surgery with lens implant replacement should be an option you consider if vision has become cloudy, if you’re having trouble seeing well to drive at night, if you notice rings or starbursts around lights, or if you’ve become more sensitive to sunlight. Lens replacement can provide a fuller range of vision than you currently enjoy, unlike monovision with contacts or LASIK. Lens implant surgery is a permanent vision correction procedure that will only need to be done once, and will last the remainder of your lifetime.

What is Dropless cataract surgery?

By combining two antibiotics and one anti-inflammatory drop into a simple injection, patients rarely, if ever, need eye drops after cataract surgery. It saves about $300, and eliminates the risk you will forget to use the drops prescribed.  This technique is especially helpful for those who have trouble instilling drops in their eyes. The time-release nature of the medication keeps working throughout the post-operative period.

How is cataract surgery done?

Once you and Dr. Liegner have decided that you will have your lens replaced during cataract surgery, a complete eye health exam will be performed, and your eye will be measured to determine the proper power of the intraocular lens that will be placed in your eye.

Your cataract surgery procedure will be performed in an outpatient surgery center. You will be in the center for approximately three hours on surgery day. You will be given medications to relax you and numb your eyes. A local anesthetic will make the operation virtually painless.

The skin around your eye will be thoroughly cleansed, and sterile coverings will be placed around your head. Under an operating microscope, a small incision is made into the eye and your natural lens will be gently removed using an ultrasound instrument. The new lens will be placed in your eye through this same tiny incision. A stitch is occasionally needed to close this small incision.

When the operation is over, we will usually place a shield over your eye. After a short stay in the outpatient recovery area, you will be ready to go home. Plan to have someone drive you home. You will return to our office for a post-operative visit the next day. You will notice an improvement in your vision at that time which will continue to sharpen over the next 30 days.

Should I have lens implants in both eyes?

You will get the full benefit of a multifocal or accommodating IOL when it is implanted in both eyes. Please discuss with Dr. Liegner your work and hobby considerations so that he can recommend the optimal IOL for you.

What are the risks of cataract surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved. These risks may include infection, retinal detachment, an increase in eye pressure, reactions to medicines and vision changes. Dr. Liegner will discuss all risks and benefits with you before your surgery.

There is a small chance that your vision could be made worse by the operation, especially if bleeding or infection occur. These risks are rare and should be weighed against the potential benefits of restoring your vision. Please read the informed consent that will be provided to you for additional information

What are cataract surgery side effects?

Common side effects include redness, scratchiness to the eye, and light sensitivity. In addition, you may have glare, rings around lights, and blurred vision. These side effects may make it more difficult to see while driving at night or working in low light for a period of time after your procedure. These side effects generally resolve over time.

LASIK Questions

Does insurance cover LASIK?

Procedures considered “elective” are usually not covered under your health insurance. However, Flex plans typically cover most of our services. We will be happy to check with your insurance carrier or Flex plan to help determine what they will pay. We also have financing through Care Credit, which offers interest-free options.

Does LASIK surgery hurt?

The surgery itself is painless. There are no needles, instead anesthetic drops numb the eyes during the procedure and if needed you will be given something to help you relax. After surgery, patients go home, relax for the rest of the evening and then usually return to their normal routine the next day. When I ask about their comfort level, most say they couldn’t believe how easy the whole experience was. Others feel some eye irritation, such as a foreign body sensation and itching for 12 to 24 hours. If you are concerned about pain, we can provide a prescription for pain relief.

How long does LASIK take?

The actual laser treatment lasts about 2 minutes per eye. The advantage this offers is increased comfort for you during treatment, as well as quicker healing times and better post operative results.

What are the risks?

Any surgery involves risks, however LASIK is the most common elective surgery in the world, and very safe. When you come in for your consultation, we will review any risks involved in your specific case.

Is LASIK permanent?

LASIK treatment offers a permanent change to your cornea.  This tissue won’t “grow back”.  However, your eyes will continue to age, and as you reach your 40s and 50s, you may think the effect of LASIK is somehow wearing off.  In truth, it is not your cornea that is changing.  It is the lens in your eye that is aging, becoming harder and cloudier.  This occurs whether or not you have had LASIK, as is part of the natural aging process.  You should make an appointment with us to determine options. This might include a LASIK touch-up, corrective contact lenses or glasses, or a lens removal and implant procedure.

Can I wear contact lenses after LASIK?

Yes, but it is unlikely that you will need to wear contacts. The laser we use was selected for its ability to deliver vision beyond what you can achieve with glasses or contacts. Occasionally, corrections are needed for certain part-time activities and in these cases, glasses are usually chosen.

Is Dr. Liegner an experienced LASIK surgeon

I’ve specialized in refractive eye surgery since 1998, and during that time I have performed many thousands of intraocular and corneal refractive surgery procedures, including the LASIK procedure for near sightedness, far sightedness and astigmatism. I am also a Clinical Instructor of ophthalmology residents and medical students at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in Newark. You can read more about my experience and background here.

What if I'm not a candidate for LASIK?

There are many new options for people who have been told they are not candidates for LASIK. First of all, if it’s been more than a year since you were evaluated, or you were seen elsewhere, you need a free evaluation at Eye Care Northwest to learn about other excellent new choices. I am certified for every lens implant and multifocal IOL on the market. One of these may be right for you. The multifocal IOL is ideal for many people over 45 and those who need cataract surgery. You can learn more on the Lens Replacement page. Lens implants are typically for those who are very nearsighted or have thin corneas.