Cataract surgery removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with a clear artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). We perform a minimally invasive, small-incision, no-stitch cataract surgery called phacoemulsification (“phaco”) surgery. First, the eye is numbed with anesthesia. Then a tiny incision is made in the eye to make room for a small ultrasonic probe which breaks up, or emulsifies, the cloudy lens into tiny pieces. The pieces are then suctioned out through the probe. After the cloudy lens has been removed, a new artificial lens, or IOL, is implanted in the eye. With the recent advance of foldable IOLs, artificial lenses can be implanted through the same small incision from the phaco procedure.
During cataract surgery, Dr. Dangles replaces the clouded, blurry area of the lens with an artificial one to correct vision. However, after surgery, many people experience a gradual clouding on the covering of the new lens, a condition known as aftercataract or secondary membrane. Clouding is the most common complication of cataract surgery and can cause blurred vision to return, but a solution is available to treat this side effect.
A procedure called a posterior capsulotomy, using an Nd: YAG laser, can be performed to remove the back lining of the lens capsule and let light pass through to the retina. The laser cuts a hole in the back lining and helps remove cloudiness in the lens.
The capsulotomy, performed at Magna surgical Center, is a painless procedure that does not require any anesthesia. It is considered a safe procedure and most people only experience short-term increased eye pressure.
Chalazions (“small pimples” in Greek) are cysts, or fluid-filled sacs, on the edge of the eyelid. Small glands in the eyelids called meibomian glands normally secrete a thick, fatty fluid called sebum into the hair follicles of the eyelashes. Chalazions – also called meibomian cysts – form when these glands become chronically inflamed. Chalazions is usually treated by prescribing antibiotic eye drops and warm compresses. Treatment may also include draining a firm cyst by pressing on it to release the sebum trapped inside or inject a steroid medication to decrease inflammation.
Enucleation, or complete removal, of the eyeball is an extremely rare surgery. This procedure is reserved for the most severe conditions in which the eye is beyond repair, non-functional, exceptionally painful, or some combination of the three. The empty space created by its removal necessitates the utilization of a prosthetic eye to both maintain a natural look as well as to protect the inner orbital tissue. The prosthesis is usually well received by the body and automatically articulates in conjunction with the working eye, giving it an extremely natural semblance.
Pterygium is a benign growth of the conjunctiva (lining of the white part of the eye) that grows into the cornea, which covers the iris (colored part of the eye). It can eventually lead to impaired vision. Patients with pterygium often first notice the condition because of the appearance of a lesion on their eye or because of dry, itchy irritation. Other symptoms include dryness, redness, irritation, inflammation, and tearing. In more severe cases, the pterygium grows over the pupil and limits vision. The most common pterygium treatment is eye drops (artificial tears) and use of sunglasses. In more severe cases when vision is impaired, surgery may be recommended.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty
Glaucoma is a very dangerous disease characterized by increased intraocular pressure (IOP) which can be very difficult to treat. Selective laser trabeculoplasty is one method of treatment for glaucoma, which utilizes an Nd:YAG laser that is very precise in its management of the trabecular meshwork. The trabeculocytes are responsible for draining ocular fluid into Schlemm’s canal in order to regulate the IOP. The exact mechanism through which the Nd:YAG laser affects the trabecular meshwork is not understood, but it has been found to be quite effective in stabilizing IOP nonetheless.