A Word About Cataracts
Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the USA today with well over a million people annually enjoying the benefits of this modern day miracle. The surgery is highly successful with the vast majority of patients enjoying return of clear vision within a few weeks of the procedure. At Wolf Eye Associates Dr. Wolf performs between 15-30 cataract surgeries per week, and as such, he is the most experienced cataract surgeon in Maine. The Wolf Eye Ambulatory Surgery Center is the only such facility in Central Maine, and patients having cataract surgery performed at the Eye Ambulatory Surgery Center can avoid the inconvenience of hospital based surgery with pre-op lab testing, inconvenient scheduling, and prolonged waiting in the hospital until its you turn for surgery. Additionally the co-pay at Wolf Eye Associates is less than half of what the hospital charges. At Wolf Eye Surgery Center the average time from arrival until discharge is only 90 minutes.
A cataract is a clouding of the focusing lens within the eye (see diagram) which occurs usually due to aging. More often than not it involves both eyes. Patients with cataracts complain of glare with night driving, difficulties reading and watching T.V., and generally feel that the glasses are just not right because vision is not clear. Treatment of cataracts involves removing the cloudy lens and replacing it with a clear plastic lens which will focus light on the film (retina) at the back of the eye to restore clear useful vision. Glasses are required after cataract surgery to sharpen the image for best clarity.
At Wolf Eye Associates should you be found at examination to need cataract surgery all arrangements for the procedure can be conveniently made right at the time of your exam. There is no need to return for special testing or to meet with anesthesia personnel on a different day.
When you return for your surgery no intravenous sedation (no needle in the arm) is typically required. Instead, a sedative pill will be taken 1 hour prior to your arrival time. The actual operation is also performed without any needles whatsoever since Dr. Wolf uses an anesthetic jelly spread over the eye to make it completely numb before surgery. The incision, performed under an operating microscope, is so small that no stitches are typically required, and this generally results in a quite comfortable eye after surgery. The operation itself takes about 15 minutes to perform (20,000 cataracts ago when Dr. Wolf performed his first procedure it took over two hours to complete!)
Following the procedure you may return home in about 20 minutes. A clear plastic shield is worn for the first day over the operated eye as a reminder to keep hands away to prevent infection. It is then worn just while sleeping for the first week after surgery. You may be up and about, and routine daily activities are generally not curtailed. You should not drive a car, however, until given the OK by the doctor. If your second eye is to have surgery it will typically be performed 1 week after the first eye. Two weeks later eye glasses will be prescribed, and the vast majority of patients will then see well again.
At Wolf Eye Associates Ambulatory Surgery Center we take extra care to insure that your operation is anxiety free, comfortable, and very successful. "There was nothing to it" is a phrase heard over and over by satisfied patients on the day after surgery during their post operative check up. We expect you'll say the same should you require our services!