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 your turn for surgery. 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, difficulty 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 typically are required after cataract surgery to "fine tune" the focusing, although some patients may be happy with their distant vision without glasses.
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 is squirted under your tongue and it is absorbed into your system making you quite relaxed. (In fact, this technique was first proposed by Dr. Wolf and published nationally). 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 (18,000 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 only for the first day over the operated eye as a reminder to
keep one’s hands away to prevent infection. 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
At the 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!
The Latest and Greatest In Cataract Surgery!
A major advance in cataract surgery offered at Wolf Eye Associates for the past several years is the Crystalens procedure. Conventional cataract surgery (explained above) using the standard clear plastic replacement lens within the eye restores clear vision following surgery. In most cases glasses are needed to sharpen vision because the rigid plastic lens can not change shape and focus at different distances. The Crystalens , however, represents a giant leap forward in technology because this soft and very flexible lens actually changes shape and focuses at near and far. The Crystalens offers the potential of eyeglass free vision following cataract surgery. It’s not a fountain of youth, but it’s as close as we can currently come to turning back time following cataract surgery.
Should you require cataract surgery, Wolf Eye Associates will evaluate your suitability for this exciting leap forward in technology. Whether you undergo conventional cataract surgery or the new Crystalens procedure, we at Wolf Eye Associates will do our utmost to insure you achieve great vision following your procedure (conventional surgery with glasses, Crystalens without).