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Cataract Surgery

The surgeons at Vance Thompson Vision perform traditional and advanced cataract surgery using the latest technology. Our doctors seek the highest levels of training, which means when you choose one of them, your vision is in skilled hands.

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Is Cataract Surgery for You?

When you have cataracts, the glare of oncoming headlights can be blinding. Colors fade. Uneven surfaces become difficult to navigate. And reading is no longer an enjoyable activity.

A natural part of aging, cataracts — like many aspects of getting older — diminish vision gradually. After their vision has been restored, many patients are astounded by how much clarity they’d lost.

At Vance Thompson Vision, we believe even one day is too many to live with cloudy vision. If your daily activities are affected by cataracts, it’s time to schedule your consultation.

Cataract Checklist

Cataract Surgery Options

There are two types of cataract surgery — traditional and advanced. Both types require removing your cloudy natural lens and replacing it with a new, clear lens implant.

Thanks to technological advancements, there are several implant options to choose from if you have advanced cataract surgery. Selecting the best one for you relies on your answer to this question: after surgery, do you want to do a lot with glasses or contacts or do you want to do a lot without them? Cataract surgery not only clears your cloudy vision, but can also restore some of the visual quality and reading range of your younger years.

In addition, our team can identify and address dry eye disease prior to your surgery. If you have it, treatment will prepare your cornea and improve your surgical outcomes.

Your surgeon will help you select the best lens for your goals, and our friendly, professional team will work hard to make your surgery a positive experience with minimal stress and discomfort. Schedule your consultation today.

Advanced Cataract Surgery

Advanced cataract surgery — also known as laser or refractive cataract surgery — uses advanced technology and lens implants. This approach gives surgeons even more control and precision during your surgery when they replace your cloudy lens with a new, clear one.

Patients who want to reduce their dependence on glasses and contact lenses often choose advanced cataract surgery because it offers premium lens options that can recover vision loss due to age and improve overall visual quality.

Vance Thompson Vision participated in the clinical trials that developed the technologies used for advanced cataract surgery and continues to lead research to advance the field. Because of that, our surgeons are well-equipped to provide advanced diagnostics and care before, during, and after your surgery.

Procedure Time 15 minutes per eye
Recovery 1-2 days
Initial Follow-up 1 day

Traditional Cataract Surgery

Traditional cataract surgery manually replaces your cloudy lens with a clear new lens that focuses at one distance.

This is called a monofocal or “single vision” lens implant. Before your surgery, we will discuss whether you want that one focal point to be distance, intermediate (looking at your tablet screen), or near (reading a book). After your focal point is selected, we select the best lens for your needs.

Patients who choose this option will likely require prescription trifocal glasses to help them achieve their best vision after surgery.

Procedure Time 15 minutes (eyes must be done at least one day apart)
Recovery 1-2 days
Initial Follow-up 1 day

Why Vance Thompson Vision?

As a world leader in advanced eye care, there isn’t much the Vance Thompson Vision team hasn’t accomplished in surgical eye care and vision correction. We use the most advanced technology, and our professional standards have been adopted across the globe.

Comprehensive Refractive Center

As a comprehensive refractive center, Vance Thompson Vision has the expertise, tools, and facility required to correct an array of vision problems. This is an especially important feature for patients who select a premium lens as we have the lasers required to provide a fine-tune after surgery if it’s needed to dial in your vision.

Same Day Surgery

Most often referred to as our See and Do Cataract Program, we offer an expedited process in which patients are seen for their consultation in the morning and have surgery on one eye in the afternoon. In some cases, they return the next day for surgery on their other eye. This program has steadily grown in popularity, particularly for our patients who travel from out of town

Partnering With Your Local Optometrist

Following surgery, patients will be seen for a series of follow-up appointments to ensure healing is on track and your vision is improving as expected. These visits can be done at Vance Thompson Vision or at your local optometrist’s office. Whichever you choose, our team will schedule your aftercare appointments with your chosen provider on your behalf.

“I just can’t say enough good things about Vance Thompson Vision! Everybody was so courteous, and I am very pleased with the care I received.”

Rumi Weigel, cataract patient

See Their Stories

Bill’s Cataract Story

Keri’s Cataract Story

Karl’s Cataract Story

Jim’s Cataract Story

Randall’s Cataract Story

Ray’s Cataract Story

Leroy’s Cataract Story

Cindy’s Cataract Story

Gary’s Cataract Story

Candace’s Cataract Story

Marla’s Cataract Story

What To Expect

The first step to cataract surgery is a consultation during which extensive testing and measurements will be performed on your eyes. The doctor will also meet with you to discuss how you plan to use your vision after your surgery. From that discussion and your test results, your surgeon will help you select the best options for you.

Surgery is an outpatient procedure performed in three steps:

  1. Microscopic incisions are made in your eye. These allow a tiny instrument to be inserted.
  2. Ultrasonic waves are used to break the cloudy lens into small pieces. These are suctioned away.
  3. The new, clear lens is inserted.

Generally, the procedure lasts about 15 minutes. Patients are kept comfortable for about an hour after their surgery to ensure it was a success and to allow the sedative to wear off before they are released into the care of a family member or friend.

Patients should expect their eye to feel scratchy and their vision to be slightly blurred immediately after surgery. This is normal and will gradually improve with each passing hour.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens in your eye. Light enters the eye as usual, but the clouded lens disperses the light, resulting in hazy, blurred vision.

Once begun, cataracts only worsen. And because they do, replacing your cloudy natural lens with a new one is the only known treatment. Cataracts tend to develop slowly as you age so surgery may not be immediately necessary, but when your ability to read, drive, or carry out other normal activities is hindered in any way, it’s time to schedule your consultation at Vance Thompson Vision.

How much does cataract surgery cost in 2022?

The cost of cataract surgery varies depending on which surgery you choose — traditional or advanced — and which lens you and your doctor decide is right for you. The final cost can also be affected by your insurance coverage. Our knowledgeable patient counselors will walk you through the financial aspects of surgery to determine the best options for your lifestyle and budget.

Does Medicare cover cataract removal surgery?

Usually, as long as your doctor determines it’s medically necessary, Medicare covers 80% of the cost for traditional cataract surgery with a monofocal intraocular lens (IOL). Patients are responsible for covering their deductible and co-pays.

The good news is that if you prefer advanced cataract surgery and a premium lens implant, insurance will still likely cover a portion of those fees. There will be additional costs for the advanced diagnostics, specialized implant, and global after-care. All your options and any out-of-pocket fees will be discussed at your pre-surgery appointment.

Does insurance cover cataract surgery?

Usually, as long as your doctor determines it’s medically necessary, private insurance covers a portion of the cost for cataract surgery. Coverage varies by plan so it’s important to consult your insurance provider for details about your specific plan. Patients are responsible for covering their deductible and co-pays.

If you prefer advanced cataract surgery and a premium lens implant, insurance will still likely cover a portion of those fees. There will be additional costs for the advanced diagnostics, specialized implant, and global after-care. All your options and any out of pocket fees will be discussed at your pre-surgery appointment.

What is the difference between traditional and advanced cataract removal surgery?

In short, the difference is the technology used. Vance Thompson Vision uses the highest level of technology available for all surgeries; however, advanced cataract surgery utilizes the latest technology for the best outcomes. It also offers premium lenses that can minimize your dependence on glasses after surgery.

With traditional cataract surgery, patients select a monofocal lens that is set for one distance — near, intermediate, or far — and will need to wear glasses.

How long does cataract surgery take?

This varies by patient; however, in general, the procedure lasts 15 minutes. Patients are kept comfortable for about an hour after their surgery to ensure it was a success and to allow the sedative to wear off before they are released into the care of a family member or friend.

Does insurance cover premium lenses?

Due to the sophisticated design of premium lenses, they are usually not fully covered by your insurance and will often carry an additional fee.

The good news is that if you’d like to reduce your dependence on glasses following cataract surgery with refractive cataract surgery and a premium lens implant, insurance will still likely cover a portion of those fees. All your options and any out-of-pocket fees will be discussed at your consultation appointment.

What if I need cataracts removed from both eyes?

At Vance Thompson Vision, we tirelessly work to ensure patients have the best experience available for cataract surgery. Our See and Do Cataract Surgery Program is designed to make cataract surgery more convenient than ever. This program allows cataract patients to be evaluated by a surgeon in the morning, have their first eye surgery that afternoon, and in some cases, have their second surgery performed the next day.

How long will my visit last?

Even though your procedure itself may only take 15-20 minutes, your full visit to Vance Thompson Vision may take 2 hours or more. Please factor in the time it takes to check-in, receive pre-surgery preparation and medication, and ensure your surgery was a success after your procedure is complete.

Can I get cataracts again?

No. During cataract surgery, your entire natural lens is removed and replaced with a new, clear one that cannot become clouded like your natural one.

What if I experience cloudy vision after cataract surgery?

Sometimes patients do experience cloudy vision after cataract surgery. This isn’t a new cataract, but a clouding of the posterior capsule, the microscopic bag that holds your new lens in place.

When this happens, your doctor may recommend a YAG laser treatment to quickly and easily restore clear vision.

Will I be awake during cataract surgery?

Yes. Your care team will give you a mild sedative to keep you comfortable during the procedure. An anesthetist is also present in the event additional sedation is needed.

What are the restrictions after cataract surgery?

During the week following your surgery, you should not lift more than 20 pounds, avoid getting water in your eyes, and wear no makeup.

Do I have to go to my optometrist before scheduling an appointment at Vance Thompson Vision?

We encourage patients to consult their primary care optometrists first as they can diagnose a cataract, but it is not required before scheduling with Vance Thompson Vision.

Still have questions?

Cataract questions? Call us! Our representatives can answer many common questions, and when they can’t, they’ll put you in touch with a team member who can. If you’re ready, they can also schedule your cataract consultation.

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