Cataracts FAQs

What is a Cataract?
How do Cataracts affect vision?
Do I need cataract surgery?
What is involved in the Cataract Procedure?
Why use a lens implant?
Is the lens implant permanent?
Will I feel a difference with the lens implant?
Will injections or stitches be needed?
Can both eyes be done on the same day?
What about Capsular Opacities?
Patient Testimonials
Our Technological Advances


WHAT IS A CATARACT?
Contrary to what many people think, a cataract is not a growth or film over the outside surface of the eye. In fact, the cataract is the lens which has become opaque or clouded. This interferes with vision by blocking out light. It is most often due to the normal aging process. A cataract clouds vision by preventing light from passing through the lens to focus on the retina at the back of the eye. The lens of the eye works much like the lens of a camera. If the lens of your camera is dirty or fogged, then the picture taken will be hazy or blurred. A cataract causes the light focusing on the retina to be blurred in the same manner.
There are currently two methods used to remove Cataracts: The traditional Phacoemulsification and Laser assisted Cataract Surgery. We were one of the few centers back in 1996 that started doing PHACO cataract procedures under topical anesthesia.  We are currently doing nearly 2,000 cataract procedures yearly.  Our average surgical time is between 4 to 7 minutes. It may however take longer in special cases.  The procedure does not involve needles as we use only anesthetic drops to numb the eye.  We do not also patch the eye post op. Instead, we provide protective eye goggles. LARRAZABAL EYE GROUP is the FIRST and ONLY eye facility in Cebu and the rest of the Visayas and Mindanao to offer a blade free option for Cataract Surgery. For more infor on No Blade Cataract Surgery below, scroll below.

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HOW DO CATARACTS AFFECT VISION?
Shown is a normal, clear field of view as seen through the clear lens of the eye. When a cataract is present (place cursor over image), vision becomes darkened, cloudy, yellow and blurred.

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DO I NEED A SURGERY?
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure usually done at the hospital or ambulatory surgical center. The procedure uses local anesthesia in the form of eyedrops to ensure comfort. Patients are awake during the surgery. Eye patches are not required after surgery, and restrictions are minimal.

Successful cataract surgery can greatly improve the quality of life by giving people the freedom to see clearly to once again enjoy day and night time activities. Driving, reading, shopping and recreation can again become pleasurable activities.

To decide whether or not you need cataract surgery, you must first have a complete eye examination. There are several indications for cataract surgery, but rarely will a cataract need to be removed immediately or as an emergency. Because the procedure is elective, most cataract surgery can be scheduled at the individual’s convenience. Some of the more common reasons an individual chooses cataract surgery are:

  • Decreased vision - such as difficulty seeing the street signs, or problems reading fine print.
  • Foggy vision - some people report that their vision appears to have a fog or film over it.
  • Halos around lights - some people have difficulty in particular with night driving due to glare from oncoming automobile headlights.
  • Glare - problems with light sensitivity going from a darkened room to bright light.
  • Decreased ability to perform daily tasks - such problems as reading medication instructions, failure to pass a driver’s visual examination, problems seeing to play cards, bowl or play golf are common.

After consultation with your ophthalmologist, you may decide that you wish to have cataract surgery. Before your make this decision, however, you need to be informed about the health of your eyes, the risks and complications of surgery, and the alternatives as well as the potential benefits for you. You also need to know what you can reasonably expect for visual improvement following the procedure. Although millions of people have undergone safe and successful cataract surgery, complications, though rare, can and do occur. The most serious complication of eye surgery is blindness, due to infection, retinal detachment or technical problems with the surgery and your eye. You must be fully informed about the surgery and its attendant risks before making an informed decision to proceed.

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WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE CATARACT PROCEDURE?
For most patients, cataract treatment involves the placement of a synthetic lens inside the eye. Typically, this involves making a small incision in the eye, and then dissolving and removing the cataractous lens with ultrasound (often referred to as phacoemulsification). A clear, synthetic lens is then put in place. We evaluate each patient carefully. Any special treatment or instructions will be discussed prior to surgery. If you are found to have cataracts in both eyes a cataract surgery procedure will only be done usually on one eye at a time but in special cases, it can be done simultaneously 30 minutes apart.

Larrazabal Eye Group is focused on your comfort and the best possible care.

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1. A very small "No Stitch" incision is made in the side of the cornea. Such an incision promotes fast and more comfortable recovery.

2. The bag of the lens is opened and a special ultrasonic probe (phacoemulsifier) removes the cloudy lens.

3. A small foldable artificial lens is inserted through the small incision to replace the cataract lens.

4. The final replacement lens is shown in place. It is not required to suture the small "No Stitch" incision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY USE A LENS IMPLANT?
When we perform a cataract surgery, the ultrasound dissolves and removes the cataract, which is the lens. Therefore, we use a special intraocular lens or lens implant to replace the lens that was removed.

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IS THE LENS IMPLANT PERMANENT?
The lens is intended to be permanent and in most cases will not need to be removed.

WILL I FEEL A DIFFERENCE WITH THE LENS IMPLANT?
No, the lens becomes a part of you. It is as natural in appearance, comfort and durability as your natural lens had been prior to the development of the cataract.

WILL INJECTIONS OR STITCHES BE NEEDED?
The eye is desensitized without injections. We use anesthetic drops to numb the eyes. This eliminates the pain and bruising of the eye associated with injections. Because the incision is so small, it usually does not require stitches.

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CAN BOTH EYES BE DONE ON THE SAME DAY?
Yes, both eyes can be operated on the same day at times but usually it is done at least one day apart.

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WHAT ABOUT CAPSULAR OPACITIES?
A secondary cataract does not involve the lens. In patients with secondary cataracts, the clear membrane that separates the front and back of the eye has become cloudy. To restore visual clarity, an opening is made in the center of the membrane with a Yag laser. The laser dissolves the cloudiness of the membrane and allows light to pass through to the retina.

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Patient Testimonials

"I am very impressed and happy of the results of the operation. I should have done it earlier because i am now seeing things as they are."

Consul Arcadio Alegrado
Hon. Consul of Austria

"My daughter (Donna Cruz - Yrastorza Larrazabal was right! Larrzabal Eye not only removed my cataracts but made me see clearer even without my glasses!"

Renato Yrastorza
Father of singer/actress - Donna Cruz

Dr. Potenciano Larrazabal III has blessed us with his Christ guided hands in laser surgery. We now have new and clearer vision to see our life’s ambition realized!
We thank God daily for blessing us through this talented young doctor and proudly recommend him to those who have the need for eye surgery."

Felipe and Lea Pansoy
Businessman and Housewife

"Ari ta sa, the best"

Max Surban
Visayan Singer

 

There has been an explosion of technology in the field of modern cataract surgery in the past several years. Today, cataract surgery can be performed without painful injections, without sutures, without bandages, and with more rapid recovery of normal vision. This has been made possible by ultra fine microscopic instruments and new techniques.

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Our Technological Advances

LenSx® Laser assisted Cataract surgery (NO BLADE CATARACT SURGERY)

In order to maintain our status as one of the most advanced eye facility in the country, Larrazabal Eye Group has recently acquired the new Alcon LenSx - the first laser system approved by the U.S. FDA for cataract surgery. This system delivers an image guided computer precision that demonstrates an enhanced surgical ACCURACY and tremendous REPRODUCIBLITY. This has replaced many of the stepsin the cataract surgery eliminating crucial steps in which may be prone to human error. This is the first and only unit in Visayas and Mindanao and only the 4th unit is in Asia.

Using the latest laser technology, patients now have the option of choosing a BLADELESS, computer-controlled LenSx(r) Laser to perform the first 3 critical steps of cataract surgery. The LenSx(r) Laser creates precise incisions in the eye, creates a perfectly sized opening in the front of the lens and divides the cataract, all with a high precision image guided femtosecond laser. Femotosecond laser technology (where making the incision takes the tiniest fraction of a second) has already been well proven over the last 10 years in Refractive Laser Eye Surgery.

A BLADELESS procedure.

More precise incisions. It is felt this will create more reproducible results with regard to astigmatism allowing better visual results. The incision is also theoretically more robust and hence safer.

A perfectly shaped and centered lens opening possibly leading to more accurate IOL positioning and better visual results.

A gentler procedure due to less manipulation of the eye. Laser-assisted Cataract Surgery has the potential to reduce Phaco energy, fluid and time.

Traditional Cataract Surgery and Lens Implants

Bausch & Lomb Stellaris Phacoemulsification System

Bausch & Lomb Surgical, formerly Storz Instrument Company, is a leading international manufacturer and distributor of high-quality ophthalmic surgical instruments, surgical and diagnostic equipment, intraocular lens implants, and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals. Bausch & Lomb Surgical is responsible for introducing technological innovations that have delivered tremendous advances to phacoemulsification and microincision surgery worldwide.

One of the world’s best cataract surgical systems, namely the state of the art STELLARIS VISION ENHANCEMENT SYSTEM from Bausch & Lomb that is available at Cebu Doctors' University Hospital.  It is designed to make the surgery faster, safer and more accurate. It helps speed up the recovery of vision and reduce the restrictions on your activities after surgery. 
The smaller the incision, the quicker the recovery and the lesser the chances of injury and infection to the eye.


The Stellaris MICS Procedure

Earlier cataract surgery was performed by a method called extracapsular extraction, which involved longer incision of 10 mm or almost half the eye. Recovery meant a week-long hospital stay after surgery and limited physical activity for weeks or even months. Charles Kelman created phacoemulsification in the late 1960s. His goal was to remove the cataract with a smaller incision, leading to lesser pain and shorter recovery time. He discovered that the cataract could be broken up or emulsified into small pieces using an ultrasound tip. With the procedure’s success rate and shorter recovery period, over the past decades, surgeons have constantly refined phaco by continuously reducing the incision size (currently it is 2.8-3.4 mm) thereby, making it even safer and more successful.

Revolutionary Breakthrough Technology – Stellaris MICS (SMICS)

The recent breakthrough cataract treatment involves the procedure of C-MICS (Coaxial – micro incision cataract surgery) through a 1.6 mm – 1.8 mm, with the implantation of a third generation ultra thin foldable Intra ocular lens called MIL (Micro incision Intra ocular Lens.) The procedure makes use of the world’s most advanced cataract removal system called STELLARIS VISION ENHANCEMENT SYSTEM. This procedure is called Stellaris MICS.

Safe, Proven & Trusted

Stellaris MICS is nothing short of amazing. A simple surgery that is life changing! It’s speedy, painless and an all season operation. Due to the small incision, the vision recovery is almost instantaneous. With no requirements of bandaging the eye, the patient can drive back home and resume work the same day. No wonder Stellaris MICS have been honoured with Healthcare Innovation Award.

Advantages of Stellaris MICS:

  • * The advantages of Stellaris MICS over the present popular procedure of phacoemulsification is reducing the incision size by 50 percent from 2.8-3.4 mm to 1.6-1.8mm.

  • * Superior vision clarity

  • * Smaller incisions means faster healing leading to faster vision recovery & lesser incidence of infections.

  • * Smaller incision induces lesser change of original shape of eye. Hence less astigmatism and lesser requirement of post operative spectacles

  • * Enhanced quality of post operative vision with improved IOLs having advanced optics technology giving an enhanced vision contrast

  • * Faster healing means good news for diabetic patients(who have delayed wound healing tendency)

  • * Minimal restrictions post operatively(as the wound heals superfast)

  • * The patient gets back to his normal life like watching T.V, computer reading etc. Almost immediately.

  • * Less follow up visits to the surgeon

  • * The patient gets back to his normal life like watching T.V, computer reading etc. Almost immediately.


Learn more about the Stellaris PC

The Leica M844 F40


The Leica M844 F40 is the premium class surgical microscope system for ophthalmology. Optimal lighting conditions are provided by the Leica direct halogen illumination system for improved contrast and Red Reflex.

The original APO OptiChrome™ optics in conjunction with the Quad-Zoom™ zoom system guarantee optical brilliance. APO OptiChrome™, in combination with the Leica F40 floor stand, are the ideal answers to the challenges of ophthalmic microsurgery in the 21st century.

The Leica M844 F40 provides the best preconditions for safe, fatigue-free work – regardless of the physical size and posture of the user.


 

PREMIUM INTRAOCULAR LENSES

1) ACRYSOF® IQ RESTOR® Multifocal IOL- designed to allow patients to see clearly at all distances without bifocals or reading glasses. Delivers a high level of glasses-free vision for cataract patients.

A new artificial lens (intraocular lens), the ReSTOR lens received FDA approval in March of 2005 for the correction of near, intermediate and distance vision. Clinical studies showed that 80% of the patients who received the Acrysof ReStor lens did not use glasses for any acitivity after cataract surgery. 99% achieved distance visual acuity of 20/40 or better, with 88% seeing 20/25 or better. Regarding near vision, those who had the implantation in both eyes achieved 20/25 vision. This means that they could read stock quotes printed in the newspaper. And 85% achieved 20/25 vision at intermediate distance (adequate for computer work).

The ReSTOR lens provides different ranges of vision based on a lens configuration that enables a specific distribution of light in response to the size of the pupil. Most current intraocular lenses used for cataract surgery are able to restore vision only in limited distance ranges, which means patients often must use eyeglasses or other corrective lenses following surgery.

2) ACRYSOF® IQ RESTOR® Multifocal Toric lens - designed to allow patients to see clearly at all distances without bifocals or reading glasses simultaneously by delivering precise astigmatic correction, predictable outcomes and quality distance vision without glasses for cataract patients with astigmatism.  

3) ACRYSOF® IQ Aspheric Natural IOL- uses more advanced technology than traditional monofocal lenses. Result would be higher quality vision, more distinct images, finer resolution and greater capacity to recognize objects even in low- light conditions.

4) ACRYSOF® IQ Toric aspheric IOL - For patients with cataracts and pre-existing cornea astigmatism, there is the ACRYSOF® IQ Toric aspheric IOL, which corrects for both conditions simultaneously by delivering precise astigmatic correction, predictable outcomes and quality distance vision without glasses for cataract patients with astigmatism.  

Learn More about Acrysof® ReSTOR® IOL