A cataract is a clouding of human lens inside the eye, resulting in blurred vision. Cataracts generally affect individuals over the age of 50. While cataracts occur as part of the aging process, many other conditions such as trauma, diabetes, vitamin deficiency or inflammatory diseases can accelerate cataract growth. Cataract surgery is a highly successful method of improving vision with the added benefit that many patients can eliminate their need for glasses after surgery.
Cataract surgery involves removal of the cloudy lens, and replacement with an artificial lens, which is called an intraocular lens. For decades, these intraocular lenses were of a fixed focus variety, meaning that they would focus on one point in space. Reading glasses were required for near and intermediate vision with these older intraocular lenses. One of Dr. Dell’s primary areas of research is the development of intraocular lenses to eliminate the need for reading glasses. In 2001, Dr. Dell performed a series of operations using special intraocular lenses that could focus both at distance and near. This FDA-sponsored clinical research led to full FDA approval of the first of these lenses in 2003. At Dell Laser Consultants we refer to these special implant lenses as Full Focus® intraocular lenses.
Dr. Dell has personally trained hundreds of U.S. surgeons certified to use these advanced Full Focus® implant lenses, and he has lectured around the world on their use. Today, there are several varieties of these advanced intraocular lenses including the Tecnis Multifocal, Symfony, ReStor, Crystalens, Trulign, and others. We now have impant lenses that can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Our doctors will assess the best technology available for your eyes and make a specific recommendation for the best Full Focus® technology to achieve your visual goals.
Laser Cataract Surgery
Laser Cataract Surgery is a term referring to using a femtosecond laser to assist in the removal of cataracts. Dr. Dell, served as a consultant to LenSx, the original manufacturer of the first FDA-approved laser for cataract surgery. In 2010, he became the second surgeon in the United States to perform Laser Cataract Surgery. The first surgeon to use this laser was Stephen G. Slade MD in Houston, Texas. Dr. Dell spent several years working with the team that developed this laser, and educating other surgeons on this technology. In 2011, Dr. Dell served as the Program Chairman of the first major medical meeting in the United States on Laser Cataract Surgery.
Through Dr. Dell’s consulting relationships with innovative technology manufacturers, we are able to honor our commitment to provide Austin area patients with world leading technology, often years before other surgeons. Now that Laser Cataract Surgery is becoming commercially available in the US, other surgeons are beginning to adopt it. We continue working intently on bringing more accurate and efficient technology to the United States to improve the standard of care for our patients.
Frequently Asked Questions about Full Focus® Cataract Surgery
What is Full Focus® Cataract Surgery like?
Surgery to implant Full Focus® intraocular lenses is brief and virtually pain-free. Eye drops are used to anesthetize your eyes and mild sedatives are provided to help you relax. Full Focus® lens surgery takes approximately 5-10 minutes. You might feel pressure, but typically no pain.
The surgery is done with microscopic instruments and is incredibly accurate. A small corneal incision (about 1/12th of an inch wide) is used to implant the lens. Because the cornea does not have blood vessels and the incision is so small, stitches are typically not used and there is rarely any bleeding.
How quickly will my vision improve following surgery?
Your vision may be mildly blurry in the first few days following surgery. However, as your eyes heal, you will notice increasing improvements in your distance, intermediate, and near vision. The results are such that the majority of patients can pass the driver’s license vision test, and can read a newspaper without glasses.
Does insurance cover Full Focus® Cataract Surgery?
For patients with cataracts, most insurance companies will cover a large portion of the surgery. If Full Focus® lens implants are selected, an additional upgrade fee is required to obtain these premium lenses. The insurance specialists at our Austin eye center can tell you the portion of your surgery that will be covered by your insurance, as well as assist you with financing options as needed.