Cataract

Eyecare MPLS: Stella Hennen, MD, MSPH -  - Ophthalmologist

Eyecare MPLS: Stella Hennen, MD, MSPH

Ophthalmologist & Glaucoma Specialist located in Uptown, Minneapolis, MN

About 1 in 6 Americans over 40 has a cataract today, and they’re even more common as you age. If you don’t remove cataracts, they can lead to vision loss. But, with high-tech laser or standard cataract surgery at Eyecare MPLS in Minneapolis, Minnesota, you can see clearly again. Skilled cataract surgeon Stella Hennen, MD, MSPH, performs all types of advanced cataract removal surgery and places new intraocular implants to help you see just as well (or better) than before. Call the office or use the online booking tool to schedule your consultation.

Cataract

What are cataracts?

A cataract is a cloudy lens in the eyeball. The eyeball (like a camera or a smartphone) has a lens which focuses external light into the eye. When the lens becomes cloudy, it is called a “cataract.” Cataracts commonly develop in older adults as natural proteins inside the eye lens break down. It can be compared to a fried egg. If you don’t remove a cataract through surgery, it can lead to vision problems, including blurriness and potentially even blindness.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

Cataracts usually cause no symptoms until they’re quite developed. When your symptoms appear, they may include:

  • Blurry or cloudy vision
  • Yellowish tint to everything you see
  • Double vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Needing increased light to see
  • Poor night vision
  • Difficulties with driving or reading

If you experience any of these symptoms, arrange a comprehensive eye exam at Eyecare MPLS as soon as possible.

What is the best treatment for cataracts?

If Dr. Hennen diagnoses cataracts during your eye exam, she may recommend some lifestyle changes to slow down their development, if they’re not as yet causing problems. This can include wearing sunglasses whenever you go outside, and adding a UV coating to your regular eyeglasses.

Even if you are able to slow down cataract development, you’ll need removal if you start to have cataract symptoms. Dr. Hennen offers both standard and laser cataract surgery to remove and replace your natural eye lens.

Traditional cataract surgery

In traditional cataract surgery, Dr. Hennen makes a tiny incision in your cornea, and uses it to access your eye's lens capsule behind your pupil. She makes a small opening in the lens capsule, and then places a probe in the capsule. The probe emits ultrasonic waves that break down the lens. Then, Dr. Hennen extracts the lens particles using a gentle vacuum.

Laser cataract surgery

In laser cataract surgery, Dr. Hennen pre-treats the cataract with laser. This allows for a decreased amount of ultrasound energy used for its removal.

After both traditional and laser cataract surgery, Dr. Hennen replaces your lens with an artificial one, called an “intraocular lens” (IOL).

What kind of implants are used for cataract surgery?

Dr. Hennen uses two types of intraocular lenses: standard and premium. Regardless of the implant you choose, your vision will improve following cataract surgery.

Standard intraocular lens:

You can get a standard IOL that corrects vision at one distance: either driving or reading. A majority of patients prefer to have clear vision for driving and use reading glasses following cataract surgery. This implant is covered by insurance.

Premium intraocular lens:

At an additional out-of-pocket cost, you can get a premium IOL that corrects near, intermediate, and distance vision.

It is important to remember that the premium IOL decreases (but does not eliminate) the need for glasses, and is regarded a luxury item. Therefore, it is not covered by your insurance.

What are the complications of cataract surgery?

Complications may include:

  • Rupture of the posterior capsule that holds the cataract inside the eye. The cataract may fall inside the eyeball, necessitating a second procedure to remove it all together
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Retinal detachment
  • Increased eye pressure
  • Cystoid macular edema or CME. In this case the central part of the retina (a film that lines the back of the eye) can become swollen and cause blurry vision. It resolves with steroid and anti-inflammatory eye drops. Sometime these medications are injected around or inside the eye to allow for faster resolution.

 

 

Though these complications are possible, they are nevertheless rare. Overall, cataract surgery is a very safe and successful procedure to improve your vision.

Does cataract come back after the surgery?

No, once a cataract is removed, it doesn’t come back. Sometimes a scar tissue forms on the capsule that holds the intraocular lens in place. It is called “posterior capsule opacification” or PCO. It can make vision blurry like a cataract.

How do you treat PCO?

Dr. Hennen uses a laser to remove PCO in the office. The procedure is called “YAG capsulotomy,” it is painless and takes about 1-2 minutes to perform. There are no restrictions following this procedure.

What are the side effects of YAG capsulotomy?

The side effects include:

  • Blurry vision, which resolves within 2 hours
  • Inflammation
  • Retinal detachment
  • Increased eye pressure

Though these complications are possible, they are nevertheless rare. Overall, cataract surgery is a very safe and successful procedure to improve your vision..

If you are having blurry or cloudy vision because of cataracts, reach out to Eyecare MPLS to find out how you can regain clear vision again. Call the office or book an appointment online today.

Disclaimer: This information is not comprehensive to cover all your ophthalmology needs. Call the office to book an appointment to discuss your condition with Dr. Hennen.

612-470-9871 Book Online