Cataract Surgery San Antonio: A Comprehensive Guide

Cataract Surgery is the most common medical procedure performed in the United States, yet many patients don't even know they have cataracts until they visit their eye doctor. Cataracts grow gradually and it is part of the normal aging process, but many patients don't even know what type of cataract surgery is best or what lens is best for them. At LASIK San Antonio, we want to make sure we answer these questions for you and discuss how our state-of-the-art cataract surgery can transform your sight and enhance your quality of life, potentially in just one day.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the types of cataract surgery, choosing the best lens, the surgery process, costs and financing, common concerns, and the improved vision and quality of life you can expect after a successful procedure. Let’s dive in and discover how cataract surgery with LASIK San Antonio can help you see the world with clarity.

Understanding Cataract Surgery in San Antonio

performing Cataract Surgery in San Antonio

As we age, it’s natural for our eye’s natural lens to undergo aging changes and become cloudy, resulting in a cataract. Cataracts happen to everyone if they live to be wise enough. When cataracts start to impede your vision, it’s time to consider cataract removal surgery. Cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy natural lens and replacing it with a new lens, known as an intraocular lens (IOL). This procedure will not only remove the cataract that cause blurred, dim, or double vision, but it also can correct astigmatism and eliminate the need for reading glasses.

Types of Cataract Surgery

Laser Cataract Surgery

There are two primary types of cataract surgery: laser cataract surgery and basic manual. Laser cataract surgery uses advanced laser technology, such as the femtosecond laser, to break down the cataract, create an opening where the lens will be vacuumed out, and makes relaxing marks on the cornea to correct the astigmatism. Yes! We can actually correct astigmatism at the time of laser cataract surgery. Laser cataract surgery offers a more accurate procedure to correct astigmatism and provides patients with a quicker recovery time compared to basic manual cataract surgery.

Basic Manual Cataract Surgery

Basic manual cataract surgery involves:

  • Manual incisions using precision diamond blades

  • Ultrasound to break up the cataract

  • Suction to remove the cataract in a procedure known as phacoemulsification

Although basic manual cataract surgery has a longer recuperation period and patients must wear glasses afterward, since we will not be correcting the astigmatism, it remains an effective option for patients.

The Cataract Surgery Process: What to Expect

The Cataract Surgery Process

The cataract surgery process involves three main steps: preparation, the surgery itself, and post-operative care and recovery. In addition to the exam, there are pre-operative questions and paperwork done ahead of time for the surgery center and for the anesthesia team.

Preparing for Cataract Surgery

Undergoing a thorough eye examination and cataract consultation is a vital part of the preparation for cataract surgery. A comprehensive exam is involved, which includes:

  • A number of diagnostic tests, such as biometry, corneal tomography, and optical coherence tomography

  • Examination of the front and back part of the eye.

  • Formulation of a treatment plan and choosing the best intraocular lens tailored to your needs.

Further, arrangements must be made with the surgery center for scheduling. Cataract surgery can be done at the hospital, in an ambulatory surgery center, or sometimes even in an office.

Additionally, you will receive pre-operative instructions before your surgery. Most likely you will not be able to eat after midnight on the day of the procedure and you will need to stay out of your contact lenses. Adhering to these instructions will help ensure a successful procedure and minimize potential complications during your cataract surgery.

The Day of Surgery

On the day of your cataract surgery, the procedure typically takes around 15 minutes, with a total of two to four hours at the surgical facility. Most of this time is spent filling out paperwork and waiting for the maximum amount of dilation.

  • Topical, Oral, or even IV Anesthesia can be used

  • The laser is the first step in laser cataract surgery. The lens is softened, a capsulotomy is made, and the astigmatism is corrected.

  • Then the softened cataract is vacuumed out

  • A new intraocular lens is implanted to replace the cloudy cataract lens.

After the surgery, your ophthalmologist will place an eye shield over your eye to protect it during the initial healing process. Although the procedure is generally painless, you may experience some potential early side effects, such as foggy vision, tearing, grittiness, ocular pressure, and redness. While most patients are typically surprised by the lack of pain during the procedure, these other bothersome side effects are typically temporary and should subside within a few days of using your postoperative eye drops.

Post-Operative Care and Recovery

It is vital to avoid water, sweat, makeup, and any rubbing of the eye in the early post-operative period. Often times we get asked, "Can I drive the next day?" And as long as you feel comfortable with your vision, it is ok to drive yourself into your post-operative appointment. You can use sunglasses if you would like after surgery, but rest assured, the lenses we use have UV protection in them, so it's not necessary. It's very important to come to your post-operative visits, typically occurring at 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month.

As your vision improves, you will begin to experience the numerous benefits of enhanced vision, including enhanced color perception and depending on which lens was chosen, potentially a greater range of vision. So now to one of the most important questions.... which is the best lens for cataract surgery?

Intraocular Lens Options for Cataract Surgery

Intraocular Lens Options for Cataract Surgery

In your cataract consultation, the intraocular lens options available for your cataract surgery will be discussed. These options include a basic monofocal, an extended depth of focus lens, and a trifocal or a multifocal intraocular lens. All of these lenses, especially when combined with the laser, have the ability to correct astigmatism as well.

Monofocal lenses offer clear vision at a single distance, typically for distance vision in far away objects. These patients will need glasses for anything within arms reach. The extended depth of focus lenses help for far distances and intermediate distances, such as your dashboard. The patients will still need glasses for up close activities. For the best range of vision, patients choose the trifocal lens. The trifocal lens helps with distance, intermediate, and near vision. Typically patients only have to wear glasses for really tiny font when reading, or if there isn't enough light.

The light adjustable lens is a monfocal lens with a little bit of extended depth of focus build into the lens. This lens is unique in that after cataract surgery you can actually change the power of the lens. This helps correct any minor over- or under corrections that may occur after surgery. We typially see this is patients with a history of RK, PRK, or even after LASIK. Sometimes patients are unsure if they want to do monovision or if they want both eyes for distance. This lens can help with these unique patients.

The lens we think is best for you is going to depend on what your goals are after cataract surgery and the overall health of your eye. Once we do our exam, then we will be ready to discuss lens solutions.

Addressing Common Concerns About Cataract Surgery

eye doctor with patient

Typically patients are concerned about pain and the healing time after cataract surgery. Now with laser cataract surgery, the healing time is minimal. 50 years ago patiens had to be in the hospital for days after cataract surgery. Now, we have had many patients go back to work the next day... just depending of their profession. If you are on the US national power lighting team, then you might have to wait a week or two to go back to work. Rest assured, cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure, with a low risk of complications. If we see anything that could increase this, then we will make sure to talk about this at the consultation.

Life After Cataract Surgery: Improved Vision and Quality of Life

woman after surgery
Improved Vision and Quality of Life

Life after cataract surgery often involves:

  • Improved vision and quality of life

  • Greater ease and clarity in daily activities

  • Approximately 90% of patients experience an enhancement in vision post-surgery

  • Noticeable improvements within a few days

The benefits of improved vision can be life-changing, especially for those who have experienced blurry vision and blurred vision. We have heard from many patients who have had laser cataract surgery that say being able to wake up and see with the astigmatism corrected is life-changing. There are not very many procedures where patients can end up better than where they were going into surgery. Cataract surgery is one of them. Our favorite lines from patients after surgery are "I've been wearing glasses for 60 years and now I don't need them" or "What am I suppose to do with my 50 pairs of readers" or "Wow! Colors are so much more vivid and I didn't even know I had a problem."


Don’t let cataracts dim the beauty of the world around you. Embrace the opportunity to regain your clear vision and rediscover vibrant colors, sharp details, and breathtaking sights that have been waiting for you. The world is calling – it’s time to see it with newfound clarity. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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Kerrville, TX, 78028