Will Cataracts Return After Refractive Cataract Surgery?

doctor looking in man's eye

When you’re experiencing blurry vision, it’s important to schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center near Birmingham, AL. Recognizing signs of cataracts is important when you want to protect your eye health. When left untreated, cataracts can cause vision loss. Dr. Young H. Choi offers different eye surgeries, including SMILE® cataract eye surgery, which helps improve his patient’s vision.

Signs of cataracts

Cataracts occur when you experience a change in the proteins of the lens in your eyes. These proteins make your vision cloudy and prevent light from passing through properly.

Some common signs of cataracts in Birmingham, AL include:

  • Blurry, cloudy, or dim vision

  • Double vision

  • Frequent changes in your prescription

  • Glares or halos around lights

  • Light sensitivity

Dr. Choi can examine and diagnose you with cataracts during an eye exam at our office near Birmingham, AL.

What is SMILE eye surgery?

SMILE stands for small incision lenticule extraction. This specialized procedure uses Zeiss VisuMax® femtosecond laser technology to correct refractive errors, including nearsightedness and astigmatism. This cataract eye surgery is only performed by a handful of specialists, including Dr. Choi, who is the only board-certified ophthalmologist to offer SMILE in Alabama. This surgery reshapes the cornea to improve refractive errors and remove any dependence on eyeglasses or contacts. It’s similar to LASIK surgery; however, it’s less invasive as it doesn’t require a flap in the cornea to reshape the eye. During SMILE, only a small incision is needed, which reduces any common risks associated with laser vision correction.

Who is a good candidate for SMILE eye surgery?

To determine if you are a good candidate for SMILE, you must have a thorough consultation with Dr. Choi. At Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center, we can confirm whether you are eligible for this eye surgery. Candidates should be over the age of 22 and have not experienced any changes in their visual acuity within the past year. For patients with unstable vision or who have severe astigmatism or certain eye conditions, this surgery isn’t recommended.

How is SMILE eye surgery performed?

SMILE takes about 10 – 15 minutes to perform at our Vestavia Hills, AL office. First, your eye is numbed, and a special ocular holder with a suction ring is used to keep your eye stable and to prevent you from blinking. Next, we use the VisuMax laser to create a small circular disc in your cornea. This tissue is then removed via a small keyhole incision.

Cataract surgery recovery

While SMILE is considered an outpatient procedure, you will need someone to drive you home as your vision will be blurry for the first 24 hours. Once you get home, we recommend that you rest your eyes. Most of our patients can resume activities after about a week of recovery. During your initial recovery, it's normal to experience inflammation or halos and glares. Dr. Choi will schedule several follow-up visits to keep track of your progress at his Birmingham, AL area office.

Can cataracts grow back?

No, your cataracts cannot grow back. However, some patients may experience some blurry vision after their cataract surgery. This is because the natural capsule that is left may become cloudy. This can be corrected with a visit to our office.

Learn how to treat cataracts effectively

Dr. Young H. Choi is the only board-certified ophthalmologist in Alabama to offer the Zeiss VisuMax femtosecond laser to his patients throughout Birmingham, AL. When you want to improve your vision with a less invasive option than LASIK, SMILE is a great choice. Call Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center in Vestavia Hills, AL to schedule an appointment to see if SMILE is right for your eye health.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.