Dr. Choi performs the latest in Laser Cataract Surgery

As a board certified ophthalmologist and world-class ocular surgeon, Dr. Young H. Choi in Birmingham provides refractive surgery for patients with cataracts offered in a comfortable “boutique” atmosphere. Dr. Choi is an innovator in the field of eye surgery and armed with the cutting-edge technology, he gives hope to those living with the cloudy vision that comes from with this debilitating condition. Find out more about cataracts and how Dr. Choi can help.

Refractive Cataract SurgeryWhy settle?

What are cataracts?

Put simply, a cataract is much like fog on a mirror or window. For most people, eye lenses lose flexibility and transparency as they grow older. In some case, a lens actually begins to break down and tissue starts to clump together on the surface – this is a cataract. Over time, the cataract may thicken and grow wide enough to make it impossible for light to pass through to the lens.

Cataracts can appear in one or both eyes. They may even fall under different categories, so vision might change more in one eye than the other.

What is refractive cataract surgery?

Refractive cataract surgery is a blending of traditional techniques with the more modern refractive procedure. With both traditional and laser cataract surgery, the typical goal is to replace the clouded lens with an artificial one, called an intraocular lens, to improve vision. Refractive surgery, however, is much cleaner and precise – requiring fewer patients to wear corrective lenses after the procedure. There is a 100 percent chance you will need glasses for both near and far vision with old-school cataract surgery.

What can I expect from cataract surgery?

The surgery is done as an outpatient procedure and should only take about an hour or less. The doctor will give you a local anesthetic to numb your eye and may recommend a sedative to help you relax, but remain awake. After making a laser incision, Dr. Choi will determine if it is possible to just remove the cataract with the laser or if you need a replacement lens.

After the surgery, colors and lights will seem brighter, because you are no longer looking through a cloudy, tinted lens. As part of your cataract surgery recovery, you should notice an improvement in your overall vision within a few days.

The doctor will want to check your progress a day or two after the surgery and then again in a week and a month later. You will likely wear an eye patch or shield for a day or two and may need drops to promote healing.

Are there any risks with refractive cataract surgery?

There are risks with any type of surgical procedure but fewer with the refractive technique. Complications are uncommon but might include inflammation, lens displacement, infection, a second cataract and glaucoma.

How common are floaters after surgery?

This is a common complaint, in part, because vision improves after the procedure, so you see what you were missing before. They should disappear, or become less apparent, over time. If you have any questions or concerns, though, talk to the doctor.

How does standard cataract surgery differ from “refractive” cataract surgery?

With traditional cataract surgery, there is almost a 100% chance a patient will need glasses for both distance and near.  However, in refractive cataract surgery, our goal is to minimize dependence on glasses.  We simply strive for better outcome.

Is refractive cataract surgery covered by insurance?

Basic cataract surgery is covered by insurance.  However, a patient may choose to upgrade from basic cataract surgery, which would not be covered and considered elective.  Examples of non-covered upgrades are: astigmatism correction, premium lenses, additional testing and laser cataract surgery. 

Why does refractive cataract surgery require additional testing?

In order to achieve better accuracy, more testing is required.

What is astigmatism management?

Astigmatism blurs vision.  With basic cataract surgery, this is corrected with glasses.  Astigmatism management aims to remove or reduce astigmatism at the time of surgery with either diamond blade cuts (called limbal relaxing incision) and/or toric implant.

What are premium lenses?

They are three categories of premium lenses: toric, multi-focal, and accommodative.  Again, premium lenses are NOT covered by insurance.

Premium Lens OptionsWhat are my options?

Toric Lens

A toric implant corrects astigmatism, which blurs vision.    Most patients have astigmatism.  Neutralizing astigmatism improves the overall vision.

Blended Vision

With blended vision, one eye is set for distance and the other eye is set for intermediate vision.  This increases the range of vision providing spectacle-freedom in most cases.  For the best outcome, astigmatism needs to be corrected when performing blended vision.

Multi-focal Lens

Unlike blended vision, a multi-focal implant allows each eye to see both distance and near.  This allows a patient to maintain binocular vision (ie both eyes are doing the same thing). 

What if I want to get rid of reading glasses?

There are two main options: blended vision and multi-focal implant. 

Why is it important that your cataract surgeon also perform LASIK?

Refractive, Cataract Surgery requires more precision.  Sometimes LASIK surgery enhancement may be needed to fully benefit from premium lenses. 

Real Results From Real People...

See our reviews
I kept weighing the price of the surgery with the cost of my contact lenses and thought I was saving money. When I finally had laser correction surgery done I could see things I had never even noticed before. Not only did my vision improve but my life improved as well.

My only regret is that I wish I had done it sooner, I think of all
of these things I may have missed over the years.
Cynthia San Francisco, CA