Refractive Cataract Surgery Near Birmingham, AL

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What is Refractive Cataract Surgery?

Refractive cataract surgery is a common procedure that utilizes a process known as phacoemulsification (or phaco) to remove cataracts and improve refractive errors. Phaco is able to break up the clouded lens (cataract) so that we can then replace this damaged lens with a premium, artificial one or intraocular lens (IOL) to restore vision. An IOL is designed to correct refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and age-related vision loss. By utilizing traditional techniques and modern IOLs, patients are less likely to need contacts or glasses after their surgery. At Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center in Vestavia Hills, AL, board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Young H. Choi is pleased to offer cutting-edge refractive cataract surgery to his patients. If you live near Birmingham, AL, we invite you to call our office to learn more about refractive cataract surgery.

What are the benefits of refractive cataract surgery?

When cataracts are giving you trouble with your vision, refractive cataract surgery at Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center can often be a helpful solution. This procedure is not only able to solve the problem of cataracts, but offers a number of other benefits as well for our patients in Birmingham, AL. Some of these advantages include:

  • Achieve clear, unassisted vision
  • Reduce halos and glares with night vision
  • Feel more comfortable driving at night
  • Return to normal, everyday activities with ease and confidence

Who is a good candidate for Refractive cataract surgery?

Ideal candidates for refractive cataract surgery are those who have been diagnosed with mild to severe cataracts and wish to correct common refractive errors. This surgery is often recommended to patients who are over the age of 40 and want to decrease their dependency on glasses and/or contacts. During your initial consultation at Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center, Dr. Choi will help you choose which IOL will be best for you, depending on your visual acuity, overall ocular health, and personal preferences.

How is Refractive cataract surgery performed?

Refractive cataract surgery is considered a premium procedure as it uses state-of-the-art IOLs instead of generic IOLs that are used in traditional cataract surgery. It is performed as an outpatient procedure on-site at our Class-A accredited facility and generally takes about an hour to complete. Dr. Choi will apply a local anesthetic to numb your eye(s) and may offer a mild sedative to help keep you calm and relaxed. Dr. Choi will then use ultrasonic waves to break up the cataract and remove it from the eye. Once this is complete, an intraocular lens (IOL) will be inserted.

what Should I Expect Following Cataract Surgery?

After your surgery near Birmingham, AL, you may experience some mild discomfort and sensitivity to light, but these sensations are normal and will dissipate as your eyes heal and adjust to your new visual acuity. Our office will also provide detailed care instructions to follow at home to ensure optimal healing. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled 1 – 2 days after your procedure so Dr. Choi can check on your progress. We will also want to see you after about one week and then again a month after your surgery to ensure your eyes are healing properly and to test your visual acuity.

Premium Lens Options

Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center offers the following premium, intraocular lenses (IOLs):

  • Toric: These IOLs are designed to correct astigmatism, as well as nearsightedness or farsightedness. These implants have different focusing powers with special markers on the lens to enable precise correction of astigmatism that exists in the lens of the eye. 
  • Multifocal: These implants focus light in more than one point, which means that patients are able to see objects at multiple distances – near, intermediate, and far. These IOLs provide binocular vision so that both eyes are able to focus at the same power simultaneously.
  • Monofocal/Blended Vision Implants: These IOLs correct distance vision in one eye and near vision in the other. This allows patients to see objects both afar and near. Most patients are able to adjust quite well to this method, but Dr. Choi may recommend that patients try monovision with contacts first before moving forward with surgery.
  • Trifocal: These are the latest generation of lenses that offer improved vision at intermediate distances in addition to near and far vision. This allows patients to see with ease at all distances, which wasn't possible before with traditional IOLs.
  • Trifocal Toric: These lenses help focus incoming light onto the retina to reduce or eliminate severe astigmatism. They also provide a full range of visual acuity and reduce the risk of unwanted light sensations, such as halos, flashes, and glares.
  • ???????Light Adjustable Lens: This is the only lens that allows the prescription power of the lens to be adjusted after surgery. A special UV light is used to reshape the the shape, and therefore power, of the lens. This can be done up to three times after surgery before it is locked it. Take your desired vision for a test drive and make changes if you are not satisfied. Dr. Choi is the only surgeon in central AL to offer this lens.

Is Refractive cataract surgery covered by insurance?

Since refractive cataract surgery is considered a high-end, elective procedure, it is traditionally not covered by insurance. Most insurance plans provide full or partial coverage if patients opt for conventional cataract surgery. During your initial consultation, we can provide an estimate of your costs so you can plan accordingly. Our office also offers CareCredit to help make your treatment more affordable.

Refractive Cataract Surgery FAQ

What is a cataract?
Your eye’s lens is normally clear. A cataract is the clouding of the lens in your eye, making it more difficult to focus on objects. It traditionally develops slowly over time and can cause blurred vision, makes colors look muted, or makes your vision hazy. Cataracts can safely be removed with refractive cataract surgery.

Is it better to have cataract surgery early?
If you have been told you have cataracts and they are affecting your vision, you should have them removed. If cataracts are left unaddressed and untreated, your vision may worsen and could lead to blindness. At M.D. Eye Surgery Center, we can safely and effectively remove cataracts and correct refractive errors in one simple surgery.

Can cataract surgery correct refractive errors?
Yes, whether you’re nearsighted or farsighted, refractive cataract surgery can improve refractive errors for clearer vision, often without the need for glasses or contacts. You can always talk to Dr. Choi to learn more about refractive cataract surgery and what it can do to improve your overall vision.

Which lens is better, monofocal or multifocal?
According to a study published in PubMed, researchers found that multifocal IOLs, compared to monofocal IOLs, resulted in overall better uncorrected near vision and greater spectacle independence. However, there were more unwanted visual phenomena, such as halos and glare. During your exam, Dr. Choi can talk to you about lens options and which ones are right for you.

How is phacoemulsification different from traditional cataract surgery?
Traditional cataract surgery often involves a larger incision to remove the lens in one piece. Phacoemulsification, however, uses a smaller incision and ultrasonic energy to break the lens into smaller pieces for easier removal. This generally leads to quicker healing and a lower risk of complications.

Will I need glasses after phacoemulsification?
While phacoemulsification often results in significant vision improvement, some people may still need reading glasses or glasses for distance vision. The requirement for glasses will depend on the type of intraocular lens implanted and other individual factors.

premium eye care

If you are over the age of 40 and are suffering from cataracts in addition to poor vision, we invite you to call Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center in Vestavia Hills, AL, near Birmingham. Our boutique facility offers premium ocular care to restore your eye health safely and effectively. Learn more about refractive cataract surgery today and the other specialty procedures we offer by scheduling a private consultation with seasoned ophthalmologist Dr. Young H. Choi.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.