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Cataract Surgery

Cataract Surgery

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Cataract Surgery Singapore Doctor Eye Specialist Lee Hung Ming Eye Centre

Treats cataract, myopia/hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia in the same surgery.

Do I have Cataracts?

Cataracts arise due to the natural aging of the eye. “In Singapore, the percentage of elderly patients affected by cataracts is about 78.6%. The number of people affected by cataracts also increases as they get older (It affects 63.6% of people between 60 and 64 years, and 94.6% of people 75 years and older.)”*

Common cataract symptoms include the following:

– Blurring of near and distant vision
– Seeing glares, especially in dimly lit areas
– Colours becoming more dull or less vibrant
– Sensitivity to light
– Frequent changes in glasses prescription

*Source: Ho T, Law NM, Goh LG, Yoong T. Eye diseases in the elderly in Singapore. Singapore Med J 1997; 38:149-55

When should I go for surgery?

Many of the symptoms of cataract adversely affect vision. We would recommend cataract surgery when a cataract begins to affect one’s quality of life.

The Cataract Surgery Process

A cataract surgery is a 2-step process that takes around 15 minutes.
During the first step, ultrasound or lasers are used to break down and remove the cataract.
In the second step, an intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted. IOLs can help to correct myopia/hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia.

Comparatively, cataract removal is one of the safest and most effective surgical procedures.

Am I a suitable candidate for a Cataract surgery?

People with systemic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart diseases are usually suitable to undergo a cataract surgery. However, it is important to inform the surgeon of the medications that the patient is taking as certain medications may affect the surgery.

In addition, people who have undergone previous eye surgeries (LASIK, retinal detachment, glaucoma treatment, eyelid surgeries) are usually also suitable. Still, the patient should inform the doctor of all pre-existing eye conditions during the initial consultation session.

Types of Cataract Treatments

The older methods of cataract removal are Extracapsular Cataract Extraction (ECCE) and Intracapsular Cataract Extraction (ICCE).

In contrast, the new Phacoemulsification with Intraocular Lens Implantation has become a popular choice for surgeons. This is due to faster healing and less incidences of complications. In this process, the corneal incision can be made as small as 2.2-1.8mm which will heal without any stitching.

Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery (FLACS) has become available in recent years. New technology offers an enhanced level of accuracy and predictability, making the procedure even safer with visual outcomes to match patient needs.

Your surgeon will advise you on the suitable cataract treatment according to your eye condition.

The video above shows the Phacoemulsification with Intraocular Lens Implantation method of cataract surgery

Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)

Intraocular Lenses(IOLs) are artificial lenses that are implanted inside the eye to replace the eye’s natural lens that was removed during cataract surgery. IOLs are medical implants that can help to correct myopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia (lao hua).

There are a variety of different brands and types of IOLs in the market. At Lee Hung Ming Eye Centre, we believe in offering patients a wide variety of IOLs from different brands. We carry a wide range of IOLs from established brands such as Alcon, Zeiss, and Johnson & Johnson Vision.

Given the wide variety available, choosing an can be a daunting process for patients. Dr Lee believes in mutual discussion and detailed consultations. After all, we only have one pair of eyes. At our eye centre, we go the extra mile to help patients understand the benefits and drawbacks of each lens, so that they make a suitable choice according to their lifestyles. If you have any questions regarding IOLs, please feel free to contact us.

Introcular Lenses (IOL) can be classified into four broad categories:

Monofocal IOLs

Lens with one focal point. Some patients may require glasses for certain activities. Provides comparatively sharper vision.

Suitable for people who:
– Are particular about visual clarity
– Are particular about glares & halos (eg. for night driving)
– Require sharp near vision (reading, art & craft, sewing, etc.)

Multifocal, trifocal, and extended range of vision IOLs are suitable for people who want the freedom to do daily activities without the need for glasses

Multifocal IOLs

Lens with two focal points – near and far. Generally, patients will not require reading glasses after surgery. Possible side effects include halos & glares, and loss of contrast.

Trifocal IOLs

Lens with three focal points – near, intermediate and far. Generally, patients will not require reading glasses after surgery. Possible side effects include halos & glares, but less than multifocal IOLs.

Extended Range of Vision IOLs

Lens with two focal points – intermediate and far. Generally, patients will not require reading glasses after surgery. Possible side effects include halos & glares, but less than multifocal & trifocal IOLs.

The Cataract Process

Cataract First Visit
  • Firstly, patients will undergo a series of eye tests to detect the presence and severity of cataracts.
  • Subsequently, if treatment is required, patients will undergo further tests (cataract workout).
Cataract Workout
  • Blood pressure & electrocardiogram (ECG) tests will be conducted before surgery.
  • Dr Lee will discuss the IOL options with patients according to their requirements and lifestyles.
  • Surgery slots are available on Mon – Fri mornings.
Cataract Surgery
  • This day surgery takes around 15-20 minutes per eye.
  • Patients are free to go home after 3-4 hours’ rest.
  • Most patients are back to their normal activities the very next day.

Medisave & Insurance

Cataract surgery is a medical procedure that is claimable via Medisave for up to $2,450 per eye. Most insurance policies also cover for cataract surgery. Your insurance agent will able to provide you more details regarding claimability and reimbursement amount.

Any Questions? Want to Book an Appointment?

* Online bookings are subject to confirmation by our staff and slot availability. Please wait for our response before coming down to the clinic.

What are the possible side effects and complications of Cataract?

Most notably, cataract surgeries can potentially be 95-99% successful under the hands of a competent and experienced surgeon. However, some rare occurrences of complications are cystoid macular oedema, bleeding at the back of the eye, posterior capsule rupture, endophthalmitis, retinal detachment and glaucoma.

Incidentally, a cataract surgery may not be able to eyes with pre-existing diseases to perfect (6/6) vision.Some examples of these eye diseases are macular degeneration, retinal hole, glaucoma, corneal scarring and ambylopia. That is, a cataract surgery only removes the clouded lens. That being said, the irreversible damage initially done by the preexisting disease will not be rectified. Nevertheless, a cataract surgery can still improve vision, just not to 6/6.

Morever, about 30% of patients may develop a posterior capsular opacity (PCO) after a cataract surgery. As such, PCOs are also called secondary cataracts. A PCO may appear after a month or after many years following the surgery.However, some cataract patients enjoy clear vision for many years without encountering a PCO.

It is important to note that a cataract does not grow again after an initial cataract surgery.

PCO causes hazy vision with occasional glare effects. It occurs due to protein deposition on the posterior surface of the capsular bag which contains the intraocular lens. As a result, clarity of vision can is reduced. However, PCOs can be easily removed via a YAG-laser capsulotomy. This laser needs to be applied for only one session and is rather quick and painless.

Alternative Treatments

Currently, there are no alternative treatments that can cause a cataract to disappear once it has formed. It is important to note that neither diet nor lasers can make a cataract go away.