Cataract Patients Now Have Choices!

Happy couple with foreheads touching

Up until a short time ago, individuals who were diagnosed with cataracts had surgery and at best achieved good distance vision following their surgery. Because the intraocular lenses available only corrected distance vision and could not correct an astigmatism or near vision, patients were often required to wear glasses following their surgery.

Advanced technology now allows cataract patients to choose what type of intraocular lens is best for them. Those individuals who wore glasses for an astigmatism can now select a Toric Intraocular Lens. For the first time in their lives they will be able to see well at a distance without glasses or contacts.

Not all patients are candidates for these new high technology lenses. After careful examination, your doctor will suggest which lens he feels is right for you. Although patients will receive the standard Medicare reimbursement for cataract surgery when they select one of these premium lenses, there is an additional fee that is not covered by insurance.

If you have been diagnosed with cataracts, be sure and ask your doctor at your next visit if either of these new innovative lenses are right for you.

Cataracts – The Most Successful Surgery Available

People don’t have to live with vision loss because of cataracts. Through new technological advances, cataract surgery today is faster, more effective and more comfortable for the patient. Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States. More than 20 million Americans over the age of 40 have cataracts, and more than two million people have cataract surgery each year in the United States. Over 95 percent of cataract surgeries are performed without complications and result in a significant improvement in vision.

When should you schedule surgery?
If cataracts limit your daily activities, such as reading, driving or watching television, speak with your doctor about scheduling surgery. Changing your glasses prescription will not improve your vision. Surgically removing the cataract and inserting a clear artificial lens is the only treatment for restoring clear vision.

Does My Insurance Pay for the Procedure?
Cataracts are considered a medical condition. For this reason, most health insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid, will cover their portion of the surgery for the doctor as well as the facility. Specific plans have limitations, such as co payments, deductibles or percentage payments.

Our insurance department will research your specific coverage before your surgery. They will discuss your coverage and notify you of any fees that you may be responsible for remitting.

Will cataract surgery improve my vision?
The success rate of cataract surgery is excellent. Improved vision is achieved in the vast majority of patients. Only a very small number of patients continue to have problems following cataract surgery.

ORA System – Guided Cataract Surgery

Eyecare Associates is pleased to offer a new lens implant measurement tool that adds an even greater degree of precision to the accuracy of lens implant placed inside your eye. Like a GPS, the ORA™ System helps your doctor navigate your unique eye during surgery. This provides your Eyecare Associates doctor with the real-time guidance they need for more satisfactory results before you leave the operating room.


There are many patient benefits to having ORA-guided cataract surgery:

  • The ORA analysis can be utilized to optimize any cataract procedure regardless of the intraocular lens implant.
  • The analysis guides your doctor in the correction of the patient’s eye to help ensure optimal outcomes.
  • If a patient has astigmatism, the ORA System may also improve the accuracy of their correction to help reduce the chance that the patient will need eyeglasses after their cataract procedure.

To learn more about cataract surgery and the new ORA System, please call 504-455-9825 to schedule your appointment.

Preparing for Surgery – What to Expect

What do I need to do before the surgery?
After your examination by one of our doctors, you will meet with one of our surgery coordinators who will thoroughly explain the procedure to you and answer any of your questions. A prescription for eye drops will also be given to you. Use these drops as directed prior to you surgery.

Will I need to see my medical doctor before the surgery?
It is necessary for you to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician for a physical examination, lab tests and any other testing required by him, prior to your surgery. A form will be provided to you for your PCP to complete. *Surgery cannot be preformed unless this form is completed by your doctor and returned to us prior to your surgery.

The Day of the Surgery – What to expect

Where is the surgery performed?
The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, at The Outpatient Eyecare Surgery Center.

When will I be notified about the time of my surgery?
You will receive a call from the surgery center staff approximately three or four days prior to your surgery. They will review your instructions, medications and answer any questions that you may have.

What should I do the morning of the surgery?
You must not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before the surgery. Do not take any medications that morning. Bring any prescription medicine that you normally take in the morning with you. One of the nurses will give it to you. You should make arrangements for someone to drive you home after the surgery.

How long will I be at The Outpatient Eyecare Surgery Center?
You will be at the center for approximately three hours. The surgery itself usually takes about twenty minutes. However, preparatory time is needed before the surgery. When the surgery is completed, your doctor will place a clear plastic shield over your eye. After a short stay in the recovery area, you will be ready to go home.

Do I need to remove my clothes?
Wear nice comfortable clothing (something that buttons or snaps to avoid pulling anything over your head) and slip on shoes or slippers with socks, as it is cold in the operating room. You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up and to put on a hospital gown once you are brought into the surgery area.

After Surgery – What to Expect

Do I have to stay I bed when I get home?
There is no need for you to remain in bed. You may feel more tired than usual because of the anesthesia, however any light activity is acceptable. Over the counter pain medicine may be used.

Are there any dietary restrictions?
You may resume your normal dietary habits after surgery.

How long do I have to wear the shield over my eye?
A clear, plastic shield is placed over your eye after the surgery is completed. Your doctor will remove it when he examines you the next day. You must continue to sleep with the shield for at least one week following your surgery.

What else do I need to do to ensure that my surgery is successful?

  • Use your eye drops as prescribed.
  • Be sure not to rub or press on your eye.
  • Avoid strenuous activity until your doctor informs you that it is acceptable.
  • Wear normal eyeglasses or an eye shield, as advised by your doctor.
  • Return for all your post operative appointments as scheduled.

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