Premium Cataracts at
California Eye Associates
When you have your cataract surgery with Dr. Katerina Kurteeva in Newport Beach, you will have a variety of options that can help you achieve your desired result. The actual removal of the cataract affected lens is only part of the cataract surgery process.
During your Cataract Consultation (or evaluation), Dr. Katerina Kurteeva and our staff will meet with you to discuss the goals you have for your vision after surgery. We will ask questions about your hobbies and lifestyle to help determine how cataract surgery might improve your quality of life.
All of this information will be combined with facts about any previous vision conditions you had before cataracts, such as presbyopia (the need for reading glasses), astigmatism, retinal problems or glaucoma.
What are Cataracts?
A cataract is the “clouding” of the natural lens of your eye that distorts your vision. As we go through life, everybody gets gray hair, wrinkles and cataracts.
Your natural eye lens is comprised of water and protein. When this lens is clear, light can pass through to the retina (the back of the eye) to produce sharp images. However, as age causes the proteins to begin to clump in the lens, the light passing through the lens will become scattered, preventing sharp images.
This protein clumping is the cataract, and it is a natural occurrence for all people. Cataracts can affect one or both eyes. They typically start mild and gradually grow cloudier, blurring more of your vision as you age. Much like your car windshield gradually becoming dirtier and harder to see through. Cataracts change the way light is focused by the natural lens and often make vision more nearsighted. This is why some people find they can now read without glasses – the “second sight” your grandmother may have spoken of. Unfortunately, what you gain for near vision, you lose for distance vision.
What to Expect During
At California Eye Associates, we understand that the idea of having cataract surgery can be a bit overwhelming…and a bit scary. Dr. Katerina Kurteeva and her team work hard to make sure you are completely informed about every step of the process. We want you to feel 100% confident in our abilities and feel comfortable in our office.
Cataract surgery has been Dr. Katerina Kurteeva’s special area of expertise. So you can rest assured you are in good experienced hands.
1. Pre-Operative Testing
Prior to surgery, you will have a complete eye exam performed by Dr. Kurteeva herself. A nurse and technician will perform additional testing which may include:
A-scan ultrasound to measure the length of the eye
IOLMaster Optical Biometry to measure the length of the eye
Keratometry to measure the power of the cornea
Topography to generate a relief map of corneal curvature to evaluate any astigmatism present
Ocular Coherence Tomography to give the status of the macula of retina in cross-sectional image
Dr. Kurteeva will meet with you personally to review your test results, discuss your vision goals and which intraocular lens options would get you closest to that goal. She will also explain the major risks and benefits of cataract surgery during your cataract consultation in our office in Newport Beach.
Your systemic health is also evaluated before surgery to make sure you are healthy enough to be in the operating room. We will give you information to take to your family doctor so that your doctor will understand what your surgery involves and can address any health issues that would impact your surgery. If you don’t have a family doctor we can recommend several for you.
2. The Cataract Surgery Itself
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure performed at an outpatient center at one of two locations:
Newport Bay Surgery Center, which is dedicated exclusively to eye surgery
Hoag Hospital Outpatient Facility, Surgicare
Once you are in the operating room, the actual operating time is only 10-20 minutes. All patients arrive before they eat breakfast and are home before lunch. We will ask that you arrive two hours prior to your cataract surgery time so we can prepare you for the procedure. Dr. Katerina Kurteeva will personally meet with you before you are taken into the operating room to make sure you are comfortable and to alleviate any anxieties you are feeling. She will then meet you when you arrive in the operating room and make sure you are comfortable before any surgery begins.
3. The Cataract Surgery Steps
An anesthesiologist will be present at all times during your surgery to keep you relaxed with some IV medication
Local anesthesia is administered so you don’t feel or see anything during surgery
Dr. Kurteeva makes a small incision in the cornea, 2.4 mm or less
The cataract lens is removed through this incision using ultrasonic phacoemulsification
The pre-determined replacement Intraocular Lens (IOL) is folded, inserted through this small incision and unfolded inside the eye
The incision is constructed to be self-closing and heals on its own
Most patients experience little or no discomfort during the procedure and can return to their normal activities the next day. If you have cataracts in both eyes, the second cataract surgery will be scheduled after the first eye has begun to heal. Many people want their second eye cataract fixed as soon as possible, but Dr. Kurteeva will discuss timing with you before you set a date.
4. Post-Operative Steps
After surgery, you must have a friend or family member drive you home because of the IV medication you received during surgery. At home most people rest for the remainder of the day. We will contact you by phone that same afternoon to make sure you are feeling comfortable. Patients rarely need medications for discomfort; most patients do not even require aspirin or Motrin for pain relief.
3 Restrictions During the Cataract Surgery Healing Period
Don’t swim in dirty water
Avoid heavy lifting (70lbs or more)
Avoid sudden jarring activities like jogging, jumping and horseback riding
The day after surgery we ask that you return to the office for a follow-up visit with Dr. Kurteeva. She will make sure you are healing properly and answer any questions you have. We ask that patients return in one month for a final post-op visit.
If you are ready to restore clear vision, please call 949-760-9007 or contact California Eye Associates in Newport Beach today to schedule a Cataract Consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does cataract surgery hurt?
You can expect to feel virtually no pain during surgery and only mild discomfort after the procedure. Patients rarely need medications for discomfort; most patients do not even require aspirin or Motrin for pain relief.
How does cataract surgery work?
You will be given a local anesthesia. The area around your eye is thoroughly cleaned and sterile coverings are placed around the eye and face. Dr. Katerina Kurteeva makes a very small incision on the cornea through which the cataract lens can be gently broken up and washed away. Your new Intraocular Lens (IOL) will be inserted through the same incision and positioned into place. The entire process only takes 10-20 minutes and you will return home soon thereafter.
What happens after cataract surgery?
You will rest in the recovery room for a short while after surgery. A friend or family member must drive you home after surgery, where you should relax for the remainder of the day. You will be given a protective eye shield and prescription eye drops to use for a few weeks following the procedure. The eye shield should be worn any time you are sleeping or napping for the first week to protect your eye and avoid disturbing its healing.
Do I have to have a cataract removed immediately?
Not all cataracts have to be removed right away unless there are special circumstances. If your cataract has not reached the stage where it is significantly impairing your vision, you may choose to live with it. However, you should schedule regular eye exams to monitor the progress of the cataract to make sure you are being proactive with your eye health.
How much does cataract surgery cost?
What are the risks of cataract surgery?
Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?
The answer to this question depends on what type of vision problems you have in addition to cataracts and what type of replacement lens you choose. Patients who choose a standard lens should expect to wear glasses after surgery.