Cataract Surgery

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. For people who have cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses is a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Clouded vision caused by cataracts can make it more difficult to read, drive a car (especially at night), or see the expresion on a friend’s face. 

Most cataracts develop slowly and don’t disturb your eyesight early on. But with time, cataracts will eventually interfere with your vision. 

At first, stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help you deal with cataracts. But if impaired vision intereferes with your usual activities, you might need cataract surgery. Fortunately, cataract surgery is generally safe, effective procedure. 

How do you remove a Cataract?

Cataracts are removed in an outpatient surgical procedure. Numbing medicine is given using eyedrops as well as an anesthesia that allows the patient to be aware, but deeply relaxed and comfortable. 

After the cataract is removed, a manmade lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL), is placed into the eye to restore the focusing power of the old lens (cataract). This helps improve your vision. Depending on the power of the IOL and the type implanted, glasses may not be needed after surgery. 

The surgery typically lasts about 15 minutes. One eye is done at a time, meaning you will return generally 1-2 weeks later for the removal of the second eye cataract, if needed. 



What to Expect in Your Catract Surgery Consultation

During your consultation, our staff will gather information about any medical history or eye conditions you may have. We will also ask you about how your vision impacts your lifestyle to help us guide you into the lens option that will be the best choice for you. 

As the doctor gets to know about you and your specific needs, it allows for an opportunity for you to ask more specific questions about the procedure, consider any choices such as the type of lens that’s implanted in place of the cloudy natural one that’s removed, and become familiar with things you need to do to prepare for surgery and recover well afterwards. 

Testing You Can Expect During Consultation Visit

Typically, these tests and reviews are performed during your consultation: 

Medical History Review: Checking your health both specific to your eye and your overall health before surgery. 

Visual Acuity Test: Reading the chart of letters, or an equivalent test.

Slit-Lamp Exam: Illuminated exam of your eye’s structures such as the cornea, iris, lens, and space between the iris and cornea. 

Retinal Exam: A dilated exam that includes examination of your eye’s lens, which in the case of cataracts will be cloudy. 

Tonometry Testing: A check of your internal eye pressure. 

Intraocular Lens (IOL) Options


There are various types of replacement lenses available. These are called intraocular lenses (IOLs) – like a standard lens, they also replace your natural lens in the eye, but are generally considered an elected “upgrade” from standard lenses. 

Below are a list of the lenses we offer at West Virginia Eye Consultants. Please note that not all lens options are medically appropriate for each patient. This is the importance of discussing your options with your ophthalmologist at the consultation, to help decide which option is best for you! 


A standard implant is a monofocal lens that will replace your natural lens at the time of cataract surgery, correcting your vision at one focal distance. With a standard implant, it is very possible that glasses will still be required at a full time or part time basis. A standard implant is generally covered by insurance, however, if you are seeking to reduce dependence from glasses or contact lenses, there may be additional options that are available to you that are not covered by insurance. 

-> Traditional lens

-> Does not correct astigmatism

-> Corrects vision at one distance only (typically distance vision)

-> Does not correct near vision

-> Requires glasses full-time after surgery

-> Covered by insurance


Toric implants correct astigmatism, which will help you see clearly far away without the need for glasses, however, Toric implants do not correct near vision. Typically, this means that we expect you to need over-the-counter reading glasses for your “up and close” and “fine detail” vision. In rare cases, a toric implant can rotate or the eye may heal in a way that we did not anticipate. If this occurs, an additional procedure may be necessary to achieve your expected result. 

-> Toric lens

-> Corrects astigmatism

-> Does not correct near vision

-> Requires reading glasses after surgery

-> Not covered by insurance


Multifocal implants are designed to reduce your need for glasses for both distance and near vision. This is one of the best options we have available to reduce your need for glasses, but the implants are not perfet. We expect your vision to be clear for distance vision (driving, watching TV, etc.) while also being able to comfortably see some small print such as graphics and images on a cell phone or tablet. Multifocal implants are not for everyone and do have some disadvantages. We expect that you will still need over the counter reading glasses for some situations such as fine print on medicine bottles, phone books, and in low lighting conditions such as in restaurants. You will also notice rings and halos around lights at night. These rings are not typically visible during the day and improve slowly over the first year but will always be present to some extent.  Patients who choose a multifocal implant may also notice a small loss of contrast sensitivity and experience a reduced image quality. About one percent of patients have persistent night vision complaints, occasionally requiring an exchange of the lens. If this is something you feel that you cannot overcome with time and adjustment, this implant option may not be the best fit for you. 

-> Multifocal and extended depth of focus lens

-> May correct astigmatism

-> Good option to reduce need for glasses for all distances

-> Requires reading glasses after surgery in certain conditions

-> WIll see rings and halos around light

-> Not covered by insurance


The light adjustable lens is the only fully customizeable lens option and the only implant that can be adjusted AFTER your cataract surgery. This may reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses becuase the focusing power of the lens can be adjusted. After surgery, your surgeon can apply UV light to the lens in order to refine and tailor your final vision result. The UV light is delivered by your surgeon during a short, in-office procedure. The number of light adjustment treatments you receive will be determined by your doctor, however you can expect a minumum of 2-4 treatments. When you and your doctor are satisfied, you will receive a final light treatment to “lock-in” your vision. YOu are also required to wear protective eyewear full-time immediately after your surgery until 24 hours after your “lock-in” treatment. 

-> Customizeble outcome for best vision at your chosen distance

-> Additional testing and measurements required

-> Less likely to require glasses post surgery

-> Extensive post-operative care and visits required

-> UV protective eyewear for initial post-op required

-> Not covered by insurance


Questions prior to your visit?

If you have any questions that we may answer for you prior to your appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us! You may reach us at: 

Phone: (304) – 343 – 3937 (option 4 for surgery)

Email: rescue@wv-eye.com

Are you a Candidate for Cataract Removal? Schedule a Consultation today!