Surgical Co-Management is the practice of delegating specific responsibilities in patient care to designated physicians. At WestCoast Doctors of Optometry, we offer Co-Management in three main types of eye surgery: Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), LASIK, and cataract surgery. Both PRK and LASIK deal with refraction issues, like myopia, hyperopia, andastigmatism, while cataract surgery deals with the clouding of the lens of your eye.
LASIK is a laser-assisted surgery in which a small incision is made allowing an opening into the epithelium. Then an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea. This process allows light to better focus on your retina at the back of your eye.
Pros: Quick Recovery, no stitches, fewer follow up appointments or medications, high rate of success
Cons: Not viable for people with high risk of eye injury, greater chance of dry eye, greater risk of poor night vision
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is similar to LASIK as this surgery involves using a laser to shape the cornea. However, in PRK, no flap is made. A part of the top layer of the cornea is removed called the epithelium, then an excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea.
Pros: Long history of success, small chance of long-term complications, High success rate
Cons: Long recovery time (30 days), requires bandages, more discomfort (lasts several weeks)
Normally, the lens of your eye is clear, unless in the case of a cataract, which causes the lens to get cloudy. This clouding of the lens can cause blurry vision and increased glare from light. In most cases, the lens of your eye is replaced with an artificial lens.
Why should I get cataract surgery?
As mentioned above, the clouding caused by a cataract may make it harder for you to carry out daily activities like driving or watching television. Cataracts may also make it harder for eye doctors to examine the back of your eye to monitor or treat any other conditions. Cataract surgery is a very common and safe procedure and doesn’t involve a stay at the hospital.
Complications are uncommon and can be treated quickly. They include inflammation, infection, bleeding, swelling, drooping eyelid, dislocation of the artificial lens, retinal detachment, glaucoma, secondary cataract, and loss of vision. Pre-existing eye conditions can increase the risk of complications.
Post-Surgery Follow Up:
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home right after the surgery is done. No stay at a hospital is necessary. Recovery lasts between a few weeks to two months, as your eyes need time to adjust to the artificial lens. While your ophthalmologist provides resources to help you deal with pain and protect your eyes, we do periodic visits with you to check that your eye is healing properly. During visits we also check for any side effects that may occur. Our post-cataract surgery services are based around communication and working together with your surgeon/ophthalmologist to find the best course of treatment for any eye conditions you may develop.