What to Expect
At California Eye Associates, we understand that the idea of having cataract surgery can be a bit overwhelming…and a bit scary. Dr. Stephen H. Johnson and his 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. Johnson’s special area of expertise since completing extra fellowship training in this type of surgery in 1979. He has performed many thousands of cataract procedures in Newport Beach, so you can rest assured you are in good experienced hands.
Prior to surgery, you will have a complete eye exam performed by Dr. Johnson himself. 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. Johnson 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. He 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.
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. Johnson 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. He will then meet you when you arrive in the operating room and make sure you are comfortable before any surgery begins.
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. Johnson 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. Johnson will discuss timing with you before you set a date.
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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 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. Johnson. He 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.