Cataract Surgery in Toronto

A cataract, or clouding of the lens, is a normal side effect of the aging process. When the clouding becomes so bad that it impairs vision and hampers a person's ability to perform everyday activities, such as driving or reading, surgery is recommended.

Cataracts may develop at any age, although they most commonly occur in elderly adults. Many believe the leading cause of cataracts to be related to chronic ultraviolet light exposure from the sun. Less common causes of cataracts include the use of steroid medication, trauma and heredity.

Dr. Raymond Stein and the experienced Toronto cataract surgeons of Bochner Eye Institute perform cataract surgery using the most advanced microsurgical techniques. Patients now have a choice between traditional cataract surgery and bladeless laser cataract surgery.

Bochner Eye Institute is the first ophthalmology practice in Canada to perform laser cataract surgery and one of the first in North America to offer surgery with the Catalys™ precision laser system. This technology represents what many in the ophthalmic community consider to be the most significant advance in cataract surgery over the past 25 years.

Patients can undergo cataract surgery at the Bochner Eye Institute (40 Prince Arthur Avenue, Toronto) or Scarborough Hospital (Grace Site). The Bochner Eye Institute is the only government-approved independent facility in Ontario devoted exclusively to eye surgery. Learn more about cataract surgery at our Toronto, Ontario practice by exploring the information below.

What tests are necessary prior to cataract surgery?

Determination of the Power of the Intraocular Lens

Intraocular lenses are used during cataract surgery to replace the natural lens that has become clouded. The correct power of the intraocular lens to be implanted must be determined beforehand. Tests are performed to measure the curvature of the front of the eye and length of the eye. This information is entered into a computer formula to calculate the power of the lens. There are two options to obtaining this measurement:

  • Ultrasound Technique
    This is the original technique and covered by OHIP. Anesthetic drops are instilled into the eye and a probe touches the surface of the eye. Although the outcomes can be satisfactory, this measurement is not as accurate as the IOL Master.
  • IOL Master
    This is the most sophisticated technique for determining the power of the intraocular lens needed. Drops are not required and nothing touches the eye. The results are more predictable which results in thinner glasses following surgery. This technique is not covered by OHIP and costs $140 per eye. Usually both eyes are measured at the same time.
Medical Evaluation

A medical evaluation is performed by your family doctor or an internist to make sure you are fit for surgery. Your blood pressure, heart and lungs will be checked. Blood tests and a cardiogram may be ordered.

How is traditional cataract surgery performed?

  1. Anesthetic drops are placed into the eye.
  2. Your eye and lids are cleaned with a disinfectant solution.
  3. A paper drape, with a small opening for the eye, is placed over your head and body.
  4. A small speculum is used to keep your eyelids from closing.
  5. A micro-incision with a hand-held blade is made in the cornea.
  6. A circular opening is made by hand in the anterior portion of the cataract.
  7. An ultrasonic probe that vibrates rapidly (40,000 times per minute) is used to liquefy the cataract.
  8. An aspirating device is used to remove the contents of the cataract. A thin membrane referred to as the capsular bag is left intact.
  9. An intraocular lens is folded and inserted through the micro-incision into the capsular bag.
  10. An antibiotic is placed into the eye to prevent infection.
  11. You are brought to the recovery room where you will rest before being discharged.

What are my post-operative instructions?

Following your cataract surgery procedure at our Toronto practice, your cataract surgeon will provide you with thorough post-operative instructions to ensure a safe and speedy recovery. You will be given a protective eye shield to be worn at bedtime for five nights, as well as antibiotic and steroid eye drops to be used for three weeks. It is important to avoid getting water in the eyes for the first two weeks following surgery. Most Toronto cataract surgery patients are able to return to their normal activities within a few days of the procedure. If necessary, a new glass lens will be prescribed three weeks after surgery.

What are the potential complications of cataract surgery?

More than 99 percent of Bochner Eye Institute's Toronto cataract surgery patients do not experience any postoperative complications. Despite every effort to provide the best outcome, complications may occur. These can include:

  • Infection in the eye (1 in 10,000). This requires emergency surgery and additional antibiotic therapy.
  • Swelling of the back of the eye (1 in 1,000). This can be resolved with eye drops.
  • Inability to remove the cataract with one operation (1 in 1,000). A second operation is required
  • Retinal detachment is more common in patients that are highly nearsighted. This occurs in 1 of 1,000 eyes. Surgery is required to reattach the retina.

In addition to being some of the leading Toronto cataract surgeons, Dr. Raymond Stein & Dr. Albert Cheskes' surgical team also helps patients seeking LASIK, PRK, implantable contact lenses and treatment for keratoconus.

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