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Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure in the United States -- more than 1.6 million procedures are performed each year.
During cataract surgery, the eye's natural lens (now clouded and causing the problems with your vision) is removed. Thus, the "cataract is extracted". However, this leaves the eye without a functioning lens! In years past, patients would either wear a thick pair of glasses or use a very high-power contact lens to make up for the absence of the natural lens. With Dr. Harold Ridley's remarkable innovation of the IntraOcular Implant (IOL) in the 1950's, a whole new world was opened! The eye could be returned to a functioning condition with fabulous vision. Despite initial opposition from the mainstream medical community (the IOL wasn't approved by the FDA until 1981!), implants are a fundamental part of any modern cataract surgery.
An IOL implant is used even in the "Cataract Mission" trips that Dr. Miller performs 2-3 times a year. These are done in the most primitive of conditions in foreign countries, but an implant is simply considered part of any cataract surgery these days.
Dr. Miller performs cataract surgery with a "No-Shot, No-Stitch, No-Patch" procedure that typically takes less than 10 minutes to perform. No shots are required because the anesthetic is a topical numbing eye-drop, which numbs the front of the eye. No stitches are needed and no patch is needed to cover the eye. For safety's sake, and for our patient's piece of mind, we'll often place a clear plastic shield over the eye if desired. As a result, our cataract patients are usually in the surgery center less than 2 hours, and stopping on the way home to have lunch!