The Eye Institute of West Florida is the premiere cataract eye care facility of Pinellas County. Using the latest techniques, proven innovations and physicians trained by some of the most well respected medical facilities in the world, our state-of-the-art facility is able to achieve the best results possible for our patients. If you seek a Tampa cataract surgery expert, please feel free to call us anytime.
What is a cataract?
A cataract is the clouding of the eyes natural lens. While cataracts can develop at any age, for most of us cataracts are a normal part of growing older. In addition to age - smoking, diabetes, past eye infections, injuries or surgery, some medications (such as steroids) and exposure to the sun's ultraviolet light have been shown to increase the risk of developing cataracts. Symptoms are usually subtle at first. But as a cataract becomes "ripened" it yellows in color making it harder to see through and colors, once vivid, become dull. You may also experience blurred vision, difficulty reading, glare, halos around lights (especially at night), and frequent changes in your eye glass prescription. Night driving can become increasingly difficult and dangerous. Many people describe the cataract sensation as looking through wax paper.
Have you been told you have a cataract?
If you are seeking a Tampa Bay area cataract surgeon, the doctors at The Eye Institute of West Florida provide some of the nations top experienced surgeons. Our surgery center is designed specifically for cataract surgery and is dual accredited for the highest quality care possible. Please continue reading below to learn about what happens during the cataract surgical procedure.
THE CATARACT SURGERY PROCESS
What to expect
After your personal cataract consultation with one of our experts, your personal surgical counselors will make all the arrangements for your surgery and answer any additional questions you may have regarding the surgical process. Next you will undergo several tests and measurements that will allow your doctor to select the right lens implant to your individual needs. A physical exam by a physician assistant will complete the pre-surgical care.
Day of cataract surgery?
Once you arrive at the ambulatory surgery center, your eye will be numbed with anesthetic eye drops. We will lie you down on a comfortable, movable bed where you will be given medication to help you relax. Your eye will be dilated and you will be brought in to an operating room where a painless incision of less than 2mm will be made in the clear cornea of the eye by your surgeon or a laser.
Once the incision is made, the cataract is broken into microscopic particles using ultrasonic waves and then gently removed from the eye (phaecoemulsification process). Then the lens selected especially for you is implanted to replace the natural lens. If you have an astigmatism (irregularity in the shape of the eye) it too can be treated during surgery to insure better vision without glasses. The incision is usually self-sealing so that no stitches are needed. There is generally no pain and no patch and you can return home immediately.
The next day your surgeon will check your operative eye. Then it's back to living life and doing all the things you enjoy - from playing golf, swimming or driving - without restriction and with reduced dependence on glasses
You will need to avoid rubbing or pressing on your eye. It's normal to feel itching and mild discomfort for a couple of days after surgery. You may use soft tissue or cotton balls to gently clean your eyelids. Your doctor will prescribe medications to prevent infection and control eye pressure. After a couple of days, all discomfort should disappear. Often, complete healing occurs within eight weeks.DETERMINING YOUR CATARACT LENS IMPLANT
An important part of your pre-operative process will involve choosing a lens implant that is right for your personal lifestyle. Some people do more reading or have hobbies that involve near vision tasks as others may enjoy driving or traveling who demand better quality distant vision. Then there are people who seek a full range of vision with the least dependency on glasses or contacts. For these reasons, Implants are divided into 2 main categories:
B. Multifocal (Premium Lens Implants)
Monofocal is a lens that is specifically designed for one range of vision, either distant or up close. Your surgeon will help you obtain the clearest vision possible to suit your vision needs. With monofocal lenses, glasses or contacts may be needed after surgery. Also, should you have astigmatism, glasses will be needed to correct it unless the astigmatism is corrected at the time of surgery.
Monovision is a selection of lenses that allow one eye to see up close and the other eye to see at a distance. This coordination of lenses allows the brain to focus clearly on objects close up, as well as far away. Monovision is not for everyone and works well for patients who previous used monovision contacts.
Multifocal lenses offer the latest in innovative premium IOLs available. These lenses are designed to give patients natural vision and the most freedom from glasses after cataract surgery. Premium lenses are available in two types, multifocal or accommodating. Multifocal IOLs use a ring pattern design much like trifocal glasses, to provide vision at every range of distance. Accommodating IOls use the natural muscles of the eye allowing the lens to flex inside the eye so patients see well at a distance and mid range, as well as for some up close tasks. Multifocal and accommodating lens implants are premium lens implants that provide vision at all ranges without the need for glasses all the time.
Should you be a candidate for a multifocal or premium lens implant, our physicians will talk to you about lens options that match your lifestyle.
Dr. Robert Weinstock ushers in new technology that optimizes OR efficiency through a greater field of surgical view using a stereoscopic high-definition visualization system. Click here to learn more.
Our physicians helped pioneer the modern cataract procedure - the bimanual microincisional technique. Where other ophthalmologists are beginning to learn this new technique, our physicians have been successfully performing thousands of these types of surgeries for years. Using the microincisional technique is safer and patients are able to see more clearly, sooner, with less pain and return to their normal activities much sooner. The incision is so small it does not require a suture, and has less risk for infection and other complications.
Many advances in the field of ophthalmology have occurred over the last five years. Newer intraocular lens implant options, equipment and technology provide safer procedures with astonishingly clearer visual results. At The Eye Institute we embrace these advances and take pride knowing that our patients will receive the best care possible. For example, bladeless laser cataract surgery offers predictable computer level accuracy for clearer vision outcomes. For years the femtosecond technology has been used in the LASIK procedures to sharpen the vision of more youthful eyes. Now our experienced physicians use the same technology to safely remove cataracts and correct astigmatism for vision that is clear and sharp. Also the Optiwave Refractive Analysis (ORA) by WaveTec Vision delivers real-time analysis of lens power, lens position, and astigmatism correction during cataract surgery that optimizes results and minimizes the need for further refinement. We are one of 5 institutions in the country with this technology. Furthermore, the new 3-D HD visualization system is a heads up digital flat panel display in 3-D that provides our surgeons with the most ergonomically, uncompromising operating room efficiencies, and is the only one available in the Tampa Bay area. Because our physicians helped in their development, we were first to use many of these newer innovations before they were made available in the general market. This means that patients have treatment available to them that they cannot get anywhere else.
The skill to perform precious cataract procedures comes from years of training and dedication. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained refractive cataract specialists have attended some of the most prestigious medical training facilities in the world and have brought those skills to Pinellas County. Many of our physicians have patents or pending patents on innovative equipment and procedural techniques of their own design. But most notably, as so many of our patients have stated, it is the care and attention of our physicians that is most remarkable.
Every fall and winter season The Eye Institute hosts many educational seminars on eye diseases and disorders, giving the public an opportunity to participate by asking questions and, at times, receive complimentary screenings. Our refractive cataract specialists host an amazing seminar in 3-D. Using special glasses, viewers get to see a real live demonstration of the cataract procedure. After the presentation, guests can ask the doctor and patient questions they have regarding our laser cataract procedure and the latest lens implant options. Please visit the seminar calendar section of our site for the most up to date schedule.
“The next day, as they put the eye chart on the wall and asked could I see anything, I broke down and cried as for the first time in longer then I could remember I could see the ”E” and five lines below it. I would like to state if anyone has any apprehensions about the cataract procedures, please feel assured that the Staff of the Eye Institute will make it a good experience for you.
Thank you all very much for all your understanding and care. And, I can never thank you enough for giving me back my sight!!” -A.W.
Meet Your Cataract Care Specialists
Stephen M Weinstock, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a cataract and LASIK specialist. He founded The Eye Institute of West Florida in 1974, pioneering sub-specialty eye care in Pinellas County. Today, as President and Medical Director, Dr. Weinstock is recognized as a world renowned cataract and LASIK surgeon. He teaches the latest techniques such as “no-stitch, no-patch” cataract extraction and implantation of premium intraocular lenses (IOLs), here and abroad. Dr. Weinstock is also very proud of being the first ophthalmologist to introduce the excimer and YAG lasers to Pinellas County.
In 1999 for his outstanding performance as a refractive surgeon, Dr. Weinstock was honored with the “VISX Star Surgeon” award and placed in the top 5% of refractive surgeons nationwide. He is one of the only surgeons in the country who has been certified by the American Board of Eye Surgery in both Cataract and LASIK surgery. Dr. Weinstock is also an associate clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of South Florida.
Robert J. Weinstock, M.D. is a board-certified ophthalmologist and is fellowship-trained in cataract and refractive surgery. He became interested in ophthalmology at an early age - as he watched and assisted his father. Dr. Weinstock has joined the practice in 2001 after completing his residency at the St. Louis University School of Medicine.
He is the Director of Cataract and Refractive Services at the Eye Institute of West Florida and The Weinstock Laser Eye Center. He also is an associate clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of South Florida, and serves as the Surgical Director of the Largo Ambulatory Surgery Center. He was named one of 250 in Permier Surgeon's List of Leading Innovators of 2010 for his contributions to cataract surgery and premium IOLs. In addition to performing thousands of vision correcting cataract and LASIK procedures each year, Dr. Weinstock speaks and teaches nationally and internationally on customized cataract surgery and surgical innovations. He is continuously engaged in clinical research and studies to evaluate new technology, many of which are sanctioned by the FDA. He is recognized internationally as an expert on new implant technology and microincisional surgical techniques. He has authored many book chapters on cataract surgery and continues to write journal articles on cataract and refractive surgery.
Neel R. Desai, M.D. is a fellowship-trained ophthalmologist strictly specializing in LASIK, cataract and corneal diseases of the eye. Dr. Desai is a top graduate of the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and completed his fellowship in cornea, cataract and refractive surgery at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University. He is recognized throughout the country and internationally as one of only 100 surgeons able to perform advanced corneal transplants and other complex cataract, corneal and refractive procedures. He holds pending patents to new surgical products and advanced cornea surgical procedures of his own design. Additionally, Dr. Desai has authored many book chapters in his field of study and continues to write articles in peer review journals.