The Eye Institute Of West Florida

Cataract Surgery

Are you looking for Cataract Surgery in Largo, Clearwater, St. Petersburg or Tampa?

Have you been told you have a cataract? If you are seeking a Tampa Bay area cataract surgeon, trust your eyes to experience.

The Eye Institute of West Florida is a premier cataract eye care facility in Tampa Bay, with offices in Largo, South Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater. Patients receive the most technologically advanced care available in a safe and caring environment.

At The Eye Institute of West Florida, we have some of the nation’s top experienced surgeons. Our surgery center is designed specifically for cataract surgery and is accredited for the highest quality care possible. Whether this is your first consult or you are interested in a second opinion, you can trust your eyes to us.

Schedule a Cataract Evaluation

Stephen M. Weinstock, MD Cataract Specialist

Stephen M. Weinstock, M.D.

Schedule your cataract consulation with Dr. Stephen Weinstock below by calling the number below.

Robert J. Weinstock, MD Cataract Specialist

Robert J. Weinstock, M.D.

Schedule your cataract consulation with Dr. Robert Weinstock below by selecting a time at the location you want to be seen.

Neel R. Desai, MD Cataract Specialist

Neel R. Desai, M.D.

Schedule your cataract consulation with Dr. Neel Desai below by selecting a time at the location you want to be seen.

Chad D. Hummel, MD Cataract Specialist

Chad D. Hummel, M.D.

Schedule your cataract consulation with Dr. Chad Hummel below by calling the number below.

Cataract Surgery Largo, St. Pete, Clearwater, and Tampa
Cataract Surgery Largo, St. Pete, Clearwater, and Tampa

Why Choose Us

Cataract surgery is statistically the safest and most common surgery in the United States.

Since 1974 we have been achieving the best vision results possible for our patients. You can count on us to provide excellent care in a comfortable and friendly environment.

The skills of your surgeon are important

Our team of board-certified and fellowship-trained surgeons, Dr. Stephen Weinstock, Dr. Robert Weinstock and Dr. Neel Desai, are all nationally recognized for their surgical skills and expertise in the field of ophthalmology. We are proud to train other surgeons in the latest techniques.

An International Destination

People travel from all over the world to have our surgeons perform their cataract surgery. The Eye Institute of West is a leader in the country for number of cataract surgeries performed.

Like a fingerprint, every eye is unique.

We offer customized solutions to fit a patient’s needs. We take a personalized approach to your care by considering the shape and condition of your eyes and your lifestyle preferences, all with the promise of little or no dependency on glasses.

Cataract surgery is quick, easy, and painless — with almost immediate vision recovery. Schedule a Consultation today at (727) 581- 8706.

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which is normally clear. Cataracts can first appear in your 40s and 50s developing slowly over time causing vision issues in your 60s. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in the world. Even though cataracts are a normal part of the aging process, certain risk factors have been known to increase your chance of getting cataracts sooner.

What are the risk factors for cataracts?

  • Diabetes
  • Past Eye Infections
  • Eye injuries (traumatic cataracts)
  • Medications such as steroids
  • Genetic factors
  • Exposure to radiation and ultraviolet light for long periods
  • Double vision or ghost images
  • Trouble seeing and driving at night

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

  • Blurred or dulled vision day or night
  • Difficulty reading that is corrected with more light
  • Glare and light sensitivity
  • Halos around lights (especially at night)
  • Frequent changes of your eye glass or contact lens prescription
  • Double vision or ghost images
  • Trouble seeing and driving at night

Symptoms are usually subtle at first. But as a cataract matures, it yellows in color making it harder to see through. Colors, once vivid, become dull. Night driving can become increasingly difficult and dangerous. Many people describe the cataract sensation as looking through wax paper.

Cataract Surgery Patient
Cataract Surgery Patient

Treatment Options

Cataracts are inevitable. As we age, the natural crystalline lens inside of the eye begins to cloud, causing blurry vision. Surgery is the only treatment for cataracts, and once cataracts start to develop it is really only a matter of time before surgery is needed.

If left long enough, cataracts can cause blindness. Luckily, no matter how advanced the cataract, cataract surgery will drastically improve your vision. As a general rule, ophthalmologists will wait until the cataract interferes with daily life to perform cataract surgery.There are two types of surgery that can be used to treat cataracts: Traditional Cataract Surgery and Refractive Cataract Surgery. Both are considered to be one of the safest and most successful procedures performed in medicine. Your surgeon at The Eye Institute of West Florida will consult with you to determine which surgical procedure is the best fit for your visual goals and lifestyle.

Both Traditional Cataract Surgery and Refractive Cataract Surgery are effective to treat cataracts. Refractive Cataract Surgery uses a customized laser refractive treatment that may reduce your need for glasses or contact lenses following cataract surgery. Premium cataract lenses are available for those seeking 20/20 vision at all ranges of vision (near, intermediate, and distance).

Your age, eye condition, and vision correction needs will determine which laser cataract surgery procedure is right for you. You can schedule a complimentary consult to learn what treatment plan is best for your eyes.

refractive cataract surgery

Our surgeons are highly skilled in all types of cataract surgery procedures. We have invested in the latest cataract technologies including lasers, 3D-assist displays, and diagnostic equipment not available at many surgery centers to help provide the safest and best results possible for our patients.

Questions to Ask When Considering Cataract Surgery

For the best result, you want to be sure your surgeon has received the highest degree of training within cataract surgery. The cataract surgeons at The Eye Institute of West Florida are board-certified ophthalmologists who have gone on to receive additional training specific to cataract surgery, called a fellowship. Their fellowship training makes them an expert in that specific field of ophthalmology, and they perform thousands of cataract surgeries each year.

Is traditional cataract surgery or laser cataract surgery right for you? Your doctor will help to determine the best procedure based on your visual goals and lifestyle.

Our expert cataract surgery team of Dr. Stephen Weinstock, Dr. Robert Weinstock and Dr. Neel Desai use the bimanual microincisional technique and modern technologies for cataract procedures.

At The Eye Institute of West Florida, our cataract surgeons use TrueVision®, an advanced 3D stereoscopic high-definition visualization system which is used in the operation room to improve outcomes by providing a better view of what is happening during the procedure.

Bladeless laser cataract surgery is available to offer predictable computer level accuracy for clearer vision outcomes. The Femtosecond Laser is used to safely remove cataracts and correct astigmatism for vision that is clear and sharp. Optiwave Refractive Analysis (ORA) takes real-time measurements to determine lens power, lens position, and astigmatism correction during your actual cataract surgery in order to optimize your results and minimize the need for further refinement.

With the variety of intraocular lens implants available today, determining which lens is best for you can seem overwhelming.

The lens options range from standard lenses, which typically result in patients needing to wear glasses following cataract surgery (if they wore glasses prior to cataract surgery) all the way to a premium intraocular lens, which decreases or completely eliminates the need for glasses for every range of distance —near, far and in between.

The team at The Eye Institute of West Florida will discuss your lifestyle and visual goals prior to determining which lens is best for you. You will be fully educated about your surgical options and provided educational reading materials in addition to in-office evaluations.

The cataract incision is usually self-sealing without stitches and, since there is generally no pain and no patch, you can return home 15 minutes after your procedure. You may experience a slight scratchy sensation, which will subside within a day or so. Your eye will be checked the day after surgery and 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 dependency on glasses.

The short answer is, as soon as you notice that they begin to interfere with your daily living.

This usually means you think your glasses aren’t working well and you need a new prescription. In the past, older, outdated surgical methods required cataracts to be “ripe” in order to be removed (a term we no longer use to describe cataracts). With our modern advanced techniques and equipment, patients should not wait nearly as long. By removing cataracts earlier, the risk of complications is greatly reduced and patients can be provided with the convenience of uninterrupted clear vision.

Now that cataract surgery is one of the safest and most performed procedures, there is no need to wait.

No, cataract surgery is typically not painful. Your eye is numbed and there is some mild sedation that we use to keep you comfortable. You may feel some pressure, cold or wetness from the drops, or be aware that things are happening but most people do not feel pain. If you are in pain you are awake enough to let us know during the procedure.

This depends on the technology that we use during your surgery and the package choice that you make. Our surgical counselors and team will help guide you with choosing what’s best for you regardless of price point. Our focus is to help you see as best as you can and match the lens choice and type of surgery to your goals at a price point affordable to you.

Yes and no depending on the technology used. Basic or standard cataract surgery is covered by your insurance unless you have a co-pay or deductible that you are responsible for. There are technologies that we can use that are not covered by insurance like astigmatism corrections, lasers, or advanced lens choices. Our staff and surgical coordinators will help guide you through this process.

After your cataract surgery, the prescription in your glasses is no longer the correct prescription for you. We recommend you pop out the lens in your eyeglasses on the side of your operative eye after each surgery. After your second surgery, you will have a POMR (Post-Operative Manifest Refraction) visit where you will receive an updated prescription, if applicable. That updated prescription can then be placed in your current eyeglass frames.

Our goal is to get each patient the best vision that they can possibly have. No surgery is guaranteed 100% successful. Success with cataract surgery is providing you a safe surgery with no complications while completely removing the cataract and placing a lens implant. 20/20 is a goal, not a guarantee, regardless of money spent on surgery, and we do the best we can to get patients to that goal. Sometimes this requires tweaks or other procedures after the initial surgery depending on how each patient’s eye heals. Patients can also have other eye conditions that can prevent them from getting “perfect” vision and we will try and manage these expectations and outcomes with you.

Pricing for cataract surgery can range depending on your vision goals. Your cataract surgeon will discuss your lifestyle and desires. Based upon that discussion, your cataract specialist will recommend a package that makes sense for your unique situation. Your insurance and/or Medicare will cover basic cataract surgery where one of our cataract specialists will remove your cataracts and have you seeing great. However, if you want to have glasses freedom after cataract surgery, your will need more advanced technology such as a laser treatment to correct astigmatism and an upgraded cataract lens to provide sharp vision in all ranges (immediate, near and far). The best way to learn about cataract pricing for your unique situation is to call (727) 581-8706 or fill out our appointment request form to schedule your consultation. You cataract consultation is covered by your insurance or Medicare.

Cataract Surgery Treatment Options Largo, St. Pete, Clearwater, and Tampa
Cataract Surgery Treatment Options Largo, St. Pete, Clearwater, and Tampa

Is Cataract Surgery Right For Me?

Advances in laser technology and intraocular lenses (IOLs) have made cataract surgery safe and effective in improving vision.

If you are experiencing any cataract symptoms, you should schedule a consultation with a trained ophthalmologist specializing in refractive cataract surgery. You don't have to wait until your vision interferes with your daily life before considering cataract treatment. Cataracts can create everyday problems such as trouble driving at night more difficult. There is no need to wait. Schedule a cataract evaluation as soon as you are experiencing a decline in vision.

Cataract Surgery Recovery Information

Now that no-stitch, laser cataract surgery is an option, there is minimal down time after the procedure. You will need a friend, family member, or caretaker to drive you home after the procedure. Minimal considerations after surgery include anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops, avoiding strenuous activities and exercise, and swimming. Following the treatment plan outlined by your cataract surgeon will ensure proper healing and the best possible visual outcome after cataract surgery.

Cataract Surgery Results

According to nation-wide research by American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), each year more than 3 million Americans have cataract surgery with a 95% success rate. Patients experience significantly improved vision with minimal complications improving their daily quality of life. It is important to understand that other underlying diseases such as macular degeneration, dry eyes, and glaucoma can affect your vision even after cataract surgery. To get a full understanding of your options, it is important to have a comprehensive exam from a trained ophthalmologist specializing in cataracts.

Schedule your cataract evaluation with Dr. Stephen Weinstock, Dr. Robert Weinstock or Dr. Neel Desai to learn more about your cataract surgery options.

Still interested in learning more?

When you are choosing where you will have your cataract surgery, what type of surgery, what type of lens, and which surgeon, we are available to talk with you. Give us a call at 727-581-8706 to schedule your consultation.

If you are interested in reading more about types of lens implants, the equipment we perform your surgery with, and more of what you can expect when you have cataract surgery, please refer to the following pages:

Choose The Eye Institute of West Florida for your cataract surgery to get the best vision results possible for you.

Last modified on May 1st, 2023 at 4:38 pm

1WebMD. What to Expect From Cataract Surgery. Available: https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/cataracts/what-to-expect-from-cataract-surgery. Accessed July 1, 2019
2Mayo Clinic. Cataract Surgery. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cataract-surgery/about/pac-20384765. Accessed July 1, 2019.
3American Academy of Ophthalmology. Cataract Surgery. Available: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-cataract-surgery. Accessed July 1, 2019.
4American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS). Cataract Surgery Statistics. Available: https://ascrs.org/

"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!"

Alyssa – Patient of Dr. Robert Weinstock

Meet Your Cataract Care Specialists

Cataract Surgeon Stephen Weinstock, MDStephen 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.

Cataract Surgeon Robert Weinstock, MDRobert 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.

Cataract Surgeon Neel Desai, MDNeel 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.

Cataract Surgeon Chad Hummel, MDChad D. Hummel, M.D. is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in cataract and refractive surgery. Dr. Hummel received his bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies (Medical Scholars Program) from the University of Delaware. He received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Dr. Hummel completed his residency training in ophthalmology at the University of Florida ‐ Jacksonville. Dr. Hummel trained under Dr. Robert Weinstock and Dr. Neel Desai as their first Cornea, Cataract, and Refractive Surgery fellow.