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What is a Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens that occurs as we age. This cloudiness blocks and distorts light passing through the eye and thus impedes clear vision. Over time, the cataract will grow larger and cloud more of the lens.
- Cloudy of blurry vision
- Bright colors become dull
- Glare from headlights, lamps or sunlight
- Halos may develop around lights as well
- Poor night vision
- Frequent prescription changes in your glasses
- Difficulty reading in low light
If you suffer from any of the symptoms above, schedule an appointment with Dr. Collins, so he can evaluate your eyes, determine whether you have cataracts and suggest an appropriate treatment option to correct your vision.
Rather speak to someone in person? Call us at 239-936-4706, option 3. Day or night, we’re available to speak to you.
Hover over the image to see an example of vision with cataracts, and normal vision.
Cataract Consultation Process
See the Difference
“At our practice, every little detail matters.”
Your time, experience, and results are as important to us as they are to you. Our goal is to exceed your expectations and create a unique experience where you are greeted with enthusiasm, taken care of in a timely fashion, and receive personalized care throughout your visit with us. When patients choose Collins Vision, they know they get both great outcomes and a great experience.
We know you have options, see what sets us apart.
Dr. Collins specializes in Refractive Cataract Surgery, where the goal is to remove a patient’s cataract and reduce their dependency on glasses at the same time. Refractive Cataract Surgery is an advanced procedure that goes above and beyond traditional cataract surgery to deliver exceptional results designed to fit our patients’ vision and their lifestyle. This is something very important to our busy Southwest Florida residents who enjoy golfing, playing pickle-ball, and reading without the hassle of wearing glasses.
Instead of meeting with another doctor for your surgical consult, you will meet with the surgeon performing your surgery, Dr. Collins. Your surgical consultation is an opportunity for Dr. Collins to examine the health of your eyes. In addition, you will discuss your lifestyle, hobbies, and your goals after surgery to decide on a plan together. Our hope is for you to leave your consultation feeling confident and excited about your upcoming surgery and potential new vision.
Each and every one of our surgical plans is customized by Dr. Collins depending on your lifestyle and the health of your eyes. In comparison to larger practices, take comfort in knowing that we go above and beyond by having Dr. Collins hand-select your intraocular lens to ensure superior surgical results.
Better technology means better visual outcomes, and Collins Vision is a leader in bringing the latest breakthroughs in eye care to the region. We pride ourselves on using the safest, most up-to-date technology including the use of a Femtosecond Laser to perform Laser Cataract Surgery, a variety of intraocular lenses, and the latest in diagnostic equipment.
All Collins Vision clinical physicians and surgeons have advanced certifications and are experts in their field. While the majority of your post-operative care is completed by one of our clinical physicians, we believe it is critical for you to also meet with Dr. Collins between your first and second eye surgeries. While this is not typical in most practices, Dr. Collins takes the opportunity to review and examine the fine intricacies of how your first eye responded and make any necessary adjustments to your second eye’s surgical plan.
What to Expect During Cataract Surgery
Dr. Collins performs cataract surgery on an outpatient basis, at St. Mark’s Surgical Center, with the use of local intravenous sedation and topical anesthetic drops. The actual cataract procedure only takes about 15 minutes to perform. Nonetheless, patients can expect to spend about three to four hours at the surgery center, to allow for preoperative preparation and postoperative observation.
After the topical anesthetic eye drops have been administered, Dr. Collins makes a very tiny incision in the eye, that is so small it’s “self-sealing.” He then performs a technique called phacoemulsification. During this step in the procedure, Dr. Collins uses ultrasound energy to break up the cataract-diseased eye lens into microscopic particles, which he gently suctions from the eye. An intraocular lens (IOL) implant is then inserted into the eye to compensate for the removal of the eye’s natural lens. If bilateral surgery is being performed, the eyes are typically scheduled one week apart.
Collins Vision offers a wide range of IOL options, including multifocal lenses that allow patients to see well at multiple distances and astigmatism-correcting Toric IOLs. These premium IOLs allow patients to greatly reduce or even eliminate their daily dependence on prescription eyewear.
Cataract Surgery Technology
Collins Vision is one of the first few practices in the country to obtain the Victus Femtosecond Laser Platform to assist in performing custom laser cataract surgery. Custom laser cataract surgery, represents one of the great surgical advancements of our time and the Victus in particular has been named the new benchmark for safety and precision.
Collins Vision is pleased to announce the Ora System the next generation in providing precise measurements of the eye during cataract surgery. This allows our doctors to measure the eye and refine visual outcomes during the procedure, rather than having to ‘wait and see’ weeks or even months afterward, as with traditional cataract surgery. ORA measurements are used to assist the procedure and help ensure patients get the best possible outcomes.
The ORA System™ uses Wavefront technology to analyze many possible imperfections of the way light passes through the eye to the retina. ORA can tell if the eye is in focus at the time of surgery, and if it is not, the ORA System™ helps our doctors focus the eye.
Benefits of the ORA System™ include:
- The ORA System™ helps our Doctors achieve better results and provide our patients an improved quality of vision.
- The ORA System™ gives us an added level of support for better outcomes.
- If you have astigmatism, and choose to have it corrected at the time of cataract surgery, the ORA System™ may improve the accuracy of your correction to help reduce the chance you’ll need to wear eyeglasses after your procedure.
The Oculus Pentacam utilizes a rotating camera to create a 3D topographic map. This gives Dr. Collins the most accurate measurements of the thickness, contour, and shape of your cornea and ensures that he has the most comprehensive information about your eye prior to your cataract or laser vision correction procedure.
Cataract Lens Options
With the Basic Package, Dr. Collins selects a monofocal lens implant. A patient can expect to be dependent on glasses for most or all of their near & intermediate vision activities. Distance vision glasses may also be needed. The cost of this package may be covered in part by Medicare and private insurances. Click on the video below to learn more about monofocal lens implants.
The Basic Plus Package is ideal for someone who does not mind being dependent on glasses for the majority of their daily tasks but also wants to ensure superior results. Ora with VerifiEye Technology helps to minimize the amount of prescription needed in your glasses by taking an intraoperative measurement to confirm the lens implant power.
The Precision Lens Package is ideal for patients who have corneal astigmatism, and would like more freedom from glasses. Dr. Collins may recommend Monovision or Blended Vision as an option included in this package or suggest setting both eyes for distance vision. Depending on the amount of astigmatism, an Arcuate Incision or Toric Lens Implant can be used to treat the cataract and correct corneal astigmatism at the same time.
An Arcuate Incision (also known as an AK) corrects astigmatism by making one or two incisions at the steepest part of the cornea. This procedure reduces the astigmatism by reshaping the cornea from an oval shape into a more spherical shape. If you have a higher degree of astigmatism, a Toric IOL may be used, which has special markers on the peripheral parts of the lens. Once the Toric IOL is implanted in the eye, Dr. Collins will then rotate the lens so the astigmatism correction is properly aligned.
To read more about blended vision, click here.
Click on the video below to learn more about monovision and blended vision.
The Deluxe Package is ideal for a patient desiring as much freedom from glasses as possible using a Premium Lifestyle Lens Implant. A weak power of reading glasses for near vision details may be needed, especially in dim lighting. If needed, this package also includes correction of astigmatism at the time of surgery.
Click on the video below to learn more about Deluxe Lens Package Options.
Deluxe Lens Package Options:
- ReSTOR Lens Implant
- Trulign Toric Lens Implant
- Crystalens Lens Implant
- Tecnis Multifocal Lens Implant
- Tecnis Symfony Lens Implant
- Tecnis Symfony Toric Lens Implant
There is an out of pocket cost not covered by Medicare or private insurances for the Precision and Deluxe Lens packages. As a service to our patients, flexible monthly payment plans are offered through Care Credit and Alphaeon Credit. Click here to learn more.
Cataract Surgery FAQs
Cataract surgery should be performed when vision loss interferes with your everyday activities such as driving, reading, or watching TV.
Most of our patients report very little to no discomfort during or after cataract surgery. During surgery you will be given light IV sedation, and anesthetic drops will be administered to numb your eye. Afterwards, you can take over-the-counter pain medications if you feel any pain or irritation.
As with any medical procedure, cataract surgery can pose certain risks such as infection and bleeding. Before cataract surgery, you may be asked to temporarily stop taking certain medications that increase the risk of bleeding during surgery. After surgery, you will be instructed to use prescribed eye drops to help minimize the risk of infection.
Patients can expect their vision to be blurry the day after surgery as the eye is still dilated. Typically, you will experience your best vision two to four weeks after cataract surgery. Patients undergoing combined cataract and glaucoma surgery typically need longer healing time before gaining their maximum vision. For patients receiving multifocal or accommodating lens implants, their near vision may not be as clear as they desire initially, but will continue improving for months after surgery.
While the results of cataract surgery are permanent in that the cataract itself cannot come back, some patients do experience a clouding of the capsule surrounding the lens a few months or even years later. If this occurs, an outpatient laser procedure called a YAG laser capsulotomy will be used to quickly and painlessly restore your clear vision.
Months or even years after cataract surgery, you may experience cloudy, blurry vision and/or glare and halos around lights at night, symptoms similar to when you had a cataract. During your cataract operation, the natural lens inside your eye was removed and an intraocular lens was placed inside of the lens membrane (also called a bag or a capsule). In about fifty percent of post-surgical cataract patients, the capsule will become hazy sometime after surgery. This interferes with light reaching the back of the eye, causing the need for Dr. Collins to perform a Yag Laser Capsulotomy which will help to restore clear vision.
Your procedure will take place at St. Mark’s Surgical Center. Although the procedure only takes but a minute, you can still expect to be at the surgery center for an hour to an hour and a half total. This is due, in part, to making sure your eye is fully dilated prior to seeing Dr. Collins.
Once dilated, you will then be instructed to sit in front of a machine similar to what we use when examining your eyes in our office. Dr. Collins then looks through the microscope to focus on the capsule clearly before applying the laser. The laser passes through the clear tissue of the front of the eye, through the IOL, and makes a small opening in the posterior capsule so that light can once again focus clearly on the retina.
A Yag Laser Capsulotomy is performed when the hazy capsule starts to affect your daily lifestyle due to decreased vision or glare. Most commonly this is between 6 months and 3 years after your primary surgery but it may happen sooner or much later. It is important, however, to wait at least three to four months after your cataract surgery for the procedure to ensure that your intraocular lens is stable. If a bilateral procedure is being recommended, the eyes will be performed separately to ensure safety and an optimal outcome.
Per your insurance guidelines, a Yag Laser Capsulotomy is a completely separate and identifiable procedure regardless of the type of intraocular lens inserted, and as such, is billed separately to your insurance company. Although the need for this procedure is common and is not related to the success of your cataract surgery outcome, it does not happen to everyone.
Following the procedure, no special treatment is required, and you may return to your routine daily activities right away. Your eye may still remain dilated for up to 48 hours following the procedure, and you may also notice a temporary increase in floaters. A surgery counselor will review pre-operative and post-operative instructions in detail at the time you schedule your procedure.
Patients may also experience symptoms of dysphotopsia. The term dysphotopsia is used to describe a variety of visual symptoms that result from light reflecting off, or being blocked by the edge of the intraocular lens (IOL). Dysphotopsias are generally divided into two categories: positive and negative. Positive visual changes involve symptoms of glimmering, flashes, starbursts, haloes, or streaks of light, while negative dysphotopsias are perceived as shadows or dark areas in the visual periphery. Typically these dysphotopsias are seen as an arc in the outer or lateral area of vision. It is important to know that sometimes, despite a perfect surgery, a patient can experience positive or negative dysphotopsia. While there is no way to predict its onset, for most patients, it is fortunately a temporary issue. In the vast majority of cases, the symptoms subside within a few weeks after surgery due to the process of neuroadaptation.
Cataract Surgery Testimonials
On my 50th birthday I wanted to give myself LASIK so I would not have to wear my glasses for reading and the computer. When I saw Dr. Collins, my exam showed early cataracts! The good news is Dr. Collins not only removed my cataracts, but I now have great vision at all distances! Dr. Collins recommended I have the Crystalens HD lens implants at the time of my cataract surgery and the result is no more glasses! I can't thank Dr. Collins and his friendly staff enough for this great 50th birthday gift.
If you have a caring, knowledgeable and professional doctor plus warm, supportive and highly trained technicians and office staff- you have a formula for success. I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to recommend Collins Vision for cataract surgery. It seems like a miracle to be reading without glasses and being able to apply makeup without the use of a magnifying mirror. Thank you, Dr. Collins, many times and more for my new eyes!
What an amazing experience! Such a serious and important surgery (cataract removal, astigmatism reduction and insertion of the Cystalens) was accomplished with virtually no pain or discomfort and an amazing improvement in my vision. I now need no corrective lenses for far or intermediate vision (driving, movies, television, computer) and read most fonts and type sizes in printed material without magnification. Sixty -three years of age seeing better than I did at eighteen! Such science. Dr. Collins and his staff always treated me with cheerful respect and professionalism. All my questions were patiently answered; I always felt informed. Wouldn't it have been nice if I could have had this surgery decades ago? This Crystalens sure beats the ones I inherited from my parents.
I have been wearing glasses since elementary school. The lenses in my glasses were getting thicker and thicker every year. I also had lazy eye since my childhood. Then at the age of 61, I developed cataracts in both eyes. I met with Dr. Collins and his excellent team to see what my options were and how to finally get rid of my glasses. Per his recommendation, I decided on the premium lenses so I would not have to wear glasses anymore. It truly is a miracle- now I can see without my glasses! HAPPY NEW VISION, FREE AT LAST!! The entire process was made very pleasant and comfortable by Dr. Collins and his extremely competent staff! I am extremely grateful.
Dr. Collins did my cataract surgery on both of my eyes, seven months ago. I am pleased with the results. I had interviewed four other Ophthalmologists before I decided to use Dr. Collins. He used ReSTOR lenses in both of my eyes. I no longer need glasses and I see 20/20! The pre-surgery visits, as well as the post-operative visits were handled with precision and knowledge, by all members of his staff. The surgery really improves quality of life. The whole process was uneventful. Good choice! Good Doctor!
On behalf of a grateful family, I want to thank you and your wonderful staff for saving the eyesight of my daughter. We are awed by your skill and uncommon generosity. Everyone we encountered in your organization was kind, informative, and professional. I will be speaking of you often, because everything and everyone.... from the aesthetics of your building to flowers leaving surgery... is top drawer! Thank you!
Dr. Collins, Dr. Alessi and the staff are consistently excellent. I overcame my fear and came for cataract surgery. I had nothing to be afraid of. From thoughtful little things on surgery day to whatever you need pre and post surgery. I didn't have to worry about a thing. I just celebrated my 70th with 20/20 vision!
I can't say enough about Dr. Collins and his whole staff. Short wait times, and always a feeling of professionalism and care. But the most important part is how happy I am with the outcome of my cataract surgery! Thank you so much.