Today’s cataract surgery is more than a medical procedure whose success is defined by the removal of the cloudy lens. In 2020, cataract surgery is truly a refractive surgery, and patients expect excellent visual outcomes as a result.
New technology is allowing for even better ways for patients to achieve reduced dependence on glasses following surgery, even in the most challenging cases.
On this podcast, we explore the latest technology available in improving refractive outcomes for both refractive surgery and cataract patients.
ODs and refractive surgery
Steven Tersigni, MD, specializies in cornea and cataract who practices at Brinton Vision in St. Louis. He is a strong believer that optometrists are essential to great ophthalmology outcomes. As the primary eyecare providers in their communities, ODs create longstanding relationships with their patients who are seeking cataract and refractive surgery, and their recommendations prior to referral to the surgeon are essential to surgical success.
“The patients who come in who are already educated by their optometrists,” he says. “They make our jobs so much easier and make the outcomes so much better.”
After the popularity of laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and surgical refractive correction took a significant dip during the recession about 10 years ago, data shows that refractive surgery rates in the U.S. are steadily growing over the last five years.1
Dr. Tersigni believes that interest is growing due to the long-term successful outcomes of LASIK procedures that are causing an increased patient confidence. New technology is also driving this growth rate because it expands the range of prescriptions that are now candidates for refractive surgery.
“A lot of the growth we are seeing now is with lens-based refractive surgery,” he says. “We are able to treat more people than ever before.”
1. Statista. Number of LASIK surgeries in the United States from 1996 to 2020. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/271478/number-of-lasik-surgeries-in-.... Accessed 4/16/20.
2. Kezirian GM, Parkhurst GD, Brinton JP, Norden RA. Prevalence of laser vision correction in ophthalmologists who perform refractive surgery. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2015 Sep;41(9):1826-32.
3. Food and Drug Administration. FDA approves first implanted lens that can be adjusted after cataract surgery to improve vision without eyeglasses in some patients. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-i.... Accessed 4/16/20.