Quad Cities, IL/IA

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New Laser-Assisted Technology Available for Removing Cataracts


(from left to right) Navaneet S.C. Borisuth, MD, PhD, and Ijeoma M. Asota, MD, perform a pre-operative procedure using the new LenSx®  femtosecond laser for cataract surgery at the Mississippi Valley Surgery Center.

New laser-assisted technology is making cataract surgery in the Quad Cities more accurate, predictable and safe. “The LenSx®  femtosecond laser uses the same laser technology that has advanced LASIK surgery over recent years,” said Dr. Navaneet S.C. Borisuth, at the Virdi Eye Clinic in Rock Island, IL. “It is making an already safe procedure even safer by enabling new levels of accuracy and predictability.”

In traditional cataract surgery, cataracts are removed by breaking up the lens into small pieces and then suctioning them out with a vacuum — a process referred to as phacoemulsification. After the natural lens is removed, the surgeon replaces it with an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens (IOL). This permanent artificial lens provides appropriate vision correction for each patient.

The LenSx femtosecond laser, on the other hand, utilizes a beam of laser light to create the necessary incisions for cataract surgery. This is done before the patient ever enters the operating room.

“With traditional surgery, most of the surgery is performed manually by the surgeon,” said Dr. Borisuth. “In the LenSx laser-assisted surgery, we used a laser to deliver near-infrared light to fragment the cataract into tiny segments prior to removal. The idea is that all the surgeon will have to do is remove the pieces with minimum vacuum.”

John Waugh, a financial advisor from Aledo, IL, recently experienced the laser-assisted surgery firsthand.

Due to his declining vision, John was having a difficult time reading text on his computer screen, and his co-workers even started to comment about his worsening vision. Finally, John’s optometrist referred him to Dr. Borisuth. After a thorough exam, Dr. Borisuth determined that cataracts were starting to form in both of John’s eyes.

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye that affects vision. When this happens, light cannot be properly focused on the retina; thus, visual sharpness decreases. Cataracts are progressive, meaning they worsen with time.

After a year of close monitoring, John’s cataract in his left eye was finally ripe enough for surgery. The two evaluated all the options and settled on the new laser-assisted cataract surgery for his left eye.

Just one day after his procedure he was able to see things in a whole new light.

“There was a distinct difference in the light,” he said. “They did a simple test where they held a sheet of paper in front of my eye. The paper looked white through my now cataract-free left eye, and yellowish, like a manila folder, through my right eye which has not yet been operated on. It was unreal.”

The benefit of having a minimally invasive procedure is that the recovery time is very short. The tiny incision made during the surgery generally requires no stitches and heals itself in a few days. Antibiotic and steroid eyedrops are often given to reduce inflammation, to prevent infection, and to keep the eye moistened.

For John, the entire process was comfortable and painless. Throughout the procedure, John was expertly cared for by Dr. Borisuth and the Mississippi Valley Surgery Center team.

“The team at the Surgery Center is a professional, friendly group of people,” said John. “Everyone greeted me with their name and made sure I understood what was happening. I left with the feeling that friends were taking care of me. They even followed up with a thank-you card that everyone had signed!”

For John, the difference in vision has been profound. He was so happy with the results that he recently went back to Dr. Borisuth to have him perform the same procedure on his right eye.

“I still remember two days after my first surgery. It was a gorgeous night and I stepped out on my deck and looked at the sky,” John said. “Using my right eye only — the one that still had a cataract — I looked at the stars and I saw just a few, which were distant and hazy. Then I closed my right eye, staring up with my cataract-free left eye, and there were twice as many stars in the sky. It was amazing!” he said. “Dr. Borisuth is very professional, and I would recommend him to everyone.”

If you’re experiencing cloudy vision, it’s possible a cataract may be to blame. When you visit with your ophthalmologist, take the time to learn about all your options so that you can make a wise choice when it comes to the cataract surgery that’s right for you.

Mississippi Valley Surgery Center and Virdi Eye Clinic have teamed up to offer pioneering cataract surgery with the LenSx®  femtosecond laser. To learn more about the Virdi Eye Clinic, visit virdieyemd.com. To learn more about the Mississippi Valley Surgery Center, go to www.mvhealth.net and visit Facebook at facebook.com/MississippiValleySurgeryCenter.

Virdi Eye Clinic welcomes two new physicians:
Dr. Ijeoma M. Asota is board-eligible in Ophthalmology and her clinical interests include diseases and surgery of the cornea and anterior segment, advanced cataract surgery techniques, LASIK and PRK, ocular surface disease and reconstruction and general eye care.

Dr. Manpreet S. Chhabra is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and specializes in pediatric ophthalmology. He is one of a handful of ophthalmologists in the country who are trained in both pediatric and neuro-ophthalmology.

Keep your eyes healthy

Don’t take your eyesight for granted. Protect your eyes with these simple tips.

  • Wear sunglasses. Too much UV exposure increases your chances of getting cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking makes you more likely to get cataracts, optic nerve damage and macular degeneration.
  • Use safety eyewear. When working with hazardous or airborne materials, wear safety glasses or protective goggles every time.
  • Eat your veggies. Good nutrition can help reduce the risk of age-related cataract.
  • Get an annual eye exam. A routine eye exam can help detect signs of serious health conditions, like diabetes, a brain tumor and high cholesterol.