The Goes Eye Centre has been specialising in cataract surgery for years. The latest surgical techniques, which often evolve rapidly, are closely monitored and immediately put into practice.
Technical knowledge, experience and a warm and human patient contact, are the basis for a good surgical outcome and patient satisfaction.
Cataract, is a natural clouding of the lens.
The lens of the human eye is situated just behind the iris, the coloured part of your eye. The lens is designed to bundle incoming light, and project it on to the retina in the back of your eye.
A healthy lens is clear, but when the lens becomes cloudy and cataract develops, the incoming light is blocked. This reduces your vision.
Researchers believe that there are several causes for cataract. Age is by far the main cause. Hence 90% of all cataract patients are older than 60 years. The average age of our cataract patient is 74 years.
Exposure to UV rays may also have a detrimental effect, causing people who are often exposed to the sun to develop cataracts quicker. The frequent use of sunglasses could therefore play a protective role. There is also a belief that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and the use of anti-oxidants, could delay the evolution of cataract.
As the disease evolves, patients will reach the point where a vast reduction in vision occurs, and after a while one will no longer see sufficiently. This may inhibit daily activities.
The first inconvenience you may encounter is usually not that bad. You may notice that the light from the sun or a lamp may be too bright, which will project circles around them.
At night you may notice that the headlights of oncoming traffic suddenly show more halos than before. Afterwards you may experience a reduction of visual acuity, or a slight blurring or colour sensation.
The diagnosis is made by a thorough eye examination.
The following tests are performed:
Based on the data, the power of the artificial lens can be determined, and other possible causes of poor vision may be identified.
A medical treatment for cataract does not exist yet. Surgery is the only way to improve your sight. The decision whether or not you will undergo surgery, will be made by you, in combination with your ophthalmologist.
Thanks to new techniques, the lens is usually removed through a tiny incision of 2.2 mm or less.
The lens is not completely removed, but it is pulverized in the eye into millions of tiny pieces by means of sound waves. They are then removed by a special “vacuum” system.
After removal of the lens a foldable artificial lens is used. Foldable, because a 6 mm in diameter lens would otherwise never get through the 2.2mm small opening. The opening of 2.2 mm does not need stitches.
More than 95% of our cataract surgery is done under “drop-anesthesia”
The eye is numbed with drops only, so that the pain disappears, but the ability to move the eye during surgery remains.
Cataract surgery is one of the safest procedures applied to humans.
More than 1.3 million cataract operations take place annually in the United States alone and more than 80,000 a year in Belgium. In total, more than 20 million people have undergone cataract surgery.
Cataract surgery is one of the most frequently performed surgical procedures, worldwide.
Though it is a fairly technical procedure for the surgical team, the patient experiences little or no discomfort, the procedure is painless, and usually lasts no longer than fifteen minutes.
Cataract surgery is a very rewarding procedure for both the patient and the surgeon himself.
We are lucky to live in the western world where it is possible to use these techniques to help our patients.
Through optimal interaction between patient and doctor everything should come together to enable this procedure to become a unique experience, with a renewed and clear view of the world as a result.