Cataract Surgery

Anyone whose vision has become too blurry to work or enjoy their favorite activities may be a candidate for cataract surgery. The natural eye lens of everyone on Earth becomes less transparent over time, obscuring light entering the eye. During cataract surgery, this vision-obscuring opaque lens is removed and replaced with a new clear intraocular lens (IOL) implant. The focusing power of the new lens implant is customized to treat nearsightedness or farsightedness.  Furthermore, some patients with significant astigmatism may also opt to have astigmatism correcting lens implant called a toric lens.

In the early stages of cataract development updating your glasses prescription will often improve vision, but as the cataract worsens the only definitive treatment is surgery to replace the opaque cataract lens with a new, clear lens implant.

Trouble with reading, inability to appreciate computer text, and difficulty seeing while driving are the most common impairments that bring patients to Copper Eye Surgery. Dr. Shaun Brierly has also noticed an increase in patients with cataracts concerned that they can no longer take part in their recreational and artistic hobbies. No matter what motivates you to undergo cataract surgery, choosing the right practice is vital to a successful surgery and a comfortable experience.

What is the cataract surgery process?

All cataract surgeries consist of removing the old vision-obscuring natural lens, though the exact technique used by a cataract surgeon depends on multiple factors.  While older techniques such as intracapsular and extracapsular cataract surgery have utility in special situations, they are rarely performed these days.

By far, the most common type of surgery performed by board certified Dr. Brierly and most modern surgeons is called phacoemulsification. Also known as “phaco,” this type of cataract surgery breaks up the damaged cataract into little pieces which are then sucked out. Sometimes laser can be used to assist with part of the surgery in a two-step process, but phaco is still used to complete the rest of the procedure. After the old lens is removed, the clear intraocular lens (IOL) is placed in the newly created space.

Eye drops are often used for 2-4 weeks after cataract surgery to quiet inflammation and prevent infection, though some patients dislike using drops or have difficulty instilling them.  Fortunately, Copper Eye Surgery offers a “dropless” cataract surgery option. This approach consists of leaving antibiotics directly inside the eye during the surgery and depositing a sustained release anti-inflammatory medication around the eye.

Dropless cataract surgery eliminates the need for patients to use medicated drops after their procedure, since the medication is delivered directly to the site during surgery. Dropless cataract surgery has been well documented to have a very low risk of post-operative infection. If you are interested in the dropless option, be sure to mention it during the consultation with Dr. Brierly.

Lens Implants

What about cataract surgery in both eyes on the same day?

Standard cataract surgery has typically been performed in one eye, then the other eye several weeks to months later. There have been valid historical medical reasons for this approach related to infection risk and other complication rates, particularly back in the days of higher risk intracapsular cataract surgery when patients routinely spent a week in the hospital with sandbags immobilizing the head.

In the last decade, there have been several very large studies published in the United States and Europe demonstrating no difference in infection rates or other complications between “same day” and “staggered” bilateral cataract surgery. The current resistance to “Immediately Sequential Bilateral Cataract Surgery” (ISBCS), “Same Day Bilateral”, or simply “Bilateral” cataract surgery primarily arises from the increased insurance reimbursement associated with postponing the second eye surgery to a different day.

Dr. Brierly has extensive experience performing same-day bilateral cataract surgery and has found in the last two years that 30-40% of his patients now request that approach. Some patients prefer to have both cataract surgeries performed at once in order to minimize downtime and speed up their return to pleasurable hobbies, activities and careers. Make sure to mention to Dr. Brierly during your consultation if you have an interest in bilateral same-day cataract surgery.

Dr. Shaun Brierly | Copper Eye Surgery, Paradise Valley, AZ

What about cataract surgery in both eyes on the same day?

Standard cataract surgery has typically been performed in one eye, then the other eye several weeks to months later. There have been valid historical medical reasons for this approach related to infection risk and other complication rates, particularly back in the days of higher risk intracapsular cataract surgery when patients routinely spent a week in the hospital with sandbags immobilizing the head.

In the last decade, there have been several very large studies published in the United States and Europe demonstrating no difference in infection rates or other complications between “same day” and “staggered” bilateral cataract surgery. The current resistance to “Immediately Sequential Bilateral Cataract Surgery” (ISBCS), “Same Day Bilateral”, or simply “Bilateral” cataract surgery primarily arises from the increased insurance reimbursement associated with postponing the second eye surgery to a different day.

Dr. Brierly has extensive experience performing same-day bilateral cataract surgery and has found in the last two years that 30-40% of his patients now request that approach. Some patients prefer to have both cataract surgeries performed at once in order to minimize downtime and speed up their return to pleasurable hobbies, activities and careers. Make sure to mention to Dr. Brierly during your consultation if you have an interest in bilateral same-day cataract surgery.

Straightforward and transparent direct pay cataract surgery

Cataract Surgery Fees

At Copper Eye Surgery patients enjoy transparent pricing for both single-eye surgery, as well as surgery for both eyes when the surgeries are performed in one day. Your cataract surgery fee includes:

  • “Dropless” option for cataract surgery if desired and medically appropriate

  • Post-operative visits with your surgeon on day 1 and week 4 after surgery

  • Additional post-operative visits for up to 90 days if deemed medically necessary

  • Cataract surgery performed by Dr. Brierly

  • Standard procedural and post-procedural medications

  • Standard monofocal lens implant

Cataract Surgery Pricing

Simple

Pricing

Transparent pricing for one eye and both eyes same day

The surgical fee covers a standard monofocal lens implant, standard medications needed during after-care, and regular post-op appointments. Premium lenses, ORA, and laser-assisted cataract surgery are available for an additional fee. 

Cataract Surgery Pricing
Additional Surgery Information

Standard medications are provided on-site at Copper Eye Surgery in an effort to make the aftercare more convenient and to avoid the need to go to a pharmacy. A small number of patients (1 – 2%) may need costlier medications that are not included in the single fee.

We specialize exclusively in cataract surgery and do not accept insurance or Medicare payment. This allows us to offer a transparent, upfront fee to every patient. The standard fee at Copper Eye Surgery does not include toric lens implants, ORA, laser-assisted cataract surgery, extended range of vision or multifocal lens implants, or any glasses desired after surgery.

For those who require glasses, please see your optometrist or regular ophthalmologist. Premium lenses are available for an additional fee to offset the increased procurement cost of these lenses.

Surgery Pricing
Preparing For Cataract Surgery

You will know the fee for your cataract procedure prior to surgery. On the day of your surgery, wear comfortable clothes, and bring someone with you to drive you to and from your appointment. Light IV sedation is administered by the anesthesia team. Dr. Brierly replaces the cataract with a lens implant using topical anesthesia. The actual surgery takes about 10 minutes, and patients leave 15 – 30 minutes later with a clear protective shield over their eye(s).

At Copper Eye Surgery, phacoemulsification is mainly used when performing cataract surgery. It has been shown to be a safe and effective approach. There are many types of lenses that may be placed in the eye, and choosing the right lens for you is an important decision that shouldn’t be rushed. Modern cataract surgery offers many options and there’s no “best” lens implant for everyone. Each option has distinct benefits.

Surgery Recovery

Special Cataract Cases

People come in a wonderful array of shapes and sizes, and have varied past experiences. So do their eyes. The majority of patients are excellent candidates for phacoemulsification cataract surgery, but some patients have more challenging cataracts and associated medical conditions that require extra time, equipment, sedation, and care. Dr. Brierly has extensive experience with difficult cataract surgeries and welcomes the challenge that unusual situations present.

Untethered by “chair time” restraints that are often necessary when practicing in an insurance or Medicare reimbursed environment, Dr. Brierly is able to craft a personalized surgery plan for every patient that begins with a Cataract Surgery Consultation at Copper Eye Surgery. From a “dropless” option to you being the one deciding whether to have both eyes treated during one surgery or weeks or months apart, customization of your cataract surgery makes all the difference. They’re your eyes. Choose wisely.

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