Cataract Surgery

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Cataracts are one of the most common eye conditions treated by ophthalmologists and usually occur as part of the normal aging process. St. Luke’s surgeons have been trailblazers in the innovations that make cataract surgery one of the safest and most regularly performed surgeries in the United States.  

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural crystalline lens. The lens is responsible for focusing light and producing clear, sharp images. When we’re young the lens is clear but as we age, it begins to harden and become cloudy. The cloudy lens diminishes quality of vision. Common symptoms of cataracts are:

  • Glare around lights
  • Difficulty reading fine print
  • Dulling of colors
  • Trouble driving at night


Cataract Treatment

Cataracts are treated with surgery to remove the clouded lens, and are replaced with a new, clear intraocular lens implant. The surgery is performed through a tiny incision on the side of the cornea.  In some cases, our surgeons may use a laser to perform some of the elements of the surgery resulting in an even gentler, more precise procedure. After the cataract is completely removed, the surgeon replaces it with a prosthetic intraocular lens or IOL, which allows light to focus clearly again.

Lens Selection

When planning your cataract surgery, your doctor will discuss the different intraocular lenses available to achieve your visual goals. Our surgeons use the most advanced lens technology available, and will work with you to ensure that you receive the lens best suited to your specific needs.

Lifestyle Vision

Our Lifestyle Vision option is our premier cataract package. Lifestyle Vision offers the greatest versatility in your vision and is designed to help you achieve the greatest independence from glasses possible, to see clearly up close and at a distance. Our surgeons will recommend a High Technology lens best suited to your needs.

Astigmatism Reduction

This option is designed to reduce the blurring effects of astigmatism. Patients who choose astigmatism reduction will enjoy sharper vision as a result of state-of-the-art intraocular lenses and/or surgical astigmatism reduction techniques specially designed to minimize astigmatism, along with bladeless cataract surgery for appropriate candidates.  Your surgeon will consider your visual goals to determine whether your vision should be focused to see best up close, far away, or a blend of the two (monovision).

Monofocal Intraocular Lenses

This option includes standard cataract surgery and a single focus intraocular lens implant. These lenses will improve overall clarity. Glasses will still be needed to optimize vision.

Click the images below for more information on intraocular lens selection and potential vision outcomes after cataract surgery.


Why St. Luke’s

In addition to life changing vision, St. Luke’s highest priority is safety in the care of our patients. In fact, our surgical center has a significantly lower incidence of eye infection and other surgical complications than the national average. Our innovations include:

Filtered solutions – To further reduce the risk of infection, the infusion solutions used during surgery first pass through special filters before reaching the eye.

Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory solutions – Specially formulated antibiotics are added to anti-inflammatory solutions and placed directly in the eye after surgery, greatly reducing the risk of postoperative infection.

Balancing medications – We neutralize the PH level in medications used during surgery to reduce irritation, dryness and discomfort. This makes the surgery and recovery more comfortable.

Ultraviolet lighting – When operating rooms are not in use, special ultraviolet lighting is activated to reduce bacteria. This is the same type of lighting used in cardiovascular units.

Eye pressure checks – Your eye pressure is checked in the first two hours following surgery to ensure that the incision is tightly sealed. Special instruments are used during your surgery to help alleviate the risk of postoperative pressure rise.

At St. Luke’s, cataract surgeries are performed in our Ambulatory Surgery Centers in Tarpon Springs and The Villages. Pre-op and follow-up appointments are available in Tarpon Springs, The Villages, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Spring Hill and Clearwater.

A better quality of vision means a better quality of life for our patients. Our history of innovation, thoughtful adoption of new technologies, and unsurpassed commitment to care truly gives our patients the best opportunity to achieve their vision goals. St. Luke’s has some of the most experienced cataract surgeons in the world. You’re in great hands here.

Cataract Surgery – A View from Inside the Operating Room, Dr. Brandon Rodriguez

Cataract Surgery – A View from Inside the Operating Room, Dr. Jeffrey Wipfli

 Laser Cataract Surgery, Dr. Pit Gills

Laser Cataract Surgery, Dr. Pit Gills

What Our Cataract Patients Have to Say