Laser Cataract Surgery
We are proud to provide only the highest quality cataract surgery in Fairfield County. That means we offer precise laser cataract surgery and we can eliminate the use of manual surgery complications. Coastal Eye Surgeons is the only practice to offer femtosecond laser cataract surgery in Greenwich. Our state-of-the-art femtosecond laser is the best in the industry – known for its incredibly accurate technology for seamless cutting requiring no blade. You will experience no discomfort with the procedure and can rest easy knowing you have chosen the best cataract surgery possible. We do offer traditional manual cataract surgery, but we firmly believe that laser cataract surgery is the best option if feasible. Ultimately, your vision will be remarkably sharper, clearer, and more vibrant after cataract surgery – no matter which method you choose. However, the added level of precision with the laser is our preference.
Frequently Asked Laser Cataract Surgery Questions
Is Laser Cataract Surgery Covered By My Insurance? Traditional cataract surgery is fully covered by most private medical insurance and Medicare. However, bladeless (laser) cataract surgery requires you to pay out-of-pocket for the uncovered portion of the surgery.
What does the laser actually do? The laser uses femtosecond laser technology to make cuts without burning or destroying surrounding tissue. The laser is applied to the cornea to make precise incisions, so a blade is not needed. The laser is also applied to the capsule that covers your cataract lens. A perfect circle is created on that capsule, and your cataract is removed through this perfect circle. Lastly, the laser is applied to your lens to soften it. As you know, cataract lenses can be hard and stiff – the femtosecond laser will apply energy to soften it, making it easier to remove for the surgeon.
Is it the same laser used in LASIK surgery? Yes and no. A LASIK laser uses technology called excimer, or exciplex. Excimer lasers excise tissue, meaning it burns off corneal tissue to reshape it. Surgeons do use the femtosecond laser during LASIK surgery to create a flap within the cornea, but they have to use an excimer laser to correct your prescription.
What is the Recovery Time from Laser Cataract Surgery? You won't feel any pain during or after the procedure. But we do recommend that you take a week off from work, because the incisions need to become stronger. You should be seeing better by the morning after surgery. You can still see out of the eye after surgery immediately, but it will be blurry.
Is there any pain? What kind of anesthesia is it? There is no pain. You will be in an operating room with an anesthesiologist. An IV will be placed in the pre-operative area, so that you can receive anti-anxiety and calming medications. This type of anesthesia is called Monitored Anesthesia Care - meaning you'll be monitored on IV medications, but you will NOT require to be completely out. We also give you local anesthesia so the surface of the eye is completely numb.
So I'll be awake for the surgery? Yes, but you will be comfortable. The anesthesiologist can give you medication to keep you relaxed, but the surgery will be over and done with before you even realize it!
How Long Does Laser Cataract Surgery Take? The actual surgery time is usually less than 15 minutes. The day of the surgery, you can expect to be there most of the morning though. You will arrive about an hour early, and you can go home about 30-60 minutes after surgery. The total process will take about 3-4 hours.
What can I expect after cataract surgery? After cataract surgery you will go home with a clear shield over the eye. You will start 2 eyedrops – one is a combination antibiotic and steroid to prevent infection and prevent inflammation, and the other is a pain-relieving eyedrop that also prevents inflammation. You will be seen in our office the day after cataract surgery to check that everything looks good. You will be seen again 1 week after surgery. You should take 1 week off from work if you can. You should start seeing a difference in your vision within a day. If you need the other eye to have cataract surgery, we can usually plan for that at about 2 weeks after the first eye.
How do you actually remove the cataract? A specialized instrument called a phacoemulsification probe is used to apply ultrasound energy at an incredibly high speed to the cataract within the eye. This high-speed ultrasound will break apart solid piece of the lenses and those small microscopic pieces can be vacuumed out of the eye. A sterile solution that is the same as what is naturally-occurring in the eye is used to replenish the fluid while your cataract is being removed by the phacoemulsification probe. This process usually just takes under a minute!
Is my vision different with an artificial Yes, it's clearer! Rarely, some symptoms may come after cataract surgery but most of it is because you are adjusting to a crystal clear lens for the first time in a long time. Your brain will quickly adapt to your new vision and most symptoms will be gone in weeks. If you've ever put a new pair of glasses on or if you remember the first time you put glasses on, the feeling is much the same. There's a wow factor to that first time because things appear so much sharper and brighter.
What do you recommend for the artificial lens? There are many options for intraocular lenses implanted during cataract surgery. As with laser cataract surgery vs. traditional cataract surgery, insurance will only pay for a standard lens. A standard lens gives you good vision in the distance, but you will definitely need reading glasses. A premium lens, which is not covered by insurance, can give you great distance vision and pretty good reading vision – without glasses! It's our preference to implant a premium lens because we want to offer the best to you, but you have a choice. You can read more in the "Intraocular Lens" section of this page.
Just as we only perform premium cataract surgery, we only offer premium lenses. The choices consist of premium monofocal, toric, and enhanced-depth-of-focus lenses. These will be discussed by your surgeon and you will make a decision for what best fits your lifestyle. Premium monofocal lenses give great distance vision and intermediate vision, but you will need reading glasses for fine print. Toric lenses will give you good distance vision while correcting your astigmatism. You may still need reading glasses for fine print. Enhanced-depth-of-focus (EDOF) lenses will give you a good compromise on all three – distance, intermediate and reading. Enhanced-depth-of-focus (EDOF) lenses can also correct astigmatism as a special toric lens.
Floater Removal Surgery
"Finally – a doctor who can treat my floaters!" We are excited to be the only practice in Fairfield county to offer a guaranteed treatment of floater removal. You can choose to have laser floater removal in office or surgery in the operating room to guarantee floater removal. Dr. Shakir sympathizes with the thousands of patients in Westchester County and Fairfield County living with annoying floaters – only to be told by their eye doctors that they must live with it. That is no longer the case, thankfully. "Floater" is a common term for a real problem known as Degenerative Vitreous Syndrome.
The Ellex Ultra Q Reflex laser is a system made specifically and precisely for floater removal. In a 15 minute session with absolutely no pain, you can at last have your floaters minimized. Dr. Shakir, being a Yale-trained retina surgeon, also offers the latest 27 gauge vitrectomy procedure to permanently remove floaters in a quick and painless surgical procedure.
Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery
The eyes and eyelids are the most delicate part of your face. Our delicate touch by a fellowship-trained plastic surgeon specialized in eyelids will keep you looking your best. We use fillers and Botox for aesthetic rejuvenation. We perform eyebrow lifts, eyelid lifts, and forehead lifts. Droopy eyelids and excess skin doesn’t have to bother you anymore. We will establish the cause and provide the best surgical treatment for you. Biopsy and skillful reconstruction can be done for skin lesions and skin cancers around the eye. No matter the concern around your eye, we will provide you with the highest quality options available.
We offer allergy testing specially made for patients with eye problems, such as itching, watering, redness, irritation, etc. Our allergy test is a scratch test on the skin without needles or pricks. We test 60 allergens that are specific to the lower Fairfield County and Southern Westchester County areas. This 10 minute test helps us determine if your eye symptoms are more from allergies or dry eyes and we can determine the best treatment for you based on the results. Don't guess what is causing your eye to bother you. You should be armed with the information of what your allergy triggers are and try to avoid those.
Dry Eye Treatment
Dry Eye Syndrome is one of the most common and bothersome eye diseases. It affects all ages, but there are effective treatments. Eyedrops are not the dry eye treatments. The most important thing is to be evaluated by us to make sure there are no other causes for your dry eyes before initiating treatment. There are new dry eye treatments such as a new class of drugs, punctal plugs to allow natural lubrication to stay longer on the eye, amniotic membrane for severe disease, and lipiflow to treat the oil glands in the eyelids. We will work with you to tailor your treatments until your symptoms improve.
Being diagnosed with glaucoma is scary – we get it. We are here to help you handle the frequent check-ups and treatments with ease. We have the latest technology in diagnosis, visual field testing, imaging, and treatment. Dr. Anwar is a Harvard-trained glaucoma specialist experienced in world class laser and surgical techniques. Her gentle bedside manner rounds out her excellent care.
Whether you have a retinal detachment, retinal tear, retinal vein occlusion, macular edema, retinopathy, infection or a host of other retinal problems, Coastal Eye Surgeons has world-class training to deal with all retinal disease. You can rest assure that you will receive the highest quality of care, with special attention to explain the diagnosis and treatment in a language you can understand. We offer the newest therapies for intravitreal injections, vitrectomy surgeries, and laser treatment.
Macular degeneration comes in two forms – dry and wet. Sensitive detection methods must be used to distinguish between these two types. At Coastal Eye Surgeons, we have the most sophisticated retinal imaging equipment with the latest FDA approvals to enhance our detection rate. Finding wet macular degeneration earlier means saving more sight. Dr. Shakir completed a two-year fellowship at Yale University specializing in retinal disease and brings with him the latest technology and techniques. World class care doesn’t have to come with long wait times and busy waiting rooms. Individualized attention and one-on-one doctor time enhances the relationship leading to high quality care.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetes can affect the eye in many ways – causing glaucoma, cataracts, retinopathy, macular edema, retinal detachments, optic nerve problems, and more. Most of these problems can be present without symptoms. This is why every diabetic patient needs to have an annual eye exam. You should know that these conditions are all treatable, and more so when diagnosed early. We use intravitreal injections, such as Lucentis and Eylea, combined with MicroPulse laser treatment to help gain control over diabetic eye disease. These treatments are all quick and painless. Regardless of how well you control your diabetes, sometimes the eyes can still develop problems. So be sure to get your eyes checked and spread the word!
We are equipped with technology to help diagnose corneal diseases like Fuchs’ Endothelial Dystrophy, Keratoconus, pterygium, corneal ulcer and keratitis. Some of these conditions may cause pain, blurred vision, glare, halos, sensitivity to light, and other problems. Coastal Eye Surgeons is able to evaluate and treat many corneal disorders with the help of superior diagnostic machines such as Swept Source Optical Coherence Tomography and Wave-front Abberometry.
NEW MICROPULSE LASER
Coastal Eye Surgeons has the newest non-invasive Iridex MicroPulse laser which can be used for glaucoma and retinal diseases. The MicroPulse laser employs technology that can achieve therapeutic response without causing damage to the eye. Traditional laser treatment for glaucoma and retina do require a burn to be made at high temperature. MicroPulse laser safely uses packets of energy to stimulate cells in the retina and in the trabecular meshwork to function properly. Specifically, this stimulation of cells without damaging can be used to treat macular edema, glaucoma, macular degeneration, central serous retinopathy, and a host of other eye conditions. It may reduce your dependence on eyedrops for glaucoma and for macular diseases such as cystoid macular edema.