Cataract Surgery: Pre-Operative Measurements

May 30, 2023
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Pre-Operative Measurements for Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the United States. In fact, at Central Florida Ophthalmology, in Oviedo, Florida, it is our most commonly performed surgery. Cataract surgery involves removing the natural lens (which has become opaque, and now called a "cataract"), and replacing it with an artificial lens (or intra-ocular lens), typically made of acrylic, silicone, or plastic. 

To that end, it is important to realize that the patient will need eye measurements prior to cataract surgery, aimed at choosing an accurately matched intraocular lens. Much like getting measured for a suit or a dress, these measurements are customized to an individual patient. It typically involves using a machine to take different dimensions and pictures of the eye, including the length of the eye and the steepness of the cornea. 

After the measurements are taken by the machine, the information is put into a computer and specific formulas are used to estimate the best intra-ocular lens (IOL) for the patient. This is always an educated guess, as the lens can potentially shift after implantation. However, in the past few years, the formulas have gotten much better, and we can typically get quite close in most cases. Of course, individual results may vary. 

These formulas can become less accurate in a few different clinical scenarios: First, they are less accurate in people with extremely dense cataracts. Second, they are less accurate in patients with prior history of refractive surgery, to include LASIK, PRK, SMILE, or RK. Third, they are less accurate in the setting of severe dry eye, as this can give unreliable measurements to the front of the eye. 

In order for these measurements to be as precise as possible, it is best to aggressively treat your dry eye if you are a dry eye patient. Dry eye is a very common condition that can adversely affect these measurements. 

If you are a prior LASIK patient, it is important to remember that the formulas will be less accurate, and please ask your surgeon for more information.

At Central Florida Ophthalmology, we utilize the latest and most modern technology in cataract surgery measurement: the Alcon Argos platform. This platform obtains the best diagnostic information, using the most modern formulas, to try to get the best possible outcomes for our patients. 

If you have any questions about pre-operative measurements for cataract surgery, or cataract surgery in general, please be sure to reach out to us, using the handy "text" feature on this website. 

Until next time,