September 25, 2018
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  • Drs. Rutzen and Kalyani use the most advanced technology to assess patients prior to cataract surgery, resulting in the best possible vision after the procedure.
    Drs. Rutzen and Kalyani use the most advanced technology to assess patients prior to cataract surgery, resulting in the best possible vision after the procedure.

What You Need To Know About Cataract Surgery

Dr. Allan Rutzen - Rutzen Eye Specialists and Laser Center
Dr. Allan Rutzen - Rutzen Eye Specialists and Laser Center's picture
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January 28, 2014

“My vision isn’t as clear as it was last year. I don’t want to drive at night because it is hard to see street signs, and I get a lot of glare from oncoming headlights. It’s time for my driver’s license to be renewed, and I am afraid I won’t pass the vision test,” said Carol F., a recent cataract patient of mine.

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye that causes blurry vision and glare. It is said that everyone gets cataracts if they live long enough. You are more likely to have a cataract over the age of 50, but some people get cataracts at an earlier age.

Even if you are not at risk of losing your driver’s license, cataracts may impair your ability to see the things that are important to you such as television, computers and books. If you drive, blurry vision from cataracts can increase your risk of having a car accident. Cataract surgery can improve your vision and your safety when driving.

An article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association entitled “Impact of Cataract Surgery on Motor Vehicle Crash Involvement by Older Adults” showed that patients who had cataract surgery had half the number of car accidents compared to people with cataracts.

The staff at Rutzen Eye Specialists & Laser Center specializes in cataract surgery. Dr. Sachin Kalyani and I are fellowship-trained specialists, meaning that we have the most advanced training a surgeon can have. Over the years, we have honed our skills using the most innovative technology.

A new method of cataract surgery called LenSx bladeless cataract surgery is now available. This is the most technologically advanced option for cataract patients. In fact, I was the first surgeon in Anne Arundel County to perform LenSx bladeless cataract surgery.

Dr. Kalyani and I use the FDA-approved LenSx laser to perform a number of the key steps in cataract surgery with more precision and less risk of complications than standard cataract surgery.

The surgeon first uses the laser system to make a 3D map of the patient’s eye. This image is used to guide the laser beam to create precise incisions that would normally be made with a scalpel. These incisions are smaller than one-tenth of an inch.

This new technology allows Dr. Kalyani and me to correct astigmatism with the laser so patients can enjoy better vision after surgery. Astigmatism is a type of distortion in the shape of the cornea, the front clear layer of the eye. By correcting astigmatism at the time of cataract surgery, many patients do not require the use of glasses to see at a distance after surgery.

The laser is also used to break up and soften the cataract so that it can be removed through these extremely small incisions. As a result, the surgery is safer and less traumatic than regular cataract surgery. This often leads to better vision, faster recovery and less risk of swelling and other complications. At the end of surgery, the surgeon inserts an artificial lens to help the patient focus.

Cataract surgery takes about 20 minutes. There is no pain during surgery because numbing drops and mild sedation are used to keep you comfortable. After surgery, there is usually no discomfort other than a mild, scratchy sensation like there is a hair in your eye.

Your eye remains open after cataract surgery. Depending on your particular situation, your vision may be better immediately after surgery than it was prior to surgery.

Insurance companies and Medicare cover regular cataract surgery with a standard lens. If a patient desires the option of LenSx bladeless cataract surgery or a special implant lens, there are additional out-of-pocket expenses.

If you have cataracts and desire better vision, you may want to undergo cataract surgery. A cataract surgery patient from Severna Park recently told me, “I hadn’t realized how grayed my outlook had become. I think the cataracts not only grayed my sight but also depressed my spirit. Restoring my sight enhanced not only the colors I see but lifted my spirit as well. It has restored my clearer outlook on life. I’m like a 6-year-old being able to read all the street signs, license plates and small print on the television.”

Cataract surgery has the potential to help you keep your driver’s license and your independence. It may also allow you to see the things that are important to you, and to allow you to drive more safely, see the television and read better.

If you are considering cataract surgery, call Rutzen Eye Specialists & Laser Center at 410-975-0090 to make an appointment with Dr. Allan Rutzen or Dr. Sachin Kalyani. Their office is located in Severna Park at 489 Ritchie Highway, Suite 200. Visit them online at for more information about cataract surgery and the new LenSx bladeless cataract surgery.

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