Cataract Surgery


What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts are actually quite common, and for most people a natural result of aging. Cataracts occur as a clouding of your eye’s natural lens—the part of the eye responsible for focusing light and producing clear, sharp images.

The lens of the eye is contained in a sealed capsule. Over time, as old cells die, they become trapped within the capsule, causing the lens to cloud, making images look blurred or fuzzy.


Cataract Symptoms

Since cataracts often take a while to form, so do their symptoms. Cataracts are most often associated with older generations, however, they can develop in those as young as newborns as well.

A person with cataracts may experience:

  • Trouble with night driving seeing halos around approaching headlights from other cars.
  • Daytime “foggy vision.”
  • Reading small print.
  • Difficulty watching TV.
  • Decreased color in your vision.


Standard Cataract Surgery

If these symptoms occur, cataract surgery is available to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear acrylic lens implant.

All surgeries sound a bit daunting at first, but cataract surgery at Claris Eye Care & Surgery is routinely and effectively conducted at the Phillips Eye Institute as an outpatient procedure with sedation, local anesthesia and quick recovery time.

Compared to the national average of other ophthalmologists Dr. Carlson has a cataract surgical complication rate of less than sixteen hundredths of a percent.

During cataract surgery a small incision is made in the cornea. Through this incision, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an acrylic intraocular lens. This lens is very small and attaches directly to the eye during surgery. The incision seals itself and no suture is generally needed.  Antibiotics are applied and a patch or shield is placed over the eye overnight.


New Advances in Cataract Surgery

Recent advances in IOL technology give cataract patients the option of choosing a premium lens that provides a full range of vision unlike the standard design of a monofocal lens and the option of having their surgeon use a femtosecond laser to perform their cataract procedure.

Premium lenses, such as ReSTOR® and Toric®, are designed to improve your vision to see near, far and in between or to correct astigmatism and improve your distance vision. FDA clinical data shows that

if you select these lenses, you may be free of your glasses for 70% of your day to day activities. The goal of the premium lens is to improve your ability to read up close (e.g., newspaper, prescription bottles, mail, etc.) and/or see far away without glasses, therefore reducing your dependency on glasses.

Femtosecond laser assisted cataract surgery can create incisions more precisely and soften the cataract lens decreasing postoperative healing time and increasing safety.

  • It is most advantageous for premium lens procedures as they require exquisite central placement and the femtosecond laser can reduce several variables affecting placement.
  • It is also very effective for patients with minor astigmatism as it can precisely produce relaxing incisions in the cornea to reduce small amounts of astigmatism allowing for better unaided distance vision after surgery.


YAG Laser Capsulotomy After Cataract Surgery

During cataract surgery, a thin membrane on the back surface of the natural lens is left in place which helps to support the intraocular lens for the first few weeks of healing. However, 20% of the time this natural membrane can become cloudy post-surgery and reduce vision. At Claris, a YAG laser is used to safely treat this membrane, eliminating cloudiness. The procedure takes 5 to 10 minutes.



Over 70% of people with “Mono Vision” in each eye do not need to wear glasses after surgery. However, if you prefer to read without glasses and continue to use glasses for distance vision, the lens can be set for slight nearsightedness.



Our supercharged LENSTAR LS 900 is the first optical biometer on the market that provides pristine, accurate measurements of every structure in the entire eye – from cornea to retina. The LENSTAR LS 900 is key to achieving optimal IOL prediction accuracy in surgery. By utilizing this state of the art equipment, we achieve highly accurate refractive outcomes for all cataract patients including standard and premium IOL’s as well as previous laser vision correction (LVC) patients.

Click here for LENSTAR Brochure


The iStent – Patients With Cataracts & Glaucoma

Candidates for cataract surgery, who currently take one or more medications to lower eye pressure, may opt for the iStent. This small medical device is placed in your eye during cataract surgery and will continuously work to help reduce your eye pressure and may eliminate the need for you to use glaucoma mediations(s). Talk to your doctor to find out if iStent is right for you.

For more information about cataracts and cataract treatment options in Minneapolis, please contact us at 612.775.8009 or by email at

Please visit the Phillips Eye Institute website for further information about the Midwest’s Only Eye Hospital and its national reputation.

For information on financing options visit Care Credit online.



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