Laser Cataract Surgery

Gainesville Eye Associates continues to invest in technology, bring state-of-the-art procedures to Northeast Georgia

Gainesville Eye Associates ophthalmologists Dr. Jack Chapman Jr. and Dr. Clayton Blehm performed Georgia’s first laser cataract surgery in December 2012, bringing a new advancement in cataract treatment to the state and region. The procedure results in faster recovery and more consistent surgical outcomes.

Similar to LASIK surgery, the LenSx bladeless cataract surgery uses a computer-controlled laser that allows the surgeons to plan and perform the surgery to exact, individual specifications not attainable with other surgical procedures.

Dr. Blehm and Dr. Chapman standing by laser eye surgical equipment.

“The new laser technology gives us more precision than manual techniques. It’s much less invasive when removing the cataract from the eye, and it helps improve lens placement. The benefit to the patient is that laser surgery is more accurate and offers a faster recovery. It also minimizes changes to refractory vision, meaning fewer patients develop astigmatism or other vision problems after the surgery.”

— Dr. Jack Chapman

All four of Gainesville Eye’s ophthalmologists — Dr. Jack Chapman, Dr. Clayton Blehm, Dr. Lori Lebow and Dr. Zach Balest — are trained and perform the LenSx laser cataract surgery.

Gainesville Eye Associates also is the first practice in Georgia to use an innovative technology called Verion, an image-guided system that guides the laser during cataract surgery, eliminating many of the surgical variables and achieving even better results. Gainesville Eye performed the first Georgia surgery with Verion in March 2014.

“Verion will make cataract surgery even more accurate and add a new level of control to every step of the procedure,” Chapman said. “We are focused on bringing new technology and innovations to Northeast Georgia so that our patients can enjoy the very best treatments, and more importantly, outcomes, available.” Cataracts are a clouding of your eye’s natural lens that occurs in people ages 55 years and older. In fact, half of all Americans have them-or have had cataract surgery-by age 80. Cataracts can make sharp objects appear blurry, make colors look dull, and cause trouble seeing at night.

Gainesville Eye ophthalmologists use the LenSx laser, the LuxOR LX3 ophthalmic microscope and the Centurion vision system to perform laser cataract surgeries. With the addition of the Verion machine, the surgery center is now utilizing the complete Alcon Cataract Refractive Suite.

There are also several lenses to choose from to help patients enjoy crisp, clear, and potentially glasses-free vision, from near to far and everywhere in-between. Gainesville Eye Associates can help you choose the right lens implant to provide optimal vision after surgery.

How to Prepare for Surgery

Your doctor’s office will schedule your procedure. Once scheduled, a nurse from the Surgery Center will call you before your surgery date to review your health history.

We will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the Center and your upcoming procedure.

If you develop a fever, rash or cold a few days before your procedure, contact your doctor at once, as your procedure may need to be rescheduled. DO NOT EAT, DRINK, or CHEW anything after midnight the night before your surgery except for a sip of water with blood pressure medication. This includes gum, mints, candy and chewing tobacco.

Morning of Surgery

  • Do not eat or drink anything the morning of surgery, unless you have been given other instructions from our nurses.
  • Take your heart and/or blood pressure medications with a sip of water.  Diabetic patients, we may instruct you to adjust your dose of insulin on the day of your procedure.
  • You may brush your teeth and rinse your mouth with water, but do not swallow any of the water.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing (a short sleeved, button-down shirt is best).  Leave all valuables and jewelry at home.  If you wear glasses or contacts, bring a case to store them in.  Please do not wear makeup, perfume or dark colored nail polish.
  • You MUST have a responsible driver with you on the day of your procedure.  Your driver should remain in the facility while you are in surgery.

During the registration process you will be asked to verify your billing and insurance information, and to sign a financial agreement. You will need:

  • Current Driver’s License or photo ID
  • Current Insurance ID card
  • Co-pay, co-insurance, or deductible payment, if applicable
  • A list of current medications including dosage and strength

If the patient or insurance information cannot be verified, the surgery will need to be rescheduled.  If you need to make other financial arrangements or an estimate of your bill, please call 229.244.5672 prior to your surgery day.

Next, you will be taken to the pre-procedure area where a nurse will verify medical information, allergies and your current medications.  The nurse will prepare you for your procedure, and an anesthesia provider will meet with you to discuss your medical history and the type of anesthesia you will have.

Post-Surgery Expectations

You can expect to spend approximately 20-30 minutes in the post-anesthesia care unit, depending upon the type of anesthesia you receive. The nurses in this area will give you instructions for taking care of yourself at home. Should problems or questions arise when you are recovering at home, call your surgeon at the number provided in your discharge instructions.