Cataract Surgery with Small Pupils
By Jeffrey Martin, MD
Published on April 19, 2010
A cataract is a natural clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye. As we age, the lens of the eye increases in density. This causes presbyopia or the need for reading glasses as we enter our 40s and later causes opacification of the lens. The clouding of lens happens over time and causes symptoms such as glare with oncoming headlights while driving at night, glare with sunlight, and blurred vision. When these symptoms become symptomatic to a point that life becomes difficult visually, we consider cataract surgery as a treatment option.
Dr. Jeffrey Martin from Smithtown, New York in Long Island performs cataract surgery through a microscopic incision and rarely uses an eye patch, stitches, or needles around the eyes. Most cases are done with eye drop anesthesia and light IV sedation. Patients return home the very same day.
When the pupil does not dilate for cataract surgery, visualization becomes worse. It is necessary to dilate the pupil in order to get access to the defective or cloudy lens. There are techniques to ensure adequate dilation. There are medications like epinephrine that can be injected into the eye. There are also mechanical devices like iris hooks or the maluygin ring that are used to manually hold the pupil dilated. The nice thing about these devices is that once the pupil is dilated, there is no further issue.
For cataract surgery to proceed safely, dilation is imperative. Thankfully, today we have several methods that ensure that dilation is not a problem.