What is Cataract Surgery?

Cataracts occur when the usually clear lens of your eye becomes cloudy. This natural lens lies behind your iris and pupil and focuses light onto your retina at the back of your eye. When a cataract appears, your vision can become muddied and distorted, and the glare from lights can often be enhanced. This is when surgery may become necessary.

Cataract surgery involves removing the lens of your eye and most often replacing it with an artificial (intraocular) lens. The surgery generally takes less than one hour to perform and is an outpatient procedure performed with sedation. You will be given eye drops to dilate your pupil, and then receive local anesthetics to numb your eye.

Performed Locally for Your Convenience

Cataract surgery is available at Redwood Area Hospital and is performed by Dr. Adam Goddard with Affiliated Community Medical Center and Dr. Curtis Louwagie with Avera Medical Group. “We are very excited to have two ophthalmologists providing this valuable procedure to residents of our community,” shares Julie Salmon, R.N., surgery manager at Redwood Area Hospital.

The two types of surgical methods used include:

Ultrasound – The surgeon makes a small incision in the front of your eye before inserting a tiny probe. The probe transmits ultrasound waves to break up the cataract before inserting the new lens. Sometimes one or two stitches are placed, but the majority of cases require no stitches.

Incision – The surgeon makes a larger incision to remove the cloudy portion of your lens with a suctioning tool before inserting the new lens. This method requires more stitches.

There are different types of intraocular lenses available, and the ophthalmologists can discuss the benefits and risks of each kind and which one is best for you.

In addition to cataract surgery, a full range of medical and surgical treatment of eye disease is available including:

• Glaucoma surgery

• Macular degeneration, including wet macular degeneration treatment

• Diabetic retinopathy treatment

• Eyelid surgery, including ectropion repair (outward turned lids), entropion repair (inward turned lids rubbing on surface of eye), and cosmetic and functional blepharoplasty

• State-of-the-art laser eye treatments

Schedule a Cataract Evaluation

To find out more about cataracts or to schedule an eye evaluation with Dr. Goddard, call ACMC-Redwood Falls at 507-637-2985. Dr. Louwagie is available for consultations in the Redwood Falls Avera Medical Group Optometry office at 507-637-5715. They will be happy to answer any questions you have about your eye health or surgery needs.

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