2 Your Health: Custom Cataracts - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

2 Your Health: Custom Cataracts

2 Your Health: Custom Cataracts

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Now a new treatment for a condition that almost everyone will develop at some point in their life, we're talking about cataracts.

Here's details on a procedure that's unique for each patient, doctors are calling it custom cataract surgery. The surgery uses a special laser along with 3-D imaging, to make the smallest incisions in the eye.

Doctors and patients agree, it's giving people back their vision and their lives.

"Could not drive because I felt I was a danger to myself and anybody who was around me." 77-year-old Brian Cunningham says cataracts were wreaking havoc on his vision. The condition had gotten so bad, he couldn't drive or read.

"I was down and out and had to do something", said Cunnigham. Cataracts are caused by a build up of protein in the lens of the eye. It causes clouding, making it difficult to see. Typically, doctors use a scalpel or a knife to remove them, for patients like Cunningham, that can be frightening.

"I hear surgery, I hear eyes, I get shaking because I'm very intense about the importance of my eyes and for everybody to think that they're going to take knives or whatever the hell they do to ya", Cunnigham says. But this time, his doctor recommended 'lensx', a computer-guided laser that uses 3-D imaging to help doctors make precise incisions in the eye.

Dr. Alberto Martinez, a visionary ophthalmology says it takes about 30 seconds to cut the cataract out of the eye with the laser. Patients then go straight to the operating room, where doctors measure the eye and implant a new lens, which can also correct stigmatisms and other vision problems.

"Recovery is about the same, but the results are better, less trauma to the eyes, less damage to the structures of the eye", said Martinez.

Brian Cunningham says his vision immediate improved after the surgery, he now back to doing things like reading with his grandkids and driving at night.

The procedure is expensive. It costs about $1,000 dollars and insurance does not cover it.
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