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Cataracts & Cataract Surgery

Cataract Surgery
A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye which sits behind the pupil. When the lens becomes cloudy it causes the vision to be blurry, hazy, unfocused or cloudy as well. Cataracts are usually caused by the aging process and are most common in senior citizens, but can be found in younger people as well. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, can also cause cataracts. Cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol intake have also been associated with cataracts. Another good reason to stop smoking! Cataracts can possibly be prevented, or at least the progression can be slowed by blocking Ultraviolet Light from getting into the eye at an early age. Thus all glasses that are worn outdoors should have U.V. block built into them. Some studies also show that a well balanced and highly nutritional diet plus a vitamin + mineral + antioxidant supplement may also reduce the chances of developing a cataract.

Dr. Cykiert about to perform stitchless cataract surgery

In the early phases of cataract formation, people usually notice that the vision is not as sharp. There is no pain and no redness. Initially, a new eyeglass prescription can improve the vision. As cataracts progress, eventually new glasses cannot help. When the vision is reduced to the point where it significantly interferes with the patient's needs (driving, reading, sports, work) surgery is usually indicated.

Cataract surgery is one of the most technically complex surgical procedures in medicine. It is performed under a microscope with at least ten times (10X) magnification and requires many years of training to master the intricacies. At the same time that the cataract is removed, a small (5-7 mm.) intraocular lens implant (IOL) is inserted into eye to replace the natural lens of the eye which has been removed. Due to numerous advances in Cataract and Implant surgery, the results are extremely good with a 95-99% success rate. Thus virtually all patients benefit from a marked improvement in their vision and quality of life.

Over 1 million cataract operations are performed annually in the USA by thousands of Ophthalmologists. Dr. Cykiert has been performing cataract surgery since 1980 and is one of the leading cataract and implant surgeons in New York City. He performs many cataract surgeries on a weekly basis both at the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary, and the New York University Medical Center. Dr. Cykiert has also taught many Ophthalmology Residents in both these prestigious medical institutions the modern techniques of cataract surgery during the last 15 years.

Dr. Cykiert uses the latest state of the art surgical techniques such as phacoemulsification, micro-incisions ( 1/8 of an inch ), one-stitch and no stitch cataract surgery to achieve his excellent results. Virtually all cataract surgery is performed as an outpatient under local anesthesia which aids and speeds recovery. The surgery usually takes 20-40 minutes. there is usually no pain or discomfort because the eye is completely numb. Patients are able to resume all of their normal activities the day following surgery since discomfort is minimal, healing is quick, and visual recovery is rapid. Accountants, attorneys and architects have been able to return to their office the day following surgery, and other patients can resume sports, such as golf and bowling, within a few days after surgery. Sports such as karate, and boxing must of course be delayed a little longer. Visual recovery is very rapid - within a few days in most cases. New glasses can be prescribed within 1-2 weeks usually. Of course, every surgery has a small risk. Dr. Cykiert discusses this with his patients and their families in detail, prior to surgery. TOP


Corneal Transplant Surgery

Corneal Transplant Surgery
The cornea is the clear and transparent front of the eye. It covers the iris (brown, blue or green colored part of the eye) and pupil (round black spot in the center of the iris). For those who wear contact lenses, the contact lens sits on top of the cornea. The cornea has a certain natural curvature which gives it the properties of a lens which focuses the light that comes into the eye.

Dr. Cykiert performing corneal transplant surgery

Normally the cornea stays clear throughout life. However certain conditions (keratoconus, scarring from infections or inflammation, swelling and clouding following cataract and implant surgery, scarring from injuries) can cause the cornea to lose its sharp focusing abilities. The vision thus gets very blurry and is occasionally associated with pain, redness and swelling. Sometimes special types of glasses, medications and contact lenses can be used to treat these corneal problems and help restore the vision. However, when the cornea continues to worsen despite these measures, corneal transplant surgery is indicated to improve the vision, reduce discomfort, or both.

During this surgery, most of the cornea is cut away using very fine complex instruments under microscopic magnification (10X). A new cornea is sutured or sewn into place using a very fine nylon suture that is less than the thickness of a human hair, yet very strong. The new cornea is donated from someone who dies and donates (or the immediate family donates) their eye to an Eye Bank. All donor corneas are very carefully scrutinized, investigated and evaluated to make sure that they are in excellent condition and contain no infections that may spread to the patient. Patients often ask, and it is important to know that there has never been a case of AIDS transmitted by corneal transplant surgery.

Patients undergoing corneal transplant surgery usually have a very high success rate, depending on what their underlying problem was, and the state of health of the rest of the eye. Careful follow up is essential to make sure the cornea heals properly and to restore as much vision as possible. Most people can resume their normal activities within a few days after surgery, and return to work as long as there is no threat of direct injury to the eye. The surgery takes 45-90 minutes yet there is usually no discomfort during the surgery since the eye is totally numbed. There is minimal discomfort postoperatively. Eye drops need to be taken for weeks, months or sometimes longer after the surgery, in order to maintain the health of the cornea. Stitches sometimes need to be removed weeks or months after the surgery. This is done at the office, takes a few seconds, and is totally painless.

There are over 45,000 corneal transplants performed in the USA annually. Dr. Cykiert is one of the leading corneal transplant surgeons in New York City since 1980, and has taught many Ophthalmology residents at the New York University Medical Center, and New York Eye & Ear Infirmary how to perform this surgery and take care of the patients postoperatively. He performs the surgery on almost a weekly basis, usually as an outpatient, at the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary. He has also been on the Medical Board of the New York Eye Bank For Sight Restoration ( the first Eye bank in the USA) for many years. Dr. Cykiert has performed corneal transplants on babies as young as 1 month old, up to people in their 90s. It is not uncommon for patients in their 70s and 80s to need both corneal transplant surgery as well as cataract surgery at the same time for a variety of eye problems. This often saves the patient from having a second operation at a later date.

Like in any other operation, there are always some small risk associated with corneal transplant surgery. Dr. Cykiert reviews these in detail with both patients and their families prior to the surgery.

Dr. Cykiert's 20 years of expertise in performing Corneal Surgery of various types has naturally made him extremely proficient in LASIK and Laser Vision Correction. He is thus considered one of the leading experts in this field in the New York City Metropolitan area. TOP

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