Ziemer Ophtalmology

The way to a clear vision

The way to a clear vision with the Z-Cataract procedure consists of different steps which are all equally important. Ask your doctor if you need further information on how the procedure works and to determine if you are suitable for femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery. You can expect the following steps:

Step One

Assessment and preparation

First, you will have a preoperative examination where your eyes will be measured so that your doctor can select the proper artificial lens for you. The measuring device reveals what prescription of lens you will need by measuring the length of the eye from front to back. This measuring procedure is absolutely painless.

Following the informative discussion with your surgeon, you will schedule a date for your surgery. Typically, each eye will be treated on a different date, allowing the newly operated eye to first heal. Your eye doctor will help you decide  what time interval between the two surgeries would be best for you.

Make sure to follow general guidelines given by the surgeon to best prepare for the operation.

Step Two

The day of the surgery

On the day of your treatment you will have another opportunity to ask your doctor any questions you may still have.

Before the operation, you will be asked to lie down on the comfortable bed. You keep your own comfortable clothes on for surgery. The area around your eye is disinfected and covered with a sterile cloth. Your eye will be anesthetized, so you do not feel pain during the procedure.

Once everything is ready, the laser is aligned with your eye and your surgeon begins his work. The entire procedure takes about 15 - 20 minutes and is completely painless. Learn more about the Z-Cataract procedure here.

After the procedure you can stay in the hospital to recoverfor a while  before you head back home. Since your vision will be affected after the surgery for some time, it is recommended to have an accompagnying person to pick you up.

Step Three

After the procedure

You will have to attend several follow up appointments. It is very important that you closely follow your doctor’s instructions on post-surgical eye care to avoid infection and ensure good healing. For the first few days, don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends or family members as you will not have your vision restored right away.

It is extremely important to not touch the eye during the healing process. Rubbing the eyes is strictly forbidden as it can cause damage to the tissue. In addition, you should try not to strain the eyes during the first few days by reading or watching too much television. Last, exercise or physical exertion during the initial recovery phase should be avoided.

Read through our FAQ (frequently asked questions) or ask your eye doctor if you have more questions.

How Z-Cataract works

The Z-Cataract procedure itself contains of different steps which are described subsequently:

  1. Section of the clouded lens
    Without cutting the eye, the laser breaks up the clouded lens into pie-shaped wedges which can later be removed through a small incision.

  2. Opening the lens capsule
    To remove the clouded lens and insert a crystal clear artificial one, a circular opening of about 5 mm (depending on the individual case) is created in the capsular bag. The laser carries out this process with utmost precision.

  3. Creation of tunnel access
    The laser creates a very small tunnel, through which the clouded lens will be aspirated or removed. This tunnel will close by itself after the operation so no suture is needed. The laser has now done its job.

  4. Aspiration of the lens
    The surgeon extracts the fragmented lens through the tunnel access. This process is carried out with a special device and is also known as phacoemulsification. The device uses ultrasound to bruise the lens and aspiration to take it out. Since the lens was fragmented into several pieces by the laser before, much less phaco/ultrasound energy is needed to break up and aspirate the lens compared to traditional surgery. This makes the overall procedure gentler.

  5. Insertion and adjustment of the artificial lens
    Finally, the artificial lens is inserted. This lens is made of an elastic biocompatible material. It is folded and can be implanted through the previously laser-made access with a special injector. After the insertion the lens will be unfolded and aligned by the surgeon. No sutures are needed to close the eye due to the small incisions.

Refractive lens exchange

Aside from cataract, there might be other reasons to exchange the natural lens for an artificial one. High or large amounts of near or farsightedness and presbyopia (see other conditions) are some of them. The refractive lens exchange is similar to cataract surgery and thus can be done with the same laser device as used for Z-Cataract. However, there are other treatment options for conditions like nearsightedness like Z-Lasik. Consult with your doctor to find out what is right for you.