Cataract surgery

Considering cataract surgery?

Attend a free seminar and get your questions answered on June 17 from 6-7 p.m.

Register now!

Casey Eye Institute patients Ray and Carol, both from Portland, Oregon, talk about their life-changing cataract surgery experience and the exceptional care they received. 

Your vision is important. Choose the best cataract surgery team.

OHSU Casey Eye Institute is a world-recognized academic eye center that attracts top eye care specialists from around the globe. Our cataract experts are dedicated to helping you achieve the best vision possible through their expertise with the latest treatments and technologies.

Have questions about cataract surgery at OHSU? Ready to schedule a consultation? Call us at 503-494-7672 or fill out our short intake form and we'll call you!

At OHSU Casey Eye Institute, we have: 

  • Five surgeons willing to devote as much time as needed before and after cataract surgery.
  • Availability within one to two weeks for a cataract consultation. 
  • The latest equipment in laser assisted cataract surgery.  
  • Technology that can correct astigmatism. 
  • The latest intraocular lens technology. 
  • Surgeons and physicians with subspecialties in eye health, available for referral for glaucoma or other eye issues. 
  • A specialized nursing staff praised by patients for their compassion, expertise and technical skills. 
  • A dedicated anesthesia staff, skilled at working with patients undergoing eye procedures. 
  • Experience with difficult and complex cataract surgery.

Our cataract surgery process 

At Casey Eye Institute, your surgeon will meet with you at every visit, from the initial consultation to the final visit after surgery. We believe it is important to treat each patient individually and be available to you every step of the way. 

  • Initial consultation: A technician will take several measurements of the eyes, check vision and give dilating drops. The surgeon will discuss all aspects of eye health with the patient and examine the eyes to determine if cataract surgery is the right choice. 
  • Second visit: More precise measurements will be taken and the surgeon will discuss lens options. 
  • Surgery: Though patients should block 3-4 hours, the surgery takes 15-20 minutes. Patients are awake throughout the procedure. All patients will have an IV placed and an anesthesia provider will be present throughout to provide medications to relax the patient. Drops are used to numb the eye surface for the surgery. The incision is so tiny that it doesn't need any sutures;it is self-sealing. 
  • Next-day visit: The surgeon will check that all is well. No heavy lifting, bending, vigorous activity or swimming before the next visit. Driving is usually okay, but will need to be addressed on a case by case basis. 
  • Two-weeks later: Final post-op visit. If having cataract surgery on the second eye, the process begins again.   

Frequently asked questions about cataracts

What are cataracts? 

  • Cataracts are a clouding of the natural lens of the eye 
  • Cataracts develop slowly over time, and are a part of aging in all adults over 60, just like gray hair. However, in some cases, cataracts may develop earlier due to genetic factors, certain medications and medical conditions.  
  • Cataracts are not harmful, but may slowly impact vision. 

How do I know if I have a cataract? 

  • An eye care provider (ophthalmologist or optometrist) can confirm if a cataract is forming, usually long before it causes any problems. 
  • Common symptoms include: 
  • Seeing glare or halos around headlights at night. 
  • Needing more light to read and poor night vision. 
  • Blurry vision that can't be fixed by changing glasses prescription. 

When should I have my cataracts removed? 

At Casey Eye Institute, we recommend cataract surgery only when vision problems are impacting daily activities, such as driving and reading. 

Will my vision be clear after surgery? 

  • Patients often enjoy a dramatic change in their ability to see light, colors and fine details within the first 24 hours. 
  • Vision can continue to improve for two weeks after surgery. 

Will I still need glasses? 

  • Vision correction depends on what replacement lens is chosen. Even the standard lens can improve vision, but patients may still need glasses or contact lenses.  
  • Casey Eye Institute is one of only a few places offering a new multifocal lens - the Symphony Intraocular Lens - that can correct astigmatism as well as mid- and long-distance vision. 

What does cataract surgery cost? 

  • Cataracts are considered a medical condition by insurance companies and Medicare. Patients should always check with their providers for specific benefits.  
  • Generally, the standard replacement lens is the only choice covered. Though this lens provides clear vision, its ability to correct vision at all distances is limited and patients will often still need glasses for reading or computer work. 
  • Patients who need corrective lenses and wish to reduce their need for glasses can discuss several options with their surgeon at Casey Eye Institute. Usually the cost for these upgraded lenses is paid by the patient rather than the insurance provider.  
  • Post-operative visits are included in the price of surgery.