Over the past few decades, many of the elements that once made cataract surgery a thing to be feared have gone by the wayside. Whereas the surgery once involved stitches on the eye, patches, and long bed rest, technological advances such as ultrasound cataract breakup (phacoemulsification) and foldable one-piece lens implants have made the modern cataract procedure a “no-stitch,” “no-patch” surgery, with most patients back to normal activities in a day or two. At the same time, the procedure has become less invasive, while delivering improved outcomes in terms of postoperative vision.
In spite of all these significant advances, however, eye drops have remained a persistent annoyance. Cataract patients undergo an extensive regimen of prescription eye drops for several days before and several weeks after the day of surgery. While the choice of drops used can vary between surgeons, there are typically two or three different drops used, including antibiotics, steroids, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drops, all of which must be taken several times a day. These drops can be costly, and many cataract patients find them inconvenient and uncomfortable. Some patients may forget or neglect to take their drops, which can lead to slower healing and increased risk of postoperative infection. It’s safe to say, to the doctor as well as the patient, eye drops are one of the most annoying elements of cataract surgery.
Recently, a product has arrived on the market that may have the ability to end the inconvenience of postoperative eye drops. ImprimisRx, a U.S. pharmaceutical maker, has introduced a line of combination drugs that are administered by the cataract surgeon at the time of the cataract or lens exchange procedure. These medicines may eliminate entirely the need for patients to self-administer drops for weeks after surgery.
In keeping with our ongoing commitment to offer patients the newest, safest innovations in surgery technology, the surgeons at Whitsett Vision are now offering the Imprimis combination drug to selected cataract patients. Dr. Jeffrey C. Whitsett, cataract surgeon and founder of Whitsett Vision Group, says, “We’re excited to be one of the first practices to offer this new method of medication delivery. It removes an inconvenience to the patient and offers the surgeon a guarantee of 100% medication compliance. We’re currently monitoring the effectiveness of the combination drug, and the results so far have been promising. We are optimistic that this may become the new standard in cataract and other lens surgeries.”
Our cataract and lens specialists are evaluating new patients for possible use of the Imprimis combination medication, and will offer it as an option when appropriate (though patients may always choose the traditional drop regimen if they prefer). If you have questions about the new Imprimis medication, or about cataract surgery in general, please feel free to contact one of the surgical counselors at Whitsett Vision Group.