When Mazzuca Eye and Laser Center first opened in Salem County 35 years ago, cataract surgery was performed in a very different manor. At that time, large scleral incisions were created involving multiple sutures, and a long recovery time. Dr. Douglas E. Mazzuca Sr. was the first surgeon to perform small incision cataract surgery in the Salem County area.

This technique was and is a breakthrough in the treatment of cataracts, because the procedure is performed through a very small (2.4mm) corneal incision. There are no blood vessels to cut and, hence, there is no bleeding.

Patients who are on anti-coagulants (coumadin/warfarin), aspirin or other “blood thinners” are free to continue these medications. Today this small, clear corneal incision has become standard of care in cataract surgery and is performed routinely by Dr. Douglas E. Mazzuca Jr. , who continues to offer the newest, safest, and most innovative ways to perform cutting edge cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery takes about 10 minutes to perform in Dr. Mazzuca Jr’s hands and is performed under topical (eye drops) anesthesia. The patient is in the surgical facility for about 2 hours before being discharged. Patients are sent home without a patch and asked to take eye drops for several weeks. Seldom are stitches needed to close the wounds. Patient’s see their doctor the day after surgery.

The trend in ophthalmology has been finding, smaller, less invasive ways to operate, while maintaining the highest possible standards of surgical care. This state of the art procedure does just that, because there is such a small incision and it requires only topical anesthesia.

Artificial lenses (IOLs) are implanted in the eye to replace natural lenses that have been damaged by cloudy cataracts or presbyopia. Until recently, IOLs were only available to correct distance vision. These monofocal lenses help improve distance vision after cataract surgery. However, the standard monofocal lens does not correct for astigmatism and also does not correct for near vision. Many patients after cataract surgery still require glasses or contact lenses to see at distance and/or for near vision activities like reading and playing cards.

Now, advancements in technology have produced toric IOLs to correct astigmatism and multifocal IOLs that allow patients to see clearly at all distances — near, far and many distances in between. Multifocal IOLs and toric IOLs such as those manufactured by Alcon or Johnson & Johnson preserve distance vision and correct presbyopia so cataract surgery patients — and patients seeking treatment for presbyopia alone — can enjoy clear sight without relying on glasses.

The procedure to replace a patient’s natural lens with a toric IOL or a multifocal IOL is the same as that used in cataract surgery.