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At SIEHT, cataract surgery is completely customized to best fit your vision needs.

Doctors Thomas Falkenberg and Steven Hudson perform custom cataract surgery using multifocal and astigmatic lenses. Dr. Falkenberg also offers patients the option for laser assisted cataract surgery with the ORA, a specialized surgical confirmation tool used during the cataract surgery procedure. This advanced technology is exclusively available in the Fredericksburg region at SIEHT!

With the latest cataract technology, lifestyle lens options and over 20 years of experience, we are confident we can get you back to clear vision.

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What is a Cataract?

A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. When a cataract forms, the cloudy lens blocks the passage of light through the eye. This interference in the lens alters the image that reaches the retina which is then sent to the brain. As a result vision is poor and clouded.

The most common cause of cataracts is the natural aging process. Around the age of 40, the chemical composition of the eye changes. The normally clear and flexible lens begins to harden and become cloudy with time. Unfortunately there is no way to prevent or reverse this process. Cataracts can form at any age and can be brought on by eye injuries, infections or diseases such as glaucoma and eye tumors.

Symptoms of Cataracts

  • Dimming or blurring of vision
  • Halos or glare around lights
  • Double vision Colors appear less brilliant
  • Feeling of “film” over the eyes
  • Frequent changing or cleaning of glasses
  • Difficulty driving or reading

Once your vision becomes significantly clouded and cannot be corrected by glasses or contacts, it may be time to consider your options with cataract surgery.

If a cataract is diagnosed by the doctor, the next step is speaking with one of our Surgical Coordinators. With the coordinators you will choose a date for surgery, discuss pre and post-surgery steps, lens options, financing, and anything else to help you feel at ease about the procedure.


ORA Optiwave Refractive Analysis MachineDr. Falkenberg utilizes a specialized surgical confirmation tool which helps customize your vision even further during all custom cataract surgery procedures. The ORA (Optiwave Refractive Analysis) intraoperative aberrometry system provides real time analysis of your eye during surgery.

During standard cataract surgery, without ORA, various measurements are taken prior to cataract surgery in order to select the IOL or intraocular lens power, but there can be a margin of error when making the proper selection based on unknown surgical factors.

With the use of ORA with VerifEye during your cataract surgery, we can ensure your procedure will be optimized and the analysis will provide Dr. Falkenberg with information that helps to confirm the proper correction for optimal visual outcomes. For patients who desire to achieve a more precise outcome, such as those desiring monovision with astigmatism correction or optimal vision with a standard lens implant, those who have had prior LASIK or PRK, or those who are having a multifocal lens implanted, ORA with VerifEye can improve the accuracy to help reduce the need for glasses after your procedure.

Once you choose the intraocular lens that best fits your vision needs, opt for ORA, the most technologically advanced tool available for cataract surgery in the Fredericksburg area.

Types of Intraocular Lenses (IOL)

Find the Advanced Lifestyle Lens that best fits your unique vision needs.

Astigmatic Lenses:

Astigmatism is typically caused by the cornea being shaped more like a football than a basketball. This causes images to focus at different points on the retina, resulting in blurry or double vision. Astigmatism can also be caused by irregularities in the shape of the natural lens inside the eye.

We offer astigmatism correcting lens options, also known as Toric lenses. Until recently, patients with astigmatism had to either have corneal refractive surgery (LASIK, PRK, or Limbal Relaxation Incisions) after lens implant surgery or remain dependent on glasses or contacts. The Toric lens combined with ORA offers patients the best astigmatism correction available.

Image of a tree shown three times with blurriness levels to indicate how cataracts and astigmatism affect vision

Multifocal Lens:

Presbyopia is a condition most people over the age of 40 experience. This condition results in difficulty seeing up close without the aid of bifocals, trifocals, or reading glasses. This condition is believed to be caused by a hardening of the lens inside the eye, making it difficult for the eye’s muscles to change its focus. Those with this condition find themselves pushing reading materials further away so they can focus.

For those with presbyopia, we offer multifocal lenses. We are pleased to offer our patients the AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® Trifocal Lens, which is the first trifocal lens available in the United States. Over 100 million lenses and counting have been implanted. And 99% of people surveyed with the PanOptix Lens would choose the same lens again. Compared to the older "monofocal" intraocular lenses (IOLs), the AcrySof® IQ PanOptix®  provides enhanced near, intermediate and distance vision to help reverse the effects of presbyopia. This is an excellent Trifocal IOL that provides an exceptional range of vision.

Banner for PanOptix Lens - first and only trifocal lens in the US

We also offer patients the AcrySof™ IQ Vivity™ lens , which is the latest EDOF IOL (implant) that provides excellent distance and intermediate vision, while minimizing halos and glare. This exceptional lens is also available in a EDOF Toric version and is considered one of the most advanced EDOF intraocular lenses available in the world.

We will review all of these options with you at your appointment.

Monofocal Lens (Standard):

Some patients find that a standard lens is sufficient for their vision needs. If you choose to have standard cataract surgery, your vision will be much clearer, but you may need to wear glasses for reading and other activities.

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Posterior Capsulotomy

A posterior capsulotomy is a non-invasive laser procedure to eliminate the cloudiness that occasionally interferes with a patient’s vision after cataract surgery. In modern cataract surgery, the cataract is removed, but a thin membrane that held the cataract is left in place to hold the implanted artificial lens.

Leaving the capsule in place during cataract surgery is a great advancement because it allows the vision after surgery to be more stable and ensures fewer surgical complications. However, sometimes the posterior or back portion of the capsule becomes cloudy over time. This can be resolved with a quick in-office laser procedure.

The entire procedure takes only about five minutes and you can leave soon afterward. The results of the procedure are almost immediate, however your vision will probably be a little blurry from the drops so someone will need to drive you home. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drops for you to use for a few days following the procedure. Most patients resume their normal activities immediately.

The capsular bag can become cloudy over time.

Opening the bag with the laser allows for clear passage of light rays.

Affordability and Financing

Medicare and most insurance plans cover the costs for cataract surgery with a single focus lens and traditional (manual) surgery, with additional out-of-pocket charges for multifocal and toric lenses and bladeless laser cataract surgery. With this one-time opportunity, many patients find the extra expense well worth the exchange for freedom from glasses or contacts.

Financing is also available for a portion of the premium lens charge. Learn more about the financing and payment options available to suit your needs.

Quick Cataract FAQs

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is the clouding that develops in the eye’s crystalline lens. As the leading cause of vision loss among adults age 60 or older, cataracts impair vision, making everyday activities increasingly difficult. 

What Causes a Cataract?

The most common factor for developing a cataract is age. Other contributing factors may include increased exposure to sunlight, diabetes, ocular inflammation, ocular trauma and family history. Certain medications can also promote cataract formation.

What are the Symptoms?

Cataracts may cause a decrease in vision, glare or poor night vision. Some people experience double vision or muted colors. Patients may not notice a cataract has formed, as a cataract typically forms in one eye first and the other eye compensates for any visual loss. It can take anywhere from a few months to several years for a cataract to fully develop.

Is Cataract Surgery Effective?

Yes! Many patients report vision that is even better than before they developed cataracts. Modern cataract surgery is considered one of the most effective medical procedures used today. 

Over time, the lens implant can develop a "film" behind it, which can again cause symptoms of blurred vision. A simple laser capsulotomy procedure can be performed to create an opening in the film in order to restore normal vision. Laser capsulotomy does not require going to the operating room nor does it involve any incision into the eye. It only takes a few minutes and is painless. 

Where is Cataract Surgery Performed?

Your cataract procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and takes less than 15 minutes. In most cases patients can resume daily activities such as driving or reading, almost immediately.

Does Insurance Cover Cataract Surgery?

Yes. Medicare and most insurance plans cover approved cataract surgeries. There is an additional charge for advanced technology lenses and laser surgery. Our staff will review all of this information with you.

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