Cataract Surgery

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Dr. William Ellis

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surgery Great advances have been made in cataract surgery. Millions of people undergo this vision-improving procedure every year and achieve excellent results. For patients, it's a simple operation. A tiny incision is made in the eye. Through this incision, the surgeon inserts an instrument, about the size of a pen tip. The surgeon uses gentle pulses of liquid to wash away your cloudy lens, or an ultrasonic instrument that breaks up and gently removes your cloudy lens. This process is called phaecoemulsification. Once the clouded lens has been removed, the next step is to replace it. That is, to implant an artificial lens that will do the work of your own lens. This artificial lens is referred to as an intraocular lens or IOL.


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If you have cataracts in both eyes, your doctor will treat one eye at a time, and it's usually a month or two before you can schedule surgery for the other eye.

How will it feel?

Because your eyes will be treated with anesthetic, you should feel little to no discomfort. Therefore cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure and you'll spend just a few hours at the site. Within the next 24 hours, drops will be asked to guard against infection and help your eyes heal. For a few days, you may need to wear a clear shield, especially at night, to prevent you from rubbing your eye.


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Until recently cataract patients received monofocal lens implants that had only a single power. This meant you had a choice of correction for either far or near vision. If you suffer from presbyopia like many people over the age 50 this would mean that you still need glasses for either reading or for distance vision. The FDA has now approved several multifocal lens implants for use by certified ophthalmologists. The multifocal IOL lens can increase your chances for a life free of dependence on glasses or contacts after cataract surgery for near, far, and intermediate vision. If you have worn glasses for 30 years this might be an opportunity for you to eliminate this hassle from your life.

The implantation procedure is the same for both types of IOLs. The main point of differentiation between the IOLs is in the type of vision they provide.


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Monofocal IOLs

  • Provides good vision at one distance (typically far vision)
  • Requires reading glasses after surgery
  • Covered by Medicare

Multifocal IOLs

  • Provides good vision at one distance (typically far vision)
  • Corrects vision for near, far and intermediate distances
  • May completely reduce the need for glasses altogether
  • Partial Coverage by Medicare (consult with staff)

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Ellis Eye & Laser Medical Center is a medicare approved outpatient surgery center. This means you can have your cataract surgery as an outpatient and not need hospital admission. We pride ourselves on using the very latest microsurgical technology and the most advanced intraocular restoration technology in the restoration of vision due to cataracts.


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CrystalensThe Crystalens® accommodating intraocular lens is an intraocular lens used after cataract surgery or as a lens alternative in presbyopic lens exchange. Please consult a qualified ophthalmologist like Dr. Ellis to determine if lens replacement would be right for you. The revolutionary concept of the lens was engineered with a hinge design to allow the optic, or part of the lens that you see through, to move back and forth as your focus on an image changes. This lens alternative is designed to make your eye accommodate like you did in your younger years. The surgical process is very similar to cataract surgery, which is a very common ophthalmic procedure. During this process the Crystalens® accommodative intraocular lens is permanently implanted and functions in a similar fashion as the natural eye. Once the surgery has been completed your eyes can focus on far or near objects in a comfortable way with no discomfort. If you are experiencing presbyopia or cataracts please feel free to consult us about the possibility of utilizing the new Crystalens® accommodative intraocular lens.

Unlike old-style fixed focus lenses, which did not move, CRYSTALENS has the ability to move, thus focusing as your eyes natural lens does.


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ReSTORThe AcrySof ReSTOR lens is implanted after removing the crystalline lens of the eye and replacing it with a new intraocular lens like RESTOR by Alcon.

FDA Clinical Trials Show 80% of Patients Are Spectacle FREE after surgery.

The AcrySof ReSTOR lens is a foldable IOL that represents breakthrough technology because of its unique, patented optic design, which allows patients to experience the highest level of freedom from glasses ever achieved in IOL clinical trials.

The AcrySof ReSTOR IOL uses a combination of three complementary technologies: apodization, diffraction and refraction, to allow patients to experience a full range of high-quality vision without the need for reading glasses or bifocals. This range of vision without glasses is achieved through the optical properties of the IOL.

The benefit for patients is a high level of spectacle freedom. Alcon has patented the application of apodization technology to an IOL, making the AcrySof ReSTOR lens the first and only apodized diffractive IOL.



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ReZoomIf you are experiencing cataracts or have presbyopia the ReZoom™ Multifocal Intraocular Lens is a great option. This lens is designed for multifunctional vision at different distances. ReZoom™ intraocular lens is a second-generation refractive multifocal IOL that provides cataract patients with greater independence from glasses than monofocal IOLs. The ReZoom™ proprietary multifocal design provides a range of vision that monofocals cannot match.

The ReZoom™ Balanced View Optics™ technology distributes light over five optic zones so that each lens has a distance-dominant central zone for distance vision in bright light conditions when the pupil is constricted.

If you have been told by your eye doctor that you have cataracts and are experiencing one or more of the following vision problems, you may be a candidate for the ReZoom™ Multifocal lens:

  • If you have trouble reading and may require bifocals.
  • If your vision is getting increasingly blurred

The Visual Freedom Benefit of REZOOM

In a clinical study 92 percent of ReZoom™ IOL patients reported never or only occasionally having to wear glasses.


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Dr. William Ellis, M.D., F.A.C.S. has dedicated his career to bringing innovative surgical techniques to the restoration of vision. He began his career by studying electrical engineering at the University of California Berkeley . He then attended medical school at Washington University in St. Louis, receiving his Doctorate of Medicine degree. Dr. Ellis completed his residency in ophthalmology at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Ellis is Board Certified in general ophthalmology by the American Board of Ophthalmology in. Dr. Ellis has been certified as a sub-specialist in cataract, intraocular lens implantation and refractive surgery by the American Board of Eye Surgery.

Dr. Ellis has been a leader and innovator in the field of refractive surgery. He studied radial keratotomy surgery with Professor Syvatslov Fyodorov in the Soviet Union. He has written three textbooks on Keratoplasty surgeries, which are in medical libraries around the world. Professor Fyodor, who pioneered modern radial keratotomy, is a co-author of his last textbook published in 1991. In 1990, Dr. Ellis was honored to chair a panel on the surgical correction of astigmatism at the 26th International Congress of Ophthalmology. In 1996, Dr. Ellis was honored by Prof. Fyodorov's Moscow Institute with an appointment to the editorial board of the prestigious Russian journal Ophthalmology Surgery.


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  1. "Keratoconjunctivitis with Corneal Crystal Caused by the Diffenbachia Plant," William Ellis, et al., American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 76, page 43, 1973.
  2. "Leukemic Infiltration of the Optic Nerve Head," William Ellis and Hunter Little, American Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 75, page 867, 1973.
  3. Radial Keratotomy and Astigmatic Surgery. William Ellis. Medical Asthetics Publisher. Newport Beach, California, September 1985, 134 pages.
  4. Radial Keratotomy and Astigmatism Surgery, 2nd Edition. William Ellis. Keith Terry and Associates, Publishers, November 1986, 139 pages.
  5. "Thermocoagulation of the Cornea" W. Ellis, Ocular Surgery News, October 26, 1988, SLACK Publishers.
  6. "Thermokeratoplasty for Hyperopia," Ocular Surgery News, page 18, Vol. 7, Number 12, June 15, 1989, SLACK Publishers.
  7. "Regression of Effect Following Radial Thermalkeratoplasty in Humans," S.T. Feldman and William Ellis, et al., Journal of Refractive and Corneal Surgery. Vol. 5, page 288, 1989. SLACK Publishers.
  8. "Advances in Astigmatism Correction," William Ellis, Keratorefractive Surgery, Ed. Schachar, et al., pages 110-120, LAL Publishing, Denison, Texas, 1989.
  9. "Surgical Correction of Astigmatism," W. Ellis, Ocular Surgery News, International Edition, Vol. 1 Number 3, page 7, March 1990. SLACK Publishers.
  10. "Experimental Radial Thermalkeratoplasty in Rabbits," S.T. Feldman and W. Ellis, et al., Archives of Ophthalmology, Vol. 108, page 997, July, 1990.
  11. I/A Tip Treatment Improves Clinical Action," W. Ellis, Ocular Surgery News, Vol. 9, page 27, June 1, 1991.
  12. "Surgical Management of Overcorrection in Radial Keratotomy and Astigmatism Surgery," W. Ellis, Ophthalmology Times, Vol. 16, Number 14, July 15, 1991.
  13. "Stitchless Cataract Surgery Through a 6 mm wide Tunnel Incision," W. Ellis, Ocular Surgery News, Vol. 9, pages 74-5, August 15, 1991.
  14. Keratotomy Surgery for Myopia, Hyperopia and Astigmatism, W. Ellis, Eye Center Press, El Cerrito, California, October 1991, 323 pages.
  15. "Radial Keratotomy in Keratoconus," W. Ellis, Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Vol. 18, pages 406-409, July 1992.
  16. "Management of Overcorrection in Radial Keratotomy and Astigmatism Surgery," W. Ellis, Ophthalmosurgery (Moscow), submitted for publication.
  17. "Considering Four Factors Improves RK Predictability," W. Ellis, Ocular Surgery News, Vol. 10, Number 9, page 68, May 1, 1992.
  18. "RK, Astigmatism, Overcorrections Reversed," W. Ellis, Ophthalmology Times, Vol. 11, pages 14-5, June 1, 1992.
  19. "Viewpoint of an Expert Witness: Legal Issues in Refractive Surgery," W. Ellis, Managing and Marketing Your Refractive Surgery Practice, R. Bruce Grene, (Ed.) EMK Publishing Inc., New York, 1993.
  20. "Surgical Management of Overcorrections in Radial Keratotomy Surgery," W.Ellis, Ophthalmosurgery, Vol. 3, July, 1993, Moscow, Russia
  21. "The Surgical Conquest of Presbyopia; Are There Implications for Cataract and Glaucoma?" (to be published). W. Ellis, Ophthalmosurgery, Moscow, Russia.
  22. "Surgical Correction of Presbyopia," W. Ellis, Opthalmosurgery, Vol. 2, 1999, pages 38-44.
  23. "Presbyopia and Accommodation." W. Ellis, Ophthalmology v:109. To be published 2002.
  24. "Presbyopia, Accommodation and Mature Catenary," W. Ellis, Ophthalmology, Vol. 109, 2002, page 1415.

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QUESTION : Dr. Ellis, tell us about your experience with cataract surgery:
ANSWER : When I began cataract surgery as a young resident at Stanford University in the Department of Ophthalmology, patients with cataracts were often hospitalized for as long as a week.  There has been a revolution in cataract surgery.  Today it is done on a come and go basis in our Medicare approved surgery center and no hospitalization is required.

QUESTION : Dr. Ellis, tell us about the factors leading to this revolution in cataract surgery:
ANSWER : The first major advance in cataract surgery was the operating  microscope.  When I began my surgical career, physicians used high powered magnifying loops (magnifying eyeglasses) to do the surgery.  Fine micro surgical technique was not yet perfected. It was difficult to see fine detail inside the eye using these primitive devices.  Along came the operating microscope  and everything changed.  We could now perform cataract surgery under the microscope and see the finest details of the eye in order to do a better job. 

QUESTION : Dr. Ellis, what else has revolutionized cataract surgery?:
ANSWER : The advent of 22 micron diameter 10-0 nylon suture allowed us to close wounds securely and eliminate the long hospital stay.  Eyes closed with 10-0 nylon suture had less reaction in the healing process and almost no chance of wound leakage which occurred with the earlier silk sutures.  In order to use this 10-0 nylon, of course, the operating microscope was necessary.  I was among the first in Northern California to begin routine use of the operating microscope in all of my cataract surgeries.

QUESTION : Dr. Ellis, tell us a little bit about advances in visual correction with intraocular lenses:
ANSWER : When I started cataract surgery there were no intraocular lenses. The vision correction was done with thick, coke bottle type glasses, which were distorting and often caused dizziness and difficulty in walking.  Then along came the intraocular lens.  The intraocular lens was invented in 1947 by Dr. Harold Ridley.  Dr. Ridley had treated patients after World War II who had flown the British Spitfire fighter and fine particles of the windshield, which used a plastic called Perspex, often where imbedded in the pilots eyes during dogfights due to shattering of the windshield. Dr. Ridley noted that these perspex particles were tolerated well and thought that it might be possible to make an intraocular lens to replace the normal lens removed in cataract surgery.  This was 63 years ago.  From his early work and through the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's intraocular lenses were developed.  But, basically all of them adhered to original concepts specified by Ridley.

QUESTION : Dr. Ellis, tell us about the evolution of intraocular lenses:
ANSWER : More recently new intraocular lenses have been designed which fold so that they can be inserted into a very small incision in a cataract surgery.  Therefore, the cataract surgery wound which was often as large as 7 mm to 8 mm has now been reduced to 2.5 mm. These small folding intraocular lenses are much like a taco.  In fact, the original folding lens was named after Dr. Mazacco and called the "Mazacco Taco". It was folded up, put into a lens inserter and placed in the eye.  The use of these small folding intraocular lenses has revolutionized cataract surgery even further.

QUESTION : Dr. Ellis, what else is new in intraocular lens surgery?:
ANSWER : The advent of intraocular lenses has progressed even further now with the development of the various bifocal intraocular lenses.  The Restor lens, in particular, allows one to see both near and at distance and therefore in some cases patients may not have to use eyeglasses at all.  However, the power correction with the lens is extremely important.

QUESTION : Dr. Ellis, tell us a little more about the lens power calculations:
ANSWER : The lens power calculation, although excellent, often needs some very slight modification as there is a certain amount of error inherent in determining lens power with ultrasound.  Several days before your surgery you will come to our clinic and we will do ultrasonography to measure the length of the eye and calculate the power of the intraocular lens needed.  However, there is often a very small amount of error in this calculation. At Ellis Eye and Laser Medical Center we have Lasik available to further modify and perfect the optical correction. Therefore, should the lens power calculation be slightly in error, as is often the case, we can follow this up with painless Lasik surgery to give an almost perfect visual correction.

QUESTION : Dr. Ellis, it is amazing the changes that have occurred now in ophthmalogy:
ANSWER : Yes, my career started in Electrical Engineering at U.C. Berkeley where I received a EE degree.  From there I went to medical school and on to Stanford University where I did my ophthalmology  residency. Ophthalmology was one of the early fields to apply new technology to solving visual problems for mankind.  The advent of fine micro surgery, the operating microscope, sutures and advanced intraocular lenses all are a tribute to the application of technology to medicine.  I am very proud to have played my part in the application of that  technology and continue to utilize the very best equipment and standards in my surgery.

 

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El Cerrito Office
6500 Fairmount Ave, Suite #2
El Cerrito, CA 94530
(510) 525-2600


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San Jose Office
2211 Moorpark Ave #200
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 279-6999


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Marin-Corte Madera Office
100 Tamal Plaza, Suite 105
Corte Madera, CA 94925
(415) 945-9777
(415) 945-9779 (Fax)


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Walnut Creek Office
1479 Ygnacio Valley Rd #104
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
(925) 988-0985


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San Francisco Office
2001 Union St #480
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 567-8958


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Roseville Office
700 Sunrise Ave, Suite #A
Roseville, CA 95661
(916) 780-1844


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