Cataract Surgery San Jose & Bay Area
Also Serving Hayward, Castro Valley & Concord
Why Cataract Surgery with the Surgeons at Optima Is the Best First Step
Imagine life with less dependence on glasses or contacts; everything in clear, bright, vibrant color. Activities like driving, reading, hiking, biking, swimming and golf are much more convenient. At Optima, this freedom and comfort is precisely what we strive to achieve every day for the people who have chosen to trust their eyes to us.
The center you choose for vision correction should offer advanced technology and experienced surgeons. Our surgeons hold leadership roles in the development of new vision correction technology giving them early access to the latest advances. Our patients often benefit from next-generation technology before it is available anywhere else.
The latest technology is important and it can affect your level of satisfaction with the procedure. However, it’s the surgeon and dedicated staff behind the technology that truly makes the difference. The surgeons and surgical team at Optima have been recognized as leaders in the field, and are continually setting the standard of care that other eye surgeons follow.
As you consider any type of vision correction, you can be confident in our commitment to be there every step of the way to make the process comfortable, and above all, safe and successful.
What Is a Cataract?
A cataract is a clouding or opacification of the naturally clear lens inside the eye. This clouding causes blurred or foggy vision or glare. It is not a visible film or growth over the outside of the eye. The word “cataract” actually means “waterfall” — as if one were looking through a waterfall.
There are two basic types of cataracts:
The slower growing “nuclear” type in which the entire lens turns yellow-brown, and the faster growing “subcapsular” type which affects younger people, those with diabetes, and patients taking cortisone.
How Do I Know If I Have a Cataract?
You will probably notice a decrease in vision and/or glare and halos around lights. You may be unable to see clearly to perform the tasks that you need or want to do. Changes in your eyeglass prescription will no longer improve your vision.
A thorough eye examination by your optometrist and our surgeons can detect the presence of a cataract, as well as other conditions that also may be causing altered vision.
Other reasons for visual loss in addition to the cataract may involve problems with the cornea, the retina, the blood vessels in the back of the eye, or the optic nerve. If these other conditions are present in addition to the cataract, you will likely experience an improvement in vision, but not perfect vision following cataract surgery.
We will explain to you and your family the details of your situation after a thorough exam.
Patients with cataracts may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- a painless decrease in vision
- light sensitivity or glare
- decreased vision in sunlight
- decreased vision from oncoming headlights
- frequent eyeglass prescription changes
- double vision in one eye
- needing brighter light to read
- poor night vision with glare
- halos, or starbursts
- fading or yellowing of colors
How Is a Cataract Treated?
Surgery is the only way that a cataract can be treated. There are no pills or drops, vitamins, exercises, or lenses that have been shown to prevent or cure cataracts. However, if symptoms from a cataract are mild, a change of glasses may be all that is necessary for you to function more comfortably as the cataract progresses.
Protection from excessive sunlight may help prevent or slow the progression of cataracts. Sunglasses that screen out ultraviolet (UV) light rays or regular eyeglasses with a clear, anti-UV coating offer this protection.
If surgery is required, it is comforting to know that cataract surgery is safe and extremely effective in restoring vision. In fact, cataract surgery has one of the highest success rates of any surgery.
About 2 million people a year have cataract surgery in the United States. Our surgeons are among the most experienced in the country.
What Can I Expect From Surgery?
At Optima, cataract surgery is performed under local anesthesia at our Federally certified ambulatory surgery center located within our office. Our center was the first outpatient surgery center in the United States to be certified by Medicare and has been in continuous operation since 1981. Because our center specializes only in eye surgery, our highly-trained staff is dedicated to ensuring the highest level of care. We use only state-of-the-art equipment in our warm and comfortable environment.
Before surgery we communicate with and obtain medical clearance from your primary care physician. During surgery you will be awake, but relaxed. Our anesthesiologist will be at your side. We perform this intricate surgery using a microscope, micro-surgical instruments, and, if the patient chooses, the LenSx femtosecond laser. We were the first site in California to utilize the Alcon Centurion Cataract System which employs the latest technology using ultrasound waves through a small incision to remove your cataract.
Discover How Custom Cataract Surgery Can Help You Get Back to the Life You Once Enjoyed
The focusing power of your eye is restored by replacing the cataract with a permanent intraocular lens implant (IOL). We often use multifocal implants that allow both distance and near, or distance and intermediate vision if the patient desires. If one has astigmatism, we can use an astigmatism (toric) implant and/or the LenSx laser to decrease the astigmatism. In most cases, sutures are not needed.
Due to advances in medical technology, we now have a number of choices for the type of advanced lens implants which will be placed in the eye. (Read about lens options in the following section.) The physicians and staff at Optima are here to help you make the choice, but ultimately, the choice of which implant to use is up to the patient and the family.
ORA – Optiwave Refractive Analysis
After the cloudy lens (cataract) has been removed, you can elect to have an additional confirmatory measurement with a real-time wavefront analyzer to assess and refine the exact measurements of the eye to ensure the most accurate lens implant power. This helps us to hit the target implant power more accurately without the cataract impeding the measurement. This leads to a better opportunity to refine and customize the implant power to your individual eye.
It’s Here … Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery
Until now, standard cataract procedures were performed manually where the surgeon used a blade for all of the incisions and other portions of the procedure. A manual procedure allows for a margin of error that can affect outcomes. Recent innovations have led to the development of laser-assisted cataract surgery. The LenSx femtosecond cataract laser offers the precision of bladeless laser technology allowing the doctors at Optima to plan, customize, and perform your surgery to exacting, individualized specifications. Laser-assisted cataract surgery combined with advanced lens implant options are providing our patients with an improved lifestyle with more freedom using the latest technology.
Benefits of LenSx Laser Technology
- No metal blades
- Enhanced precision
- Astigmatism control
- Faster recovery time
Cost of Cataract Surgery
Medicare and insurance companies pay for the removal of the cataract and the standard distance implant. However, they do not pay for the upgrade for the premium implants (multifocal, toric) or for the LenSx laser procedure or ORA procedures.
Cataract Lens Implant Choices
- Both eyes adjusted for distance vision
If the power of the intraocular lens for both eyes is adjusted for distance vision, patients generally will need glasses for some distance functions as well as for reading and intermediate tasks such as the computer, dashboard, cell phone and wristwatch. With this option, glasses will be required most of the time at most distances.
- One eye adjusted for distance and the other eye adjusted for near (blended or monovision)
By using different implant powers for each eye, we can adjust the vision in one eye for the distance and in the other eye for near tasks such as reading. For this option, if the patient has astigmatism, we can use the Toric implant. With blended or monovision, patients can be glasses free much of time.
- For patients with high amounts of astigmatism (Toric Implant)
Astigmatism is when the eye is shaped more like a football than a basketball. There is a lens implant option called the “toric” IOL. This lens has the astigmatism incorporated into the implant (like your glasses). The advantage to this lens upgrade is that, because it significantly reduces or eliminates the astigmatism, people are often glasses-free or much less dependent upon glasses following surgery for the distance. However, unless we do monovision or blended vision with the toric lens, glasses will be required for computer and reading.
- Multifocal implants
For many years, we have been using multifocal implant lenses. Dr. Mandel was one of the first surgeons in Northern California to implant the multifocal lens. These “premium” lenses are the highest technology lenses available. With this option, each eye receives a multifocal lens. When looking at a distant object, patients can see well in the distance. Also, patients can see well when viewing intermediate targets such as the dashboard, a cell phone, a computer, or a wrist-watch. Often, near targets such as menus and the newspaper can also be seen more clearly than with the standard lens implant. By far, this is the best option for patients who wish to have as “natural” vision as possible at all distances. We use the PanOptix, Vivity and the Symfony multifocal lenses. Although we strive for glasses-free vision, these lenses and the healing of the human eye are never perfect and occasionally the use of glasses or corrective surgery may be necessary to “fine tune” the vision for certain distances following the implantation of a multifocal implant.
After Your Surgery
After cataract surgery, you may return almost immediately to all but the most strenuous activities. We will provide you with written instructions and a helpful guide for the use of eyedrops following your surgery. Several post-operative visits are needed to check on the progress of the eye as it heals.
Cataract surgery is a highly successful procedure. However, it is important to understand that complications can occur during or after the surgery, some severe enough to limit or lose vision.
Fortunately, in our hands, improved vision is the result in over 99% of cases unless there is a pre-existing problem with the cornea, retina, or optic nerve. In approximately 15% of people having cataract surgery, the natural capsule that supports the intraocular lens will become cloudy within 6 to 24 months following surgery. In these cases when part of the cataract “grows back,” the YAG laser is used to painlessly open this cloudy capsule, restoring the clear vision. This is performed as an outpatient procedure at our office.
Cataracts are a common cause of poor vision, but they are treatable. Our experienced surgeons can tell you whether a cataract or some other problem is the cause for vision loss, and help you decide if cataract surgery is appropriate for you. Additionally, we will help you choose the lens implant that best suits your lifestyle. If you elect to undergo surgery, you have an extremely high chance of experiencing greatly improved vision.
World Class Vision Correction By Our Experienced Surgeons…
Our Commitment to Excellence
Our surgeons are board certified and fellowship trained specialists who are committed to helping you achieve your best vision. Using state-of-the-art technology, together with our expert surgical team, we offer the highest level of advanced training and experience having performed over twenty thousand cataract surgeries.
Dr. Mandel is a fellowship trained specialist in corneal and refractive surgery and one of the most experienced cataract surgeons in Northern California. He was born and raised in Los Angeles and is the son of a family practitioner. He graduated with honors from Oxford University, England, receiving a bachelor’s and a Master’s degree. He earned his Medical Degree from UCLA School of Medicine. His ophthalmology residency was performed at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, followed by a subspeciality Heed fellowship in corneal transplant surgery at the University of Iowa. He is one of the few corneal transplant surgeons in the Bay Area. Dr. Mandel is known in the Bay Area as the “Doctors Doctor.” He is the co-chair of corneal surgery at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.
Dr. Barez is a board-certified ophthalmologist, with fellowship training in retinal conditions. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UC Berkeley. She earned her medical degree from George Washington University, where she also completed her internship and residency in Ophthalmology. She completed a two-year vitreoretinal fellowship at the Devers Eye Institute in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Barez is an Associate Clinical Professor at UC Berkeley and has lectured extensively. She is fluent in Farsi. Dr. Barez specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and cataracts.
Dr. Alberelli is a comprehensive ophthalmologist who joined Optima in 2014. She specializes in both laser-assisted and traditional cataract surgery, as well as the treatment of eye conditions such as glaucoma, eyelid disorders, and dry eye. Dr. Alberelli received a full academic scholarship to Rhodes College where she graduated with honors in Biology. She then earned her medical degree from the University of Mississippi and received her internship training at the St. Mary Medical Center in San Francisco. Dr. Alberelli completed her ophthalmology residency at the Saint Louis University Eye Institute where she was awarded the prestigious Roya Rabbani Award for Excellence in patient Care during her time there.
Seanna Grob, MD, is an Orbit and Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. Her areas of interest include eyelid reconstruction after trauma, surgery, or cancer removal, disorders or malpositions of the eyelid, tearing and disorders of the lacrimal system, tumors and disorders of the orbit, and aesthetic eyelid and facial rejuvenation. Dr. Grob is from San Diego. After completing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of California, Berkeley, she received her medical degree from the University of California, San Diego. At medical school graduation, she received several awards including the Excellence in Ophthalmology Award, Stein Institute for Research on Aging (SIRA) Award, and the John and Lola Ross Award in the Science and Culture of Medicine. Her residency in ophthalmology was at Harvard Medical School. Upon invitation, she stayed on as the Chief Resident and the Director of the Ocular Trauma Service at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts Eye and Ear. She then completed an intensive two-year American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) fellowship in orbit and oculofacial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of California, Irvine and Kaiser Permanente South Bay and Orange County. During fellowship, she received a Heed Fellowship Award from the Society of the Heed Fellows. Dr. Grob is currently an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and teaches at UCSF and UC Berkeley.
Why Choose Mark Mandel for Your Cataract Surgery?
Mark Mandel, MD, is one of the most experienced cataracts surgeons in Northern California, having performed cataract surgery on tens of thousands of patients as well as hundreds of eye doctors and their families who trust him for his surgical skill and knowledge. As an experienced Bay Area cataract surgeon, Dr. Mandel can walk you through the procedure and help you decide which lens implant will best suit your lifestyle. If you elect to have cataract surgery with Dr. Mandel, you have an extremely high chance of experiencing greatly improved vision.
OUR PATIENTS SAY IT BEST – A THANK YOU FOR REDISCOVERING THE WORLD. . . .
“Recently, I had cataract surgery…a painless, brilliant procedure that left me with razor sharp vision. Of course, I thank my surgeon, Dr. Mark Mandel. And, I should mention, this is the third time I am thanking him!” – Jann Yanehiro, cataract surgery patient
Brian Elliott, O.D.
“As an optometrist, I appreciate the value of precise vision and am aware of the risks of cataract surgery. When I needed cataract surgery, I chose Dr. Mandel to perform my procedure. I now routinely share my story with my patients in need of surgery and can attest to Dr. Mandel’s exceptional expertise based on my own personal experience and great outcome.”
Lee K Schwartz, MD
Professor of Ophthalmology
CPMC San Francisco
Having finally reached that point in life where I wanted to have cataract surgery, I thought long and hard about who the surgeon would be. I had LASIK surgery in 2002 because of extreme nearsightedness.
As a practicing eye surgeon in San Francisco, I know all of the eye surgeons in the Bay Area. I initially thought of the convenience of having it done near my home. However, having known Dr. Mark Mandel for the past 30 years I realized it was worth the trip to see him at his Hayward office.
As an eye surgeon who has had advanced fellowship training in corneal and cataract surgery I of course felt very comfortable having the procedure. But I knew that the post-operative outcome could be tricky following a prior LASIK procedure.
As I was one of Dr. Mandel’s professors during his residency, I knew of his love and respect for the profession, his meticulous surgical technique and ability to personalize the surgical result.
So here I am three years later, continuing to practice ophthalmology and perform eye surgery. I also continue to teach the next generation of young eye surgeons and to mountain bike, drive to work and read medium size print without glasses. I will still use readers for extended reading and at times when needed in my practice. But most of the day I go without glasses.
I am most grateful for Dr. Mandel’s kindness, his skill, and my wonderful surgical outcome. Thank you!
To learn more about cataract surgery, including whether you may be a candidate for traditional or laser-assisted cataract surgery, contact our practice today to set up a consultation. Call 877-210-2020 ext. 3 today!