Cataract Surgery

Cataract/lens implant surgery is Dr. Shaaf’s and Dr. Prendiville’s main specialty, and combined they have performed about 23,000  “no-needle and no stitch” cataract/lens implant surgeries .
In 1997, Dr. Prendiville was chosen by Staar Surgical to be the first ophthalmologist in Arizona to implant a toric intraocular lens for the correction of astigmatism.
Cataract surgery is usually considered when a person experiences adverse visual effects from the cataract in the course of daily living. Occasionally, cataract/lens implant surgery is performed for refractive purposes, only. Prior to cataract surgery, we perform measurements in our office and utilize advanced intraocular lens implant calculation formulas to ensure accuracy in the selection of power of the intraocular lens to be implanted. Utilization of advanced intraocular lens implant calculation formulas is especially helpful in ascertaining the correct power of intraocular lens to be implanted in long, short, and post-refractive surgery eyes. Cataract surgery is typically performed under intravenous sedation with monitored anesthesia care and with powerful anesthetic eye drops and other agents to ensure comfort. This takes an average of 12 minutes or a little longer when combined with ORA and/or implantation of a glaucoma drainage device for pressure lowering in glaucoma patients. The incision is self-sealing and very small at 2.4 mm, thus resulting in no need for stitches.


A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. For people who have cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses is a bit like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Clouded vision caused by cataracts can make it more difficult to read, drive a car (especially at night) or see the expression on a friend’s face.
Most cataracts develop slowly and don’t disturb your eyesight early on. But with time, cataracts will eventually interfere with your vision.
At first, stronger lighting and eyeglasses can help you deal with cataracts. But if impaired vision interferes with your usual activities, you might need cataract surgery. Fortunately, cataract surgery is generally a safe, effective procedure


Signs and symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Clouded, blurred or dim vision
  • Increasing difficulty with vision at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Need for brighter light for reading and other activities
  • Seeing “halos” around lights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Fading or yellowing of colors
  • Double vision in a single eye

Risk factors

Factors that increase your risk of cataracts include:

  • Increasing age
  • Diabetes
  • Excessive exposure to sunlight
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Previous eye injury or inflammation
  • Previous eye surgery
  • Prolonged use of corticosteroid medications
  • Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol


No studies have proved how to prevent cataracts or slow the progression of cataracts. But doctors think several strategies may be helpful, including:

  • Have regular eye examinations.Eye examinations can help detect cataracts and other eye problems at their earliest stages. Ask your doctor how often you should have an eye examination.
  • Quit smoking.Ask your doctor for suggestions about how to stop smoking. Medications, counseling and other strategies are available to help you.
  • Manage other health problems.Follow your treatment plan if you have diabetes or other medical conditions that can increase your risk of cataracts.
  • Choose a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.Adding a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to your diet ensures that you’re getting many vitamins and nutrients. Fruits and vegetables have many antioxidants, which help maintain the health of your eyes.

Studies haven’t proved that antioxidants in pill form can prevent cataracts. But, a large population study recently showed that a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals was associated with a reduced risk of developing cataracts. Fruits and vegetables have many proven health benefits and are a safe way to increase the amount of minerals and vitamins in your diet.

  • Wear sunglasses.Ultraviolet light from the sun may contribute to the development of cataracts. Wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet B (UVB) rays when you’re outdoors.
  • Reduce alcohol use.Excessive alcohol use can increase the risk of cataracts.