Dr Steven Schendel
Dr. Steven Schendel is a glaucoma specialist who works at the Eye Care Centre at Vancouver General Hospital. He received his MD at the University of Alberta in 2008, and finished his residency training in ophthalmology at UBC in 2013. He moved to Sydney, Australia and completed a glaucoma fellowship with Dr. Ivan Goldberg at the Sydney Eye Hospital, and returned to Vancouver in the summer of 2014 to begin practicing. He is actively involved in teaching medical students, residents, and glaucoma fellows at UBC. His interests include surgical management of glaucoma and cataract surgery.
( Dr. Steven Schendel, Ophthalmologist, Vancouver, BC ) is in good standing with the College of Physicians and Surgeons. HCF
Right now there’s no way to deal with cataracts besides actually doing surgery, so despite all sorts of advances in medicine, cataracts remain a surgical disease.
And what that involves is patients have a topical anesthetic that means eye drops put on the surface of the eye, and we do have a procedure where we make a small incision in the surface and use a probe, an ultrasound based probe, to help break up the cataract and take it out of the eye.
Once the cataract’s been removed, we can put in an artificial lens into the place the cataract had sat, so into that same plain in the eye and that lasts for the rest of somebody’s life. So once your cataract is done it doesn’t need to be repeated.
Occasionally there can be a bit of a haze that grows in behind where we put in the artificial lens, but that can often be dealt with in the following months to years in the office if need be with a laser procedure.
Around the time of cataract surgery your ophthalmologist will often prescribe eye drops, so it’s important to continue to use those as your ophthalmologist requires and that might be for several weeks after the surgery.
It is important to keep any postoperative appointments that you have scheduled just so your ophthalmologist can make sure your eyes are recovering as they should be. I think an important thing to remember if you develop a lot of redness, discomfort, or decreased vision around the time of surgery, so those three things, if those occur suddenly, you should go back to see your eye surgeon right away because it could be an unlikely infection that can happen following surgery.
And that should prompt you to be seen right away. The prognosis following cataract surgery is excellent. In fact, it’s one of the most cost effective and functional surgeries that we have worldwide, so patients following the cataract surgery usually have a really nice outcome.
As I mentioned in the short-term, there’s usually some follow-up that needs to happen and occasionally patients note a bit of a foreign body sensation like a little bit of something is in the eye.
But that will resolve in the weeks following surgery, and the vast majority of patients are extremely happy following their cataract surgery, which makes us as ophthalmologists happy too.
If you have been having decreased vision or you’ve noticed some changes in your vision, and you suspect you might have cataracts or were told that you have early cataracts developing, it’s reasonable to go see your GP or optometrist and get a referral to an ophthalmologist for a full eye assessment.