Sometimes eye problems can’t be corrected with drug or other therapies and require surgical solutions.
Dr. Michael Richie has performed thousands of surgeries and has become known for his skill as a physician, innovative techniques and exceptional care for patients.
Eye surgeries are among the most commonly performed and successful surgical procedures in the world. Most surgeries do not even require an overnight stay or hospital visit, but can be performed at the Crossroads Surgery Center in Faribault.
In addition to cataract surgery, we also perform eyelid surgery and YAG laser procedures.
Cataracts occur as part of the normal aging process, and studies show that virtually everyone over age 65 has some cataract formation in their eyes. Looking for details on the typical clinic process for cataract treatment? Click here for a video.
The normally clear lens in the eye becomes yellowed, interfering with light as it enters the eye. As a result, your vision can be affected in any number of ways, including blurred vision, bad night vision, reduced vision in low lighting, trouble with street and road signs, or problems with small print.
The amount and pattern of cloudiness within the lens can vary, and you may not know it is present since cataracts do not cause watery, achy or sore eyes. Nor will they cause red or irritated eyes.
Most age-related cataracts progress gradually over many years. Other cataracts, especially in younger adults and people with diabetes, may progress rapidly. The aging process, family history, diabetes or other medical problems, smoking, trauma to the eye, some medications, and excessive unprotected UV exposure are known causes of cataracts.
It can be helpful to think of the eye as a dirty windshield on a car. It will not harm the eye to leave the cataract in place, and results are no different if the cataract is removed sooner or later. You should remove your cataract only when you decide you want it removed to make your vision better.
How dirty is your windshield? You tell us...you're the one looking through it. If it bothers you, fix it. If not, wait until it does bother you.
A thorough eye examination by your ophthalmologist can detect the presence of a cataract, as well as any other eye conditions. Cataract surgery is necessary when your decreased vision interferes with your everyday activities.
Cataract surgery has become the most common surgery performed on adults in the United States. During this procedure, the cloudy lens of your eye is removed and replaced with a clear lens implant, placed directly into the eye to reduce or eliminate the need for any glasses after surgery.
The newest implants (called multifocal implants, or presbyopia-correcting implants) can even provide sharp vision at both distance and up close, reducing or eliminating the need for any kind of glasses, including reading glasses after surgery.
This procedure, performed with sterile technique on an outpatient basis at our clinic, is extremely safe, predictable and effective, and allows for restoration of vision hampered by the cataract.
Rest assured, lens implants have been a standard part of cataract surgery for the last 25 years. Note that standard cataract surgery is not designed to correct astigmatism.
Video: YAG Laser Eye Treatment Also: Richie Eye Clinic YouTube Channel
Following cataract surgery, sometimes the posterior capsule will cloud over. In the video above, Dr. Michael Richie explains this laser eye Treatment and a YAG Laser Capsulotomy is performed.
Please contact us to discuss your options for Cataract Care.
Among the glaucoma treatments available, Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty is not a new treatment, but its placement in therapy is changing. Data collected on the treatment shows that 75 percent of people receiving selective laser trabeculaoplasty have successful lowering of pressure. Learn more about SLT as a Glaucoma treatment here or contact the Richie Eye Clinic for more information at 507-332-9900.
Dermatachalasis, the medical term for excess upper eyelid skin, is a very common problem that will affect most of us as we age. The skin begins to thin and the excess can then hang over the eyelid margin and cover the eyelashes. If it becomes pronounced enough to interfere with vision, fixing it becomes a functional issue rather than a cosmetic one and is covered by most insurance companies, including Medicare.
Symptoms of dermatachalasis include fatigue ("heavy eyelids" where the skin hangs onto and over the lashes) and a loss of side (peripheral) vision. This can make us more uncomfortable while driving, feeling uncertain at intersections, and constantly second guessing ourselves on the road. Some people will go so far as to use their fingers to lift the eyelids and improve their vision.
An eye examination and some special tests are required to document and validate the "functional" component of this problem, and some insurance companies require prior authorization before proceeding with surgery. Correction for dermatachalasis is quite straight forward: surgery to remove the excess skin and to tighten the upper lids.
This out-patient procedure, called blepharoplasty, is usually done with local anesthesia and takes about an hour to complete. You can expect some swelling for several days and bruising that can last 1-2 weeks, but most people are back to normal activity within a few days. Dissolvable sutures make the post-operative care pretty simple, and the incision usually heals in a matter of weeks.
Vision is vital to all our daily activities and the eyelids are another vital component of the visual system.
Video: Blepharoplasty Eyelid Surgery Also: Richie Eye Clinic YouTube Channel
Please contact us to discuss your options for Eyelid Surgery.
LASIK (short for "Laser in Situ Keratomileusis") is an outpatient procedure that can reduce or eliminate your dependency on glasses or contacts. It improves vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
These problems occur when the shape of the outer layer of the eye—the cornea—does not allow light to focus properly on the back of the eye. In the past, refractive errors have been treated with either glasses or contact lenses.
LASIK corrects refractive errors by adjusting the shape of the cornea. This is done using a laser to reshape the underlying tissue. By altering the shape of the cornea so that light can focus correctly within the eye, LASIK can improve your vision!
LASIK offers several important advantages over other types of vision correction surgery. Using a technologically advanced laser, LASIK is able to achieve a high level of precision.
The surgery itself lasts less than half an hour (including prep time) and you should notice a definite improvement in your vision just one day after surgery. (With previous procedures, visual improvement may not have been noticeable for up to a week.)
You'll be able to resume most normal activities soon after surgery—without glasses or contacts!
If you are interested in improving your vision, scheduling a free consultation at Richie Eye Clinic is a great first step. Most people prove to be excellent candidates for LASIK, but approximately 5 percent of people should not have the procedure performed.
LASIK Surgery: The Laser Technologies We Use
The Richie Eye Clinic treats exclusively with Wavefront Laser Technology for all laser vision correction procedures. Based on your exam, your correction and your cornea, your surgeon will choose the most appropriate Wavefront technology for you.
We offer the Allegretto Wave Eye-Q Laser and the VISX CustomVue Laser. Both of these offer the best possible correction to minimize the risks of glare and loss of contrast sensitivity, using advanced "mapping" techniques to guide the treatment.
Richie Eye Clinic utilizes the safe and effective Intralase laser for flap creation. This advanced, precision technique prepares your eyes for vision correction and allows for greater customization with your treatment while reducing risk.
Please contact us to discuss our LASIK Procedures.