Things I Wish I Knew Before Cataract Surgery

Former Masters Champion Craig Stadler shares things he wishes he knew before cataract surgery with the Light Adjustable Lens. Learn more.

Former Masters Champion Craig Stadler, age 70, relied on his better-than-perfect eyesight throughout his golf career. His ability to closely follow the ball was a point of pride — until his cataracts worsened. “There are a lot of things I wish I knew before cataract surgery,” he said, “especially what an amazing difference it makes.”

For four years, Craig struggled with his vision. He couldn’t drive at night anymore, and couldn’t follow the golf ball — even when standing right behind the tee. He finally took the leap to have cataract surgery this spring. We sat down with Craig to discuss what he learned during his experience.  

Things I Wish I Knew Before Cataract Surgery

The Process Is Easy

“I really had no idea what to expect,” Craig said, “but I didn’t realize how easy and seamless the process leading up to surgery would be.” He explained that the first step was meeting with his cataract surgeon, Dr. Akbar Hasan. “Dr. Hasan explained everything very well.”

Together, they reviewed his options for cataract surgery and selected the best choice for Craig. After Dr. Hasan explained the different intraocular lenses, Craig selected the new Light Adjustable Lens, which can be customized after surgery.

The Procedure Is Simple and Fast

“I was totally surprised by how simple the surgery is,” Craig said. “You’re done in forty-five minutes and out of there. I never felt a thing. It was the easiest surgery I’ve ever had in my life.”

He explained that the procedure was painless and fast. Dr. Hasan performed surgery on one eye at a time, with one week in between. “As soon as I got out of the surgery center for my right eye, I wanted to go right back and do my other eye. That’s how great it was.”

The Difference Is Amazing

Shortly after surgery, Craig started noticing his vision improve. “A few days later, we were on the golf course and I was sitting about 220 yards from the hole,” he remembered. “I realized I could see the golf ball sitting eight feet left of the hole — and I couldn’t even watch it before. All of a sudden I was following every shot and every drive they hit. It was just an amazing difference.”

Since then, Craig has been able to drive at night again and follow the golf ball as clearly as he ever did. He also noticed that colors appear brighter and more vivid. “I pinch myself every day,” he said. “It’s wonderful.”

I Won’t Need Glasses Again

Before cataract surgery, Craig explained that he needed to wear glasses to enjoy activities like watching TV from a distance and reading. He’d never needed glasses before his cataracts worsened, but he had been wearing them for about four years to help with his sight. 

“I had no interest in wearing glasses again,” he said. That was one of the reasons he chose the Light Adjustable Lens for his procedure, to ensure he could adjust his vision to the perfect sight for him. Now, Craig loves that he won’t need distance or reading glasses again.

I’m Glad I Waited for the Light Adjustable Lens

“I’m actually glad I waited as long as I did because the Light Adjustable Lens has only been out for about a year,” Craig explained. 

The Light Adjustable Lens is the first-ever cataract lens implant that can be adjusted after surgery. This groundbreaking technology allows patients to test drive their vision and customize their prescription to their lifestyle, just like with glasses or contacts.

The Benefits of Cataract Surgery With the Light Adjustable Lens

A few weeks after cataract surgery, Craig met with Dr. Christian Guier to test his vision. They previewed and compared prescription changes, then made his first adjustment using a special UV light treatment from a Light Delivery Device. The UV light customizes the photosensitive material of the lens.

“With the Light Adjustable Lens, we place this implant within the eye, and after two weeks, we can adjust the power of the lens,” Dr. Guier explained. “We tune a patient’s vision for optimal distance correction and even a blending of distance and near vision.” That’s how Craig was able to say goodbye to glasses for good after surgery.

“When I had my first adjustment, I was sitting looking at my phone and I couldn’t read it. I couldn’t read my laptop either,” Craig remembered. “Dr. Guier told me to give it a couple of days, but by the time I woke up in the morning, I grabbed my phone and — wow. It was perfect.”

Craig got the chance to experience his adjusted vision at home and on the golf course before meeting with Dr. Guier again to confirm his vision or make another adjustment. Note that the total number of light treatments is based on the achievement of the desired visual outcome. Once you have achieved your final optimal vision, the lens power is permanently locked with two final light treatments to prevent any further changes. 

“It’s been amazing doing all the different tests and getting me the best vision I can get,” Craig said. “Hats off to the Florida Eye Specialists team, Dr. Hasan and Dr. Guier. I’m happy and I’m seeing great.”

Schedule Your Cataract Surgery Consultation

The doctors at Florida Eye Specialists have performed over 700 cataract surgeries with the Light Adjustable Lens — the most of any practice in the region — and have seen amazing results. We offer light treatments at five area locations including Jacksonville, Mandarin, Fernandina Beach, St. Augustine, and Ormond Beach so patients can receive their adjustments close to home.

“When you think about elective procedures that benefit you every time you sit up for the rest of your life, cataract surgery should be that,” Dr. Guier said. “And with the Light Adjustable Lens, we’re fine-tuning it right from the outset so that you have that quality of vision forever.” 

Florida Eye Specialists offers the best in experience, safety, and accuracy for our cataract patients. Call 904-564-2020 or click to request an appointment today.