Tacoma | (253) 759-5555 Gig Harbor | (253) 858-5186
Waiting room at Pacific Northwest Eye Associates Surgery Center

Cataract Surgery

Nearly 2 million people undergo cataract surgery each year in the United States, and more than 95% of those surgeries occur without complications.

During cataract surgery the now-cloudy natural lens of the eye is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Although there are a variety of IOLs, they are typically made of a flexible material, allowing the surgeon to insert the IOL through a very small incision. Once the cataract is removed and the IOL is placed in the proper position, light entering the eye will once again reach the retina normally.

A cataract should be removed only when vision loss interferes with your everyday activities, such as driving, reading, or watching TV. Once you understand the benefits and risks of surgery, you can make an informed decision about whether cataract surgery is right for you. In most cases, delaying cataract surgery will not cause long-term damage to your eye or make the surgery more difficult.

View Transcript

Sometimes a cataract should be removed even if it does not cause problems with your vision. For example, a cataract should be removed if it prevents examination or treatment of another eye problem, such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy. If you have cataracts in both eyes that require surgery, the surgery will be performed on each eye at separate times, usually four to eight weeks apart.

View Transcript

At Pacific Northwest Eye Associates, our cataract surgeons perform thousands of procedures each year. Our state-of-the-art surgery center features the finest equipment and a skilled and caring staff to insure that you obtain the clearest vision possible following surgery. Cataract surgery is performed at Pacific Northwest Eye Associates by Dr. Victor Chiu, Dr. Niraj Patel, Dr. Joseph Pham, and Dr. Mark Taylor. Call 253-759-5555 to speak with a Patient Services Representative to schedule a consultation with one of our Cataract Surgeons today.


When the natural lens of the eye is removed during cataract surgery, or removed as a form of refractive surgery, intraocular lenses (IOLs) are inserted to take it’s place. IOLs are artificial lenses sugically implanted in the eye, that provide the focusing and refractive ability the natural lens previously had.

The most common type of IOL is the monofocal, or fixed-focus lens, which provides clear vision at one distance only, usually near or far. In order to see clearly at all distances with this type of lens, individuals would normally be required to wear glasses or contact lenses.

Unfortunately, monofocal IOLs cannot correct for pre-existing astigmatism, so even after surgery you may still experience blurred and distorted vision. Newer, so-called toric IOLs allow eye surgeons to to remove the cataract and correct the astigmatism all at the same time. For many patients this results in clear distance vision without the need for glasses or contacts.

More recently, multifocal and accommodative IOLs have been introduced to provide patients undergoing cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange with more natural, blended vision. These IOLs may be used to treat myopia, hyperopia, and presbyopia and may minimize or even eliminate the need for glasses or contacts to see clearly at all distances.

Most people are happy with the vision they receive from multifocal IOLs and the decreased need for glasses. However, a small percentage of patients may experience halos (especially when driving at night), glare, and a change in the quality of their vision. in rare instances, eye surgeons may even be faced with removing the multifocal or accommodative IOL and replacing it with a monofocal IOL.

Ultimately it will be up to you and your Pacific Northwest Eye Associates surgeon to determine which IOL best fits your needs and lifestyle. Call us today to schedule an appointment!

For more information about multifocal IOLs, click here.