A staggering 70 percent of adults will get cataracts – clouding of the natural lens in the eye – at some point in their lifetime. While the odds of encountering a cataract are significant, it can be difficult to commit to surgery without a clear picture of what the procedure will entail.

Fortunately, recent advances in cataract surgery technology have made it easier than ever for those going through the process. To give you a glimpse into the current state of cataract surgery, we’ve asked one of our recent patients at OES to share his journey. Read more for a rare glimpse into the questions, decisions, and experiences of a real cataract surgery patient.

A patient’s cataract surgery journey: Joseph Biggs

When Joseph Biggs had to stop driving a couple of months ago, he knew it was time to finally address his cataracts. Diagnosed with the common condition over two years ago, Joseph was anxious to undergo cataract surgery. But the condition was slowly hindering his ability to do what he loved most – helping others.

Every week, Joseph drives local seniors to their doctor appointments, prescription pick-ups, and other stops for errands they need help with. His cataracts weren’t just impacting him – they were impacting the people that depended on him too.

“I was super apprehensive about the idea of surgery, but the team at OES soothed my fears.”

Those seeking cataract surgery are faced with several important decisions leading up to the procedure – including whom to choose as an ophthalmologist. It was Joseph’s optometrist who recommended Dr. Devin Gattey at Oregon Eye Specialists.

“From the day I walked in, I was impressed,” Joseph recalls. “Everyone was so courteous and professional.”

Once Joseph met with Dr. Gattey, his anxiety began to subside. Dr. Gattey described the surgery: he would replace Joseph’s cloudy lens with a modern lens implant that matched his prescription. Dr. Gattey also assured Joseph that recent advances in technology have made cataract surgery easier than ever.

“I try to give each patient the compassion, meticulous attention to detail and efficiency I would want for myself and my family,” Dr. Gattey explains.

With a better understanding of what to expect, Joseph was ready to move forward with confidence.

“Dr. Gattey was so patient and my fears just dissolved as he explained everything to me.”

“As far as the surgery went, I was amazed and impressed.”

Just as Dr. Gattey explained, the technology used for cataract surgery has improved significantly in recent years and the surgery went smoothly.

“I was completely relaxed and comfortable,” recalls Joseph. “They used special numbing eye drops and they were perfect. It was all so easy.”

The whole procedure took less than 30 minutes. Dr. Gattey notes that, “thanks to options like intraocular lenses and advanced eye drop regimes like LessDrops, these surgeries are safer and easier than ever.”

Joseph was thankful for the painless surgery and experience with Dr. Gattey.

“I have to say, at Oregon Eye Specialists, you feel like you are the only patient in the world. The personal attention and care I received there were second to none.”

“I can’t wait to get back to helping others again.”

It wasn’t until he got home, that Joseph noticed the incredible improvement in his vision.

“My bathroom and kitchen appliances are actually white. White is actually white again!”

Joseph’s experience is consistent with other patients’ after cataract surgery. Patients often see an immediate and dramatic improvement in their vision.

It’s what motivates Dr. Gattey every day. “Seeing the impact this surgery has on my patients’ lives is what I love most about my job.”

For Joseph, “I’m in seventh heaven. Everything is so much brighter after my surgery and I can’t wait to start driving and helping others again.”

For those deciding whether or not cataract surgery is right for them, Joseph encourages patients to explore their options with their doctor.

“If you find out you need to have it done, do it. I am so totally satisfied – I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Find out more on cataract care on our website, or schedule an appointment with one of our providers at one of our 10 locations.

About the Expert

Dr. Devin Gattey is an experienced cataract surgeon at OES. He joined the OES team in 2013 after practicing for 11 years with Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and serving as their director of comprehensive ophthalmology and lead cataract surgeon. He also founded and led their International Ophthalmology Program. At OES, Dr. Gattey practices comprehensive ophthalmology with a special interest in complex cataract surgery and advanced lens implants. Learn more about Dr. Devin Gattey »