Dr. Sapienza was the first veterinary ophthalmologist to implant an injectable, foldable heparin-coated intraocular lens in dogs. The cataract removal procedure called Phacoemulsification (Phacofragmentation) Cataract Surgery with an Injectable, Foldable Intraocular Lens Implant are the same techniques used in human ophthalmology.
Cataract surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. The patient is admitted to the hospital the morning of the procedure, and an intravenous catheter is placed to facilitate the administration of preoperative drugs. Drops are placed into the eye at specific intervals before the surgery. General anesthesia is induced using the most modern methods. Surgery is performed using an operating microscope and intricate sophisticated microsurgical instruments. The actual surgery time is 30-40 minutes per eye. The cataract is removed by a technique known as phacoemulsification (also known as phacofragmentation). The eye is entered with a small incision, a special blue dye is injected to visualize the lens capsule, the front capsule of the lens is removed, and the cataract is removed with a vibrating probe of the cataract machine. The lens material is emulsified and removed from the eye in a systematic fashion. An artificial intraocular lens (or IOL) is replaced into the eye to correct for total vision. In this video, a foldable, injectable intraocular lens implant is used.