Cataract surgery is performed by making a small incision at the top of the eye. We then use a phacoemulsification (ultrasonic pulse) machine to break up the cataract and simultaneously remove the tiny lens pieces. We can often insert an artificial lens much like humans use after having the cataract removed. Once the cataract is removed it can NOT come back, however there can be secondary problems that may arise after the surgery.
We offer Endoscopic Cyclophotocoagulation. This procedure lowers intraocular pressure by ablating the ciliary processes with a diode laser. The ciliary processes are what produces the aqueous humor which builds up causing the increased pressure. Using a diode laser equipped with an endoscope allows for direct visualization of the ciliary processes which permits a more targeted approach.
We can correct eyelids that roll either inwards or outwards. Many times this can be done by removing a wedge shaped piece of skin from the eyelid, when this is sutured it replaces the eyelid to the normal position. If the pet is still very young we may be able to “tack” the eyelids with suture. This is basically pleating the eyelid in the direction that we want so that the skin will re-learn how to grow so that it will remain in the normal position.
When the nictitans gland prolapses the only way to resolve the problem and keep the pet comfortable is to reposition the gland. Removal of the gland is NOT an acceptable form of treatment as it will result in permanent dry eye that cannot be treated. Our ophthalmologist will create a “pocket” behind the third eyelid. The gland is then positioned in the “pocket” and sutured into place.
Parotid Duct Transposition
For some severe cases of dry eye we can perform a PDT. This is when the ophthalmologist takes a salivary duct from each side of the mouth and moves them to take the place of the tear gland. This is not a perfect solution since saliva is not the same as tears, but in very severe cases it is an option to try and keep the animal comfortable without having to remove the eyes.