SEEING CLEARLY IN 2022: Talking Cataracts with Dr. Mitchell Gossman

Eye concerns that lead to surgery can be very intimidating to think about for most people. For a good reason too! The eye is your camera to the world. Through this lens, you can see the love in your spouse’s eyes, enjoy the gummy smile on your grandbabies’ faces, and bear witness to the most beautiful cotton candy sunsets. Without the sense of sight, your world would look a lot different. While most eye concerns come with age, it’s important for everyone, young and old, to take care of their vision to not miss out on these magical moments of life.

To have you seeing clearly in the new year, we sat down with Dr. Mitchell Gossman, an Ophthalmologist at St. Cloud Surgical Center, to talk more about the most common eye condition in the nation, Cataracts. Dr. Gossman sub-specializes in Cataract Surgery and has received specialized training in neuro-ophthalmology from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Having worked at St. Cloud Surgical Center since early 2002, he is highly revered by his peers and patients as an expert in the field.


THE TRUTH ABOUT CATARACTS

As unfortunate as it is to hear, age is the most common reason for vision loss. Over time, everything in your body begins to wear out, knees, hips, and yes, your eyes. They are not an exception to the rule! By far, one of the most common surgeries done in the nation is cataract surgery. We often hear patients who need cataract surgery say, “It runs in my family.” While this isn’t wrong, it’s also not strictly caused by genetics. It “runs in your family” because cataracts account for 51% of blindness worldwide. The truth of the matter is cataracts are completely age-related.

SIGNS YOU MIGHT NEED CATARACT SURGERY:

  • You are experiencing cloudier vision.
  • You have developed a glare when looking at headlights.
  • Streaks begin to come out of headlights and road signs.
  • You experience sudden trouble reading or looking at screens.
  • You have difficulty doing your job or basic tasks.
  • You are over the age of 60.

Cataracts can happen on a spectrum. You can have very aggressive-looking cataracts with minimal symptoms. Or, you can have mild cataracts that cause a lot of symptoms. However, there is no way to predict by looking at someone when the patient will want surgery.

SEVEN STEPS TO CATARACT SURGERY AT ST. CLOUD SURGICAL CENTER

  1. First, you need to determine if you’re a good candidate for cataract surgery. Start by making an appointment with your optometrist or get a referral to be seen by an ophthalmologist, like Dr. Gossman, who would perform your surgery.
  2. If your provider determines that surgery is the best course of action, you have two choices. Get the surgery or live with gradually increasing vision loss.
  3. If you move forward with surgery, you will need to take measurements to determine the lens implant power required to correct the issue.
  4. After measurements, you will schedule your surgery date at St. Cloud Surgical Center! Surgery is done one eye at a time, with a few weeks of check-ups in between.
  5. Surgery day! From pre-op to post-op, the whole process will take about two hours. We will begin with sedation (general anesthesia), so there is no pain whatsoever. The surgery itself takes 10 to 15 minutes. Your surgeon will remove the eye’s cloudy lens that sits right behind the pupil, and an artificial, clear lens will take its place.
  6. Once discharged, you will have a list of things you can and cannot do. You’ll come back the next day, and again one week after, for a check-up. If things look good, we’ll move on to the next eye.
  7. Once both eyes are corrected, you can begin to see clearly again!

For Dr. Gossman, this is the best part of his job. The WOW factor that occurs post-surgery is what makes his job worth doing. In 99% of his cases, patients only regret is not opting for surgery sooner. With the advancements of cataract surgery, it is a safe, comfortable, and painless experience. There is no reason to be part of the population struggling to see. Schedule your cataract surgery at St. Cloud Surgical Center today and start seeing 20/20 again!