Ophthalmology Services

West Chester Hospital’s ophthalmology specialist physicians provide eye care services to patients with ophthalmic disorders, abnormalities and trauma. Our ophthalmology services include:

  • Cataract and Lens Replacement Surgery
  • Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery

Cataract and Lens Replacement Surgery

What is a Cataract?

Approximately half of Americans age 60 and older will develop cataracts. Fortunately, this condition can be treated by a simple outpatient surgical procedure. cataractsAs people age, catarcts cause the lens inside the eye to become less clear, even cloudy.  Cataracts usually progress slowly and vision loss gradually increases if left untreated.

Some symptoms of cataracts include: decreasing, blurred or double vision; difficulty seeing at night or seeing halos in bright light; difficulty with depth perception; difficulty seeing colors; and/or difficulty reading.

Certain risk factors can contribute to cataracts developing earlier or at an accelerated rate, including:

  • Trauma to the eye, including injury, burns or surgery
  • Regular use of tobacco, alcohol or corticosteroids
  • Exposure to radiation, X-rays or ultraviolet (UV) light
  • Certain diseases, including diabetes, hypothyroidism and glaucoma
  • Heredity

About Cataract Surgery

Once a cataract starts altering your vision enough to affect everyday activities, it is time to seek treatment. Including the preparation and recovery, the entire surgical experience is generally less than three hours, with the actual surgical procedure lasting only about 15 minutes.

With a traditional surgical approach, the ophthalmologist will remove the cloudy lens or to break it up using high frequency sound waves, and will then extract the lens particles using suction. The lens is then replaced with a flexible plastic intra-ocular lens (IOL) that will remain in the eye permanently. Replacement lenses can be adjusted to correct other previous vision deficiencies as well.

Pain during and after cataract surgery is usually minimal, and patients do not need to undergo general anesthesia. Using a topical numbing agent, patients remain awake during their procedure. Cataract surgery incisions are usually self-sealing and do not require sutures. When stitches are occasionally required for healing, they can be easily and painlessly removed in the physicians’ office.

Every patient and eye is different, but many patients see well enough to drive the day after their surgery. Most patients can return to basic activities like reading and watching TV by the next day, and return to their everyday routine within one to seven days.

Multifocal or Accommodating Lens Implants

Several types of intra-ocular lens (IOL) implants are available to help people enjoy improved vision after cataract surgery. Like your eye’s natural lens, an IOL focuses light that comes into your eye through the cornea and pupil onto the retina, the sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that relays images through the optic nerve to the brain. Most IOLs are made of a flexible, foldable material and are about one-third of the size of a dime. Like prescription eyeglasses, your IOL will contain the appropriate prescription to give you the best vision possible.

Laser Surgery for Cataracts

In traditional cataract surgery, the surgeon uses a fine blade to make tiny incisions and then uses radiofrequency waves to break up the cataract. West Chester Hospital also offers laser surgery,which involves computer mapping of the eye along with the use of a laser to make incisions and soften the cataract as it breaks it up into small pieces. Laser surgery increases the surgeon’s ability to make a precise incision, to keep the lens capsule intact and to ensure proper placement of the artificial lens. The laser procedure may be safer to the inner eye, reducing the chance of certain complications, such as a detached retina.

Astigmatism and Cataract Surgery

Astigmatism occurs when the eyeball, cornea or lens is oblong (football shaped), resulting in blurred and impaired vision. Incisions during cataract surgery (either traditional or laser surgery) can be used in the more curved axis of the eye to reduce the astigmatism giving the cornea a rounder shape. The procedure is called astigmatic keratotomy.

In addition, new premium IOLs can help minimize or eliminate  dependence on eye glasses after cataract surgery. The flexible design of the IOL makes it possible to reduce or eliminate corneal astigmatism and significantly improve uncorrected distance vision.

Learn more about cataracts and cataract surgery. 

Cosmetic and Reconstructive Procedures

Human eye on blue background (shallow DoF)Patients may choose cosmetic eye and eyelid procedures for numerous reasons. A cosmetic procedure can restore the skin around the eyes to its natural appearance while improving vision impaired by sagging lids, correcting abnormal eyelash growth, or removing growths around the eye. Some of the eye and eyelid procedures available at West Chester Hospital include the following.


Also known as an eyelid lift, this surgery corrects conditions such as eyelid deformities, eyelid malposition and droopy eyelids (ptosis). Blepharoplasty of the upper or lower eyelids is typically performed to remove loose or sagging skin that disturb the natural contour of the eyelid, sometimes impairing vision.

Trauma Surgery

Eye injury is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. Causes of eye injuries vary and are most often related to injury from blunt or sharp objects, motor vehicle accidents, falls, and other accidents. West Chester Hospital provides emergency medical and surgical care for eye injuries.

Correction of Abnormal Eyelash Growth

Entropion is a turning in of the eyelashes, in which the lashes rub against the eyeball. Ectropion is an outward turning of the eyelashes, in which the eyelid and lashes hang down abnormally. Although these conditions are referred to as eyelash abnormalities, they result primarily from abnormal positioning of the eyelid and are more common as we age and skin loses its elasticity. If left untreated, these abnormalities may lead to pain, permanent eye damage and infections. Operations to correct entropion or ectropion are minor procedures, usually performed on an outpatient basis and with local anesthesia. The operation tightens the muscles and tissues supporting the eyelid and leaves no obvious scars.

Removal of Eyelid Tumors

Treatment options for cancer of the eyelid may depend on the type and stage of cancer, potential side effects and the patient’s overall health. The ophthalmologist may use a combination of treatments, including surgery, to effectively remove the cancer and reduce the chance of it spreading. Some patients with eyelid cancer may require reconstructive surgery to improve eye function and to recreate a normal appearance. Most importantly, the doctors will strive to maintain the health and vision of the patient’s eye.

Strabismus Alignment

If an eye muscle is too strong or too weak, the eye may turn in or out, or rotate too high or low. This is known as strabismus. Strabismus alignment is a surgery in which the eye surgeon detaches the affected muscle from the eye and reattaches it farther back in the eye to change the strength of the muscle and achieve more balanced function of the eye muscles. This procedure will align the eyes and improve visual function and cosmetic appearance of the eyes.

To receive the name of a physician who specializes in ophthalmological procedures at West Chester Hospital, please call our physician reference line at 513-298-DOCS (3627).