Main Office Four Corners Eye Clinic 575 Rivergate Lane #212 Durango, CO 81301 Phone: (970) 259-2202 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Satellite Office Farmington Location 3450 E Main St Farmington, NM 87402 Phone: (970) 259-2202 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Satellite Office Cortez Location 22 S Beech St Cortez, CO 81321 Phone: (970) 259-2202 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Satellite Office Pagosa Springs Location 190 Talisman Dr Pagosa Springs, CO 81147 Phone: (970) 259-2202 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Satellite Office Aztec Location 121 S Main Ave Aztec, NM 87410 Phone: (970) 259-2202 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Satellite Office Bayfield Location 49 W Mill St Bayfield, CO 81122 Phone: (970) 259-2202 Monday–Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Advanced Cataract Surgery

Men and women from Utah, Arizona, and nearby cities such as Farmington, New Mexico, and Bayfield, Colorado, come to Four Corners Eye Clinic for cataract surgery because they can count on a straightforward procedure, a comfortable recovery, and remarkably clear vision — all delivered with compassionate care.

Cataracts are a fact of aging, but people don’t have to resign themselves to cloudy vision as they grow older. It’s easier than ever to see the things and people you love with cataract surgery by the professionals at Four Corners Eye Clinic. Using an extremely small incision for minimized healing time, cataracts can be effectively — and permanently – resolved, with vision that is sometimes better than you can ever remember having!

What Are Cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of the eye that develops over time. This is due primarily to the structure of the eye’s lens, which is composed of water and protein. Over time, the protein ages and calcifies, making the lens thick and cloudy. Often, the calcification process is so gradual that it can be difficult to detect until the condition is quite advanced.

Symptoms & Risk Factors

Developing cataracts is a matter of when not if. Although they may not develop until later in life, you will eventually get them if you live long enough. Most cataract patients are over 50. However, certain conditions, including diabetes, can hasten their development.

Symptoms can be vague and include the following:

  • Double or blurry vision
  • Colors that appear “washed out” or faded
  • Excessive halos or glare around lights that make night driving difficult
  • Frequent adjustments to your eyeglass prescription

Cataracts can be easily detected during a routine eye exam, so it’s important to see us regularly for checkups. We recommend an eye doctor visit at least once every 2 years.

Are you caring for someone with cataracts? Visit our Eye Care for Your Loved One page.

Treatment Options

Thanks in part to the fact that nearly everyone develops them, cataracts are relatively easy to treat. In their early stages, the symptoms of cataracts can be reduced with the use of a stronger prescription for your glasses or contacts, or even a magnifying glass. But these solutions are cumbersome and inconvenient for most people.

Surgical intervention is the only permanent solution for cataracts. The procedure replaces the clouded natural lens of the eye with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Once surgically removed, cataracts will not come back or redevelop.

Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery

While cataract surgery has traditionally been performed with a hand-held blade, we offer the option of laser-assisted cataract surgery. The laser can be used to correct astigmatism with great accuracy and predictability. Our LenSx® laser system is based on the same laser technology that is used in bladeless LASIK. With the LenSx system, the surgeon can customize a surgical plan to the unique characteristics of each patient’s eye. The computer-guidance system enables the surgeon to make extremely precise incisions.

Our surgeons regularly perform both types of cataract surgery for patients at our Durango, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, CO, and Aztec, NM, locations. Both procedures are very safe and effective. Laser-assisted cataract surgery is quickly becoming a preferred choice for many patients. Not all patients are candidates for laser-assisted cataract surgery. Talk with your surgeon about this option.

Lens Options

We offer a variety of IOLs to suit your vision and budgetary needs. Options include:

  • Monofocal IOLs, which allow you to see at a fixed distance (far, middle, or near), are typically covered by insurance.
  • Premium, multifocal, and accommodative IOLs allow you to see at a variety of distances, reducing your dependence on glasses. We offer advanced technology lenses including PanOptix® and astigmatism-correcting lenses. There is typically some out-of-pocket expense associated with these lenses, but many of our patients find the cost well worth the added comfort, convenience, and range of vision.
  • Light Adjustable Lenses™ from RxSight® these revolutionary IOLs allow your surgeon to adjust the lens after surgery to ensure your vision is as clear as possible. Four Corners Eye Clinic is the first ophthalmology practice on the Western Slope of Colorado to offer this new technology!

Our Advanced Technology

Four Corners Eye Clinic remains on the leading edge of medical technology to benefit both surgeon and patient. Your surgeon may incorporate the following options into your cataract surgery:

  • iTrace: During your initial consultation for cataract surgery, we may use the innovative iTrace device to better understand your condition and determine if you are a good candidate for advanced technology lenses. Four Corners Eye Clinic is the first and only practice in the region offering iTrace to patients.
  • ora logoThe ORA™ System: This intraoperative aberrometry device helps us efficiently and accurately select and place the optimal IOL for improved patient outcomes. We were the first practice in the Four Corners region to incorporate the use of an ORA.
  • LenSx® Laser: This state-of-the-art alternative to performing cataract surgery with a hand-held blade may enhance surgical precision. There is typically some out-of-pocket cost associated with use of the LenSx® Laser.

The Procedure

Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure performed by our dedicated cataract surgery team at Animas Surgical Hospital. The actual surgery takes only about 15 minutes to complete. Before the surgery, your eyes are numbed completely. You may also be offered a sedative to help you relax.

Your surgeon makes an extremely small incision on the surface of your eye that does not require sutures for closure. With traditional cataract surgery, a special tool uses ultrasound energy to emulsify the natural, calcified lens, which is then gently aspirated from the eye. With laser cataract surgery, the laser breaks up the cloudy lens before the lens is removed. Finally, the lens is replaced with a foldable, synthetic IOL.

You’ll need someone to drive you home after surgery and stay with you for at least the remainder of the day. While your eyes are healing, you’ll need to wear protective eyewear while you sleep or go outside.  Patients typically notice an improvement in their vision the day after surgery and see clearly within a week.

When you meet with one of our surgeons, you will have the opportunity to discuss what options are best for your care.

Cataract Surgery and Lens Pricing Options

Lens Price
Monofocal/Standard Lens with or without use of ORA.
*There is no additional charge for ORA.
“Base fee”
All cataract surgeries will incur a fee from the physician for the surgery (“physician’s fee”) plus a facility fee from ASH plus a fee for Anesthesiology.

Four Corners Eye Clinic also offers the following advanced technology lenses and laser surgery options.  These options will incur the following additional costs over and above the “base fee” for your cataract surgery:

Lens Price
Laser Surgery with Monofocal/Standard Lens
The LenSx femtosecond laser provides state-of-the-art precision and may be recommended by your surgeon.
Base fee + $875
Specialty lens for correction of astigmatism that minimizes the need for glasses after surgery. Talk to your surgeon to find out if you are a candidate.
Base fee + $1,525
TORIC Lens Implanted with Laser Surgery Base fee + $2,400
Multi-Focal Lens
Specialty lens that corrects for all distances – near, intermediate and far; and can minimize the need for reading glasses after surgery. Again, talk with your surgeon to find out if you may be a good candidate for this type of lens.
Base fee + $2,450
Multi-Focal Lens Implanted with Laser Surgery Base fee + $3,325


Cataract Surgery Outcomes

At Four Corners Eye Clinic, we pride ourselves on results. As of December 31, 2016, 98.63% of our adult cataract surgery patients with a diagnosis of uncomplicated cataract and no significant ocular conditions impacting the visual outcome of surgery achieved visual acuity of at least 20/40. This calculated performance rate was established using Certified EHR Technology. The registry average for participants in the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s IRIS Registry was 51.08%.

Cataract Surgery FAQ

Will you eventually go blind if cataracts are left untreated?

If cataracts are left untreated, they may completely prevent light from entering the eye and lead to total blindness. In fact, cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

How painful is a cataract operation?

Your eyes will be numbed with drops and you will be offered a sedative, so you should be calm and not feel anything during the surgery. After surgery, you may experience mild discomfort and itching for a few days.

How long does it take to recover after cataract surgery?

While patient experiences vary, most are fully recovered within 4 to 6 weeks.

  • Expect to feel fatigued for the first day or two.
  • Do not rub your eyes!
  • Avoid bending over or heavy lifting for about week.
  • Wear sunglasses while outdoors and protective eyewear
  • Stay out of swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas, and the ocean.
  • Hold off on strenuous exercise.

What are the most common problems after cataract surgery?

While serious complications after cataract surgery are rare, the following problems are temporary and fairly common: blurry vision, feeling like something is in the eye, dry eye, floaters, and eyelid ptosis (drooping). If you have any concerns, contact our office without delay.

How long before you can bend over after cataract surgery?

You will need to avoid any actions that place your head below your waist for about a week (as directed by your surgeon) because it increases pressure in the eye.

Can I watch TV after cataract surgery?

It is usually safe to watch TV after cataract surgery, although your vision will likely be blurry initially. Be sure to avoid eye strain from watching for long periods of time.

Does there come a point when it’s too late for cataract surgery?

The longer cataracts are left untreated, the denser they become and the more difficult they are to remove. Most people struggle with visual impairment enough to seek treatment before their cataracts become too advanced.

Learn more about how easy it is to treat cataracts with the physicians at Four Corners Eye Clinic. Request an appointment online today or call our office at (970) 259-2202 to schedule your visit with an eye doctor.

Meet Our Physicians

Eric Meyer, M.D.

Board certified in ophthalmology since 2001, Dr. Meyer is an experienced specialist and genuinely enjoys educating and caring for patients. A Minnesota native, Dr. Meyer has trained at clinics in Milwaukee and Pittsburgh before finally settling in Durango in 2001. In his spare time, he's an avid outdoorsman and understands the role that healthy vision plays in the Four Corners lifestyle.

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Joshua Zastrocky, M.D.

A board-certified glaucoma specialist, Dr. Zastrocky has spent much of his professional life researching and mastering treatments for this common condition. After graduating, he trained with leaders in the field at the University of California, Davis, medical center. He's pleased to bring those skills to patients at Four Corners Eye Clinic. Dr. Zastrocky is a Colorado native, and he and his wife are happy to raise their 7 children in his home state.

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John P. Brach, M.D.

Dr. Brach completed medical school with honors and went on to train at the world-famous Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. While Dr. Brach is a well-rounded ophthalmologist, he’s particularly interested in cataract surgery and comprehensive eye care. A native Coloradan, Dr. Brach enjoys the outdoors with his wife, their son and an adopted canine.

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Linda Rose, M.D.

A board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Rose is a fellowship-trained corneal specialist. She was the Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of Cornea Service at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center for 12 years before joining Four Corners Eye Clinic. Outside of work, Dr. Rose enjoys a range of activities, including dance, hiking, and skiing. She is a certified yoga instructor and scuba diver.

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Kyle Piwonka, DO

Dr. Piwonka is a board-certified Vitreoretinal Surgeon who specializes in conditions affecting the retina and vitreous, including the diagnosis and management of dry and wet macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, inflammation of the eye, retinal tears and detachment, ocular trauma, epiretinal membranes, and macular holes. A Texas native, Dr. Piwonka is an experienced surgeon who has previously practiced in the mountain west and beyond.

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