Cataract Surgery Minneapolis

Cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss around the world, but fortunately, they can be treated.

Classified as an opacity of the natural lens of the eye, the treatment involves replacing your natural lens with an intraocular lens (IOL). Advanced Multi-focal IOLs correct both nearsightedness and farsightedness for cataract patients in Minneapolis, St. Paul, or anywhere in the surrounding Twin Cities area and Minnesota.

Join the thousands of patients who have experienced visual clarity with cataract surgery in Minneapolis from refractive surgeon Dr. Ralph Chu.

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Everyone seemed like they enjoyed their job. I had friends who had great things to say about Dr. Chu. He seemed so knowledgeable and he was as excited as I was about my new vision. He takes great satisfaction in helping people change their lives. It was honestly easier than getting my teeth cleaned at the dentist, and I can see great.

Why Choose Chu Vision Institute for Cataract Surgery in Minneapolis?

  • Thousands of successful cataract surgeries completed

  • Both modern laser and basic cataract procedures are available

  • One of the few sites in Minnesota to offer Light Adjustable Lenses

  • Convenient on-site surgical center

  • Trusted by Minneapolis for 25 years

  • Accept medical insurance and convenient financing

  • Dr. Chu has participated in 100+ FDA clinical trials

  • First surgeon to do LASIK Cataract surgery in Minnesota

Schedule your life-changing experience now!

See if you are a refractive cataract surgery candidate.

Find out if refractive cataract surgery is right for you.

The Benefits of Cataract Surgery

  • Get rid of cloudly vision.
  • Better nighttime vision improves driving and other activities.
  • Improved independence for a better quality of life.
  • Reduced risk of falls and accidents.
  • Eliminate or greatly reduce your need for glasses and contacts because our wide selection of cataract Multi-focal Lenses (IOLs) correct both nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
  • Precisely fine-tune your vision with Advanced Light Adjustable Lenses – Dr. Chus is one of only a handful of surgeons offering LAL in  Minnesota.
  • Get the best lens for your unique eyes and vision needs with one of the widest ranges of lens options in Minneapolis.
  • Easy day surgery with no need to go to the hospital because our accredited ambulatory surgical center is next door to the clinic.


Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Ralph Chu is proficient in both basic manual and modern laser cataract surgeries and can decide which treatment is most effective for patients by providing comprehensive exams and full analyses of their medical histories. The major difference between the two surgeries is that the basic surgery is done with handheld surgical tools, whereas the laser method is principally done via state-of-the-art laser technology.


About an hour before modern refractive cataract surgery, a member of our team will fully numb the patient’s eyes with specialized eye drops. Laser cataract surgery is very similar to manual cataract surgery, except we employ innovative femtosecond lasers. This remarkable technology graphs an extremely detailed map of the eye; therefore, the lasers can find the precise site of the cataract and soften it before breaking it up into several tiny pieces. At this point, these pieces are suctioned out of the eye, and a small incision is made to replace the preexisting lens with a multifocal intraocular lens (IOL).

Unlike many other cataract surgeries, refractive cataract surgery is unique in that it permanently enhances the shape of the cornea. This allows light to seamlessly bend and reach the retina in the correct manner. A properly shaped cornea can solve numerous ocular issues, such as astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness.

Due to its unique precision, modern laser cataract surgery technology offers exceptional results with a quicker healing process than basic manual surgery. Laser cataract surgery is a quick outpatient procedure lasting about 10-20 minutes. This makes it perfect for anyone hoping to correct their vision without prolonged pain or taking significant time off of work.


The recovery time for modern cataract surgery normally ranges from 4 – 8 weeks; however, it varies from patient to patient. During the recovery process, you’ll need to stick to strict aftercare directions to foster the best possible results. You will also be advised to use a few types of prescription eye drops throughout the healing period, and it is crucial not to press on or touch the eyes for any reason while they get better. We may also require some patients to wear an eye patch for a while.

We will have you come back for a few follow-up evaluations, so Dr. Chu can monitor your recovery and make sure your vision is improving on schedule. For the majority of our patients, vision is noticeably improved right after the procedure, but it stays cloudy for a few days until the post-surgery inflammation starts to decrease. Some patients report seeing halos or glares around lights, but this tends to decrease over time. In general, patients are able to enjoy significantly clearer vision with less dependence on eyeglasses.


Considered to be both incredibly safe and exceptionally dependable, basic cataract surgery, called phacoemulsification (fak-oh-i-muhl-suh-fi-kay-shuhn), is among the most routinely conducted procedures around the globe.

Dr. Chu performs basic cataract surgery as an outpatient treatment that generally lasts around ten minutes per eye. As in modern laser cataract surgery, the patient is under “conscious sedation” during treatment; however, the eyes are totally numbed prior to starting the surgery to offer complete comfort and most people do not remember the procedure taking place. Many patients are very surprised at how easy and painless the surgery is.

Once the patient is ready, Dr. Chu will secure a ring or suction device over each eye that hinders any movement during the surgery. Then, he will manually create a three-millimeter incision at the edge of the cornea. After this, he will utilize a separate device to reach the lens through the incision. This device breaks apart the clouded lens using ultrasonic waves so it can be easily removed and replaced with an IOL through the same incision. We can perform basic cataract surgery with a variety of IOLs, including the PanOptix multifocal lens or Light Adjustable Lens. The incision is so tiny that it doesn’t need stitches and will heal smoothly on its own.


After the procedure, our staff will provide thorough aftercare directions to ensure optimal recuperation. We will let you know when to use any necessary anti-inflammatory eye drops, whether an eye bandage will be needed, advice on sleeping without bumping or touching the eyes, and not doing certain strenuous tasks. It is typical for basic cataract surgery patients to deal with a degree of distorted vision for an hour or two after the procedure, but this is just an acclimation process as your eyes adjust to the implanted lens. It is also possible to develop red scleral tissue and some slight bruising that looks like a black eye for 5 – 7 days after the procedure. Dr. Chu will have you return to Chu Vision Institute the next day for your initial follow-up assessment. Additional visits may be needed, depending on the speed of your recovery.


At Chu Vision Institute, our approach to vision care and eye health is simple. We first take the time to understand life from your unique perspective. By utilizing top technologies and techniques to treat cataracts, we can provide you with improved eyesight. If you have cataracts or have experienced changes in your vision, contact our Twin Cities practice to arrange an evaluation with Dr. Chu and learn more about basic, modern, and lifestyle cataract surgery and other treatment options.

Dale Minneapolis Cataract patient fishing


 I wanted surgery on my eyes done correctly. I wanted it done by somebody who’s very competent. Dr. Chu spent time answering my questions, and my results are great. Two years ago, I would have never thought I’d be this free of glasses.

  • Read more patient transformation stories

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Common Questions About Cataract Surgery

How long does it take to recover from cataract eye surgery?

It’s crucial that you adhere to the detailed post-care recommendations provided to you if you want effective outcomes. In order to lower the risk of infection and inflammation, eye drops will be prescribed for you.

After cataract surgery, you may experience blurry vision. This is typical while your eye adjusts and heals. Within a few days, you will notice a drastic improvement. It normally takes around 8 weeks for a full recovery.

If both of your eyes require cataract surgery, your doctor will wait for the first eye to heal before doing the procedure on the other eye.

Your eye doctor will schedule follow-up visits to ensure your recovery is proceeding as planned. These consultations often take place the day following surgery, a week later, and around a month later.

Do you need glasses after cataract surgery?

It depends on if you select mono-focal or multi-focal lenses for your cataract procedure.

Following cataract surgery, nearly 90% of mono-focal patients see a considerable improvement in their near and distance vision, although the majority still require some sort of corrective lens due to presbyopia.

However, after cataract surgery with multi-focal lenses, your dependence on glasses is typically eliminated or greatly reduced. You might need to wear glasses occasionally for near vision tasks like reading, depending on your vision.

Click here to learn about our lifestyle lens options.

Can a cataract be removed without replacing the lens?

Hypothetically speaking, sure. But you’d need to wear extremely thick glasses to see clearly without a new lens.

Without a lens implanted, the eye cannot focus correctly. To restore the eye’s focusing ability, thick eyeglasses, contact lenses, or an intraocular lens IOL must be used. The majority of cataract surgery patients use an IOL because it can permanently replace the patient’s natural lens. The IOL offers vision that is superior to that of thick eyeglasses and is considerably more practical than a contacts because it does not need to be put on and taken off the eye.

How painful is a cataract operation?

The procedure to remove cataracts is not painful. Although the patient is awake during the procedure, there is little to no discomfort when the cloudy lens is removed. Before the procedure, a light sedative may be given to soothe the patient’s nerves. Eye drops are also used to numb the eye. After surgery, there can be some minor discomfort, but this goes away quickly, and you can usually get by with over-the-counter pain relievers.

When should you have cataracts removed?

Your best option if cataracts are preventing you from doing normal daily tasks or interrupting your lifestyle is cataract surgery, which involves removing the cataract and replacing it with an intraocular lens implant to correct your eyesight permanently. You can take your own cataract selftest by asking yourself if you experience any of the following symptoms.

Driving at night is much more difficult when you have cataracts. It becomes more hazardous if you have cataracts because it makes it difficult for you to see in the dark.

Reading may become more challenging, as well as other commonplace tasks. To view the words on the page well when cataracts are fully developed, you’ll need a bright light. This may be a true indicator that you should think about having cataract surgery.

In addition to limiting your ability to see in the dark, cataracts also make you sensitive to light. You might experience pain from things like bright lights or sunlight. You’ll also notice that your vision is yellow or brown-tinted if you have cataracts. This indicates that you will see less and that your vision has deteriorated. When you find it difficult to ignore these signs, it could be time to consider cataract surgery!

You might notice haloes around light sources because cataracts can block some light. This most frequently occurs near headlights or streetlamps. Driving is riskier when there are haloes because you might feel blinded by oncoming traffic. To determine whether cataract surgery is necessary, speak with your eye physician.

Cataracts may result in double vision similar to the haloes you sometimes notice around lights. The diffracted state of your lens causes double vision. Halos and double vision while driving at night can be frightening! This may be confusing and distracting, and it’s a sign that you might require surgery soon. Ultimately it is the patient’s decision as to when they will have cataract surgery, but when your quality of life is being affected, it is a good time to consider it.

What is the success rate of cataract surgery?

You’ll be pleased to learn that cataract surgery not only has a fast recovery time and is a relatively painless procedure, but it also has a very high success rate of 97-98%, according to current studies in the United States. This is due to the fact that it is a routine procedure with a low risk of complications.

But the longer you put off getting cataract surgery, the more likely it is that you will encounter some difficulties. In other words, cataract surgery is highly successful for the vast majority of patients. If you’d like more information about Cataract Surgery in Minneapolis MN, call Chu Vision Insitute today to request an appointment.

Can you be alone after cataract surgery?

Our patients at Chu Vision Institute are given a light sedation during surgery and it is strongly advised that you are not alone until the anesthesia has fully worn off. Most people feel very sleepy after surgery and take a nap when they get home.

Your vision will be limited after the cataract treatment and while you won’t experience pain, you won’t be able to operate a vehicle. A friend or family member should drive you to your surgery and back home and anywhere else you might need to go for the first 24 hours or until your cataract surgeon says it is ok to drive.

Do eyes look different after cataract surgery?

The size and shape of the pupil appear to change for some patients after cataract surgery. The older the patient, the more substantial these changes seem to be. Intraocular lenses (IOLs) however cannot be seen once they are implanted.  Significant cataracts can cause the eyes to look white or cloudy, so removing the cataract will make the eyes look clear and dark again.

Can you watch TV after cataract surgery?

Most patients can watch a little television or briefly glance at a computer screen several hours after their procedure. However, these activities reduce your blink rate and can dry out your eyes, so it’s crucial that you take it easy on your eyes for the first 24 hours after surgery. It is best to resume normal activities like watching TV according to your eye doctor’s advice.