Phillips Kirk Labor, MD, FACS, FICS, ABES, Eye Consultants of Texas

Refractive Cataract Surgeon

About the Expert

A double board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Labor is the founder, medical director, and chief surgeon at Eye Consultants of Texas. He has more than 30 years of experience and has been nationally and locally recognized for his groundbreaking work and knowledge in the fields of refractive and cataract surgery.



What is a cataract?

A cataract happens when protein deposits accumulate in the natural lens, which is normal as we age. In fact, this protein build-up is what leads to the need for reading glasses or bifocals. However, once these proteins accumulate to the point they can be seen on an examination and a patient has visual complaints that are related to these changes in the lens (for example, decreased sharpness of vision, glare, or halos), by definition, the patient has a visually significant cataract that may require surgical correction. 

What is the difference between refractive cataract surgery and traditional cataract surgery?

Fundamentally, cataract surgery involves removing the natural cataractous lens and replacing it with an artificial lens, or intraocular lens (IOL) implant. In traditional cataract surgery, the lens is replaced with a monofocal IOL to give the eye back its focusing power. With refractive cataract surgery, the goal is to significantly reduce a patient’s dependence on corrective lenses (glasses, contact lenses). Refractive cataract surgery allows the possibility for a patient to have clear distance and intermediate and near vision without glasses versus traditional surgery.   

What qualifies me for refractive cataract surgery?

Provided there is no significant underlying ocular pathology, such as macular degeneration as just one example, nearly every person with a visually significant cataract will be a candidate for refractive cataract surgery.  

What is the benefit of the technology you use?

The cataract surgery technology we use has evolved such that it allows people to significantly reduce their dependence on corrective lenses through advanced instrumentation such as state-of-the-art measuring devices and IOL power calculating formulas, laser technologies and various IOL types. Although we can never promise someone will never wear corrective lenses again, years of experience paired with our integration of advanced technologies provides most patients the ability to drive a car, look at a computer, and read a newspaper without corrective lenses most of the time. 

While we will always suggest what would work best based on the patient’s specific visual needs, it is ultimately the patient’s decision to take advantage of available refractive cataract surgery technologies. To be clear, patients who choose traditional cataract surgery will do well post-operatively, but if greater spectacle or contact lens independence is important, refractive surgery provides a better opportunity for achieving that outcome. 

In essence, because of the remarkable array of cataract surgery tools available today, we choose to offer newer technologies that allow our patients more benefits. 

What sets you and your practice apart?

I believe it’s innovation and our patient-first caring nature. I’m very proud to have been the first North American eye surgeon to implant the RayOne EMV lens, the first “Extended Monovision” lens in the world, giving patients an extended depth of vision like never before. I was also a principal investigator and the first in DFW to implant the RxSight® Light Adjustable Lens, which is the only lens that can be customized after cataract surgery to a patient’s specific visual preferences.

Living Magazine - Ask the Expert


(817) 410-2030

You May Also Like

James Kelley, DO, Texas Center for Urology

  About the Expert Dr. James Kelley is a board certified urologist and urological ...

Alisa Reed, DDS, Dental Designs by Alisa Reed

  About the Expert Dr. Reed has been in practice for more than 25 ...

Gary K. Alexander, MD, FACS, Surgical Associates of Mansfield

  About the Expert With his background in computers, Gary Alexander has trained extensively ...

Lexi Stinger, Club Pilates

  About the Expert Native Houstonian Lexi Stinger received her Pilates Mat and Apparatus ...

Jason Perez, Remedy Roofing

  About the Expert Founded in 2005 by Doug Traylor and Greg Arnim, Remedy ...