Phacoemulsification is a mechanically assisted extracapsular technique of cataract extraction surgery. Phacoemulsification and standard extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) are surgical methods that remove the cataract as well as the front portion of the lens capsule (anterior capsule). The back of the lens capsule (posterior capsule) is left inside the eye to keep the vitreous gel in the back of the eye from oozing forward through the pupil and causing problems. The posterior capsule also supports the IOL and helps keep it in the proper position. These types of surgery are usually done in an outpatient setting and not in a hospital. Most cataract surgery is done using a topical anesthetic (eyedrops) or a local anesthetic. Local anesthetic may involve a sedative for relaxation followed by an injection either under, or inside the eye to deaden nerves and prevent blinking or eye movement during surgery. The patient is advised to rest for at least 24 hours, until he or she returns to the Opthamologist's office for follow-up. Only light meals are recommended on the day of surgery. The patient may still feel drowsy and may experience some eye pain or discomfort. Usually, over-the-counter medications are advised for pain relief, but patients should check with their doctors to see what is recommended. Cataract surgery complications and other side effects of are severe pain, nausea, or vomiting. In some children, surgery to remove a cataract that causes a lot of vision loss may be very important in preventing blindness. The most critical period for the development of sight is from birth to 3 months. The earlier cataracts in children are diagnosed and treated, the more likely it is that their eyesight will be protected.
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