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All About Cataract Surgery!

Reviewed by
Dr. Anand Palimkar 91% (10 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologist, Pune  •  22 years experience
All About Cataract Surgery!

A cataract usually forms in the eyes due to clouding of the naturally clear lens that coats the eyes.This coating is usually a matter of age advancement or any other injury that the eyes may have sustained. It may also be a birth defect that a baby may be born with. There are various ways to deal with this debilitating condition.

One of the methods of treatment includes cataract surgery. Read on to find out more about this form of treatment:

  • Procedure: During this surgery, the ophthalmologist will remove the cloudy lens and clean it before replacing it with a man-made lens.The technique followed for this procedure is known as phacoemulsification which involves a small cut or incision for the cataract surgery. The incision helps the doctor in liquefying and then vacuuming the centre portion of the lens, which is slightly harder than the rest of the lens.
  • Device: The doctor will usually administer anaesthesia first and then make the tiny incision on one side of the cornea. Thereafter, an instrument or device will be inserted through this opening to send out ultrasonic vibrations to the eye. These vibrations will help in breaking the lens into tiny pieces. These fragments will be removed with the help of a suction that will go in through the tiny cut. This cut may also be made with the help of a laser beam.
  • New Lens: Once the fragments of the old lens have been cleared, the doctor will go about the process of inserting the new man made lens which is usually made up of clear plastic, acrylic or even silicon, and is known as IOL or intraocular lens. This process is generally termed as intraocular lens implantation.
  • Improved Vision: With the help of the new lens, the patient will now enjoy better vision and a visible decline in the symptoms of the cataract including problems in night driving.
  • Convenient: This procedure usually takes about an hour and is an outpatient procedure. It is a completely safe procedure where numbing drops are placed on the eye so as to reduce any pain significantly. Also, cataracts from both eyes will not be removed on the same day, and the doctor will schedule you for cataract removal from the second eye for another day.
  • Aftermath: After the surgery is over, it is normal to feel some amount of irritation in the eye. If this irritation is persistent, you must see a doctor about it.

Nowadays, this surgery is done under topical anaesthesia. The duration of procedure is around 30 min. There are a variety of intraocular lens styles available for implantation, including monofocal, toric, and multifocal intraocular lenses. Multifocal intraocular lenses are one of the latest advancements in lens technology. These lenses have a variety of regions with different power that allows some individuals to see at a variety of distances, including distance, intermediate, and near.

Following surgery, you will need to return for visits within the first few days and again within the first few weeks after surgery. During this time period, you will be using several eyedrops that help protect against infection and reduce inflammation. Within several days, most people notice that their vision is improving and are able to return to work. During the several office visits that follow, your doctor will monitor for complications. In most cases, full activity can be resumed after a few days. Once vision has stabilized, your doctor will fit you with glasses if needed. The type of intraocular lens you have implanted will determine to some extent the type of glasses required for optimal vision.

Painkillers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used to recover from the pain after the surgery.

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