Cataract surgery is the removal of the lens of the eye. The lens could become hazy as we age. This is referred to as cataract and is removed by surgery. The surgery is performed under local anesthesia. Over the years the surgery has been perfected and is performed by an ophthalmologist.
A technique called phacoemulsification is used for the surgery. It uses a small incision through which an ultrasonic probe is inserted. The size of the incision is generally 3mm. This breaks the clouded lens into small pieces. These pieces are emulsified and sucked out by same ultrasonic probe. A thin outer shell still covers the eyes after the pieces are sucked out. And foldable artificial lens which is made of silicone or acrylic is inserted. This is done by using a proprietary insertion device. This incision does not require stitches and seals by itself.
Generally monofocal intraocular lens is inserted, which aids distant vision. For close vision, reading glasses are necessary. With the recent advances, multi focal lens are available. The multi focal lens can handle distant, near and in between vision as well. The patient can go without glasses in most cases after the surgery.
The patient can go home in about two hours after the surgery. The patient’s recovery time reduced because of the small size of the incision and no stitches are inserted.
There is another method of surgery called extracapsular surgery which is on its way out. In this method the incision would be 8 to 10 mm and requires stitches. And patients are prone to distortion of the curvature of the cornea, resulting in astigmatism.