Our eyes are subject to complications and diseases just like our other organs. There are a variety of eye problems that can affect a person but one of the most common which affects millions globally is cataracts. A person who suffers from cataracts has eyes or lenses to be more specific which appear hazy and clouded. Because of this, one’s vision can be negatively affected by cataracts. People who are mostly affected by cataracts are the elderly due to the fact that the main contributor to cataracts is aging.
Those who are suffering from cataracts may find solutions in wearing prescription glasses in the case where their vision is not yet really affected. However, once the condition has worsened and one’s vision has significantly reduced in quality, it would be best to undergo Cataract Surgery to remove the affected lens and have it replaced with an intraocular lens. Today, we are going to take a closer look into the details of the procedure and know what the process of cataract surgery is like.
The surgery will be done in an outpatient procedure in the outpatient center of a hospital or an eye center. Cataract surgeries take around an hour. Before starting, the doctor or ophthalmologist will apply some eye drops onto your eye so that the pupils may dilate along with some anesthesia to numb the area. You may also be sedated so that you can relax. If ever you are sedated, it is still possible that you will stay awake during the entire surgical procedure but you will feel quite groggy.
As mentioned, cataract surgery involves the removal of the affected lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens to treat vision. However, there are also cases where the cataract itself is removed but the ophthalmologist will not apply an artificial lens. In order to remove the cataract during Cataract Surgery, the eye doctor may make use of the following methods:
- Breaking up the lens with the use of an ultrasound – This type of surgical method is known as phacoemulsification. Through a small cut made by the surgeon on the cornea, a probe as thin as a needle is inserted down to where the cataract is. This probe then transmits the ultrasound breaking up the cataract into fragments and then sucked out.
- Removing the cloudy lens with advanced laser equipment – This is also known as laser assisted cataract surgery. The laser is used to make the needed incisions and also softens the cataract so that it can be easily removed.
- Removing the lens through the incision at once – The eye doctor may also perform this method which is known as extracapsular cataract extraction. Compared to phacoemulsification, this method requires the ophthalmologist to make a bigger incision. This is because the lens itself is removed as a whole through the cut using surgical tools. The back capsule is then left where the intraocular lens will rest.
After the removal of the cataract, the artificial lens can then be attached and the Cataract Surgery will be finished. The eye doctor may or may not stitch up the incisions and the patient must rest to allow the eye to heal.