If you are diagnosed with a cataract, your early symptoms may be improved with new glasses, brighter lighting, anti-glare sunglasses or magnifying lenses. If these changes don’t help, surgery is the only effective treatment. Cataract surgery is a complex but very safe procedure, is usually done on an outpatient basis, and doesn’t require much downtime.
What Happens During Cataract Surgery?
Phacoemulsification, or “phaco”, is the most commonly used cataract surgery procedure today. Phaco was developed to make recovery time shorter and to reduce the risks involved with larger incisions. A small incision is made on the side of the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. Your surgeon then inserts a tiny probe into the eye. This device emits ultrasound waves that soften and break up the lens so that it can be removed by suction. The incision is so small that it seals itself, so stitches aren’t necessary. Small incision cataract surgery is much less invasive, allowing faster recovery so you can get back to your life!
The surgery involves removing your cloudy lens and replacing it with an artificial lens called an IOL, or intraocular lens. An IOL is a clear, plastic lens that requires no care and becomes a permanent part of your eye. Based on your test results, your surgeon will recommend the best IOL for you. Be sure you understand all the options. Learn more »
What Happens After Cataract Surgery?
Cataract surgery is a safe and effective way to restore vision, with serious complications occurring in fewer than one in 1,000 cases. This outpatient surgery generally takes less than 15 minutes. You can resume most of your normal activities the following day, allowing you to quickly get back to your life. Learn more »
Of course, any surgery has risks. A common complication is known as a secondary cataract. The back part of the eye capsule becomes hazy months or even years after surgery. Fortunately, your doctor can treat this condition with a YAG laser. The YAG procedure takes only a few minutes and can be done safely, effectively and painlessly at the surgery center.