What Happens During The Cataract Surgery Procedure – A Detailed Look

Cataract surgery is necessitated when the natural lenses in the eyes become opaque due to metabolic changes over time. The cataract surgery procedure is a simple one that is performed by an ophthalmologist in a sterile clinic, in order to avoid cataract surgery complications. During the actual surgery, the surgeon will normally remove the damaged and cloudy lens and insert a synthetic lens that can help restore vision.

A Peek Into The Cataract  Surgery Procedure

Most patients who undergo the cataract surgery procedure report little or no discomfort during the actual surgery. This is mainly because the surgeon and the anesthetist will decide on the kind of anesthesia to be administered, making an effective choice that will put the patient at ease. When the patient is being prepped for the eye surgery, the following actions will be carried out.

Cataract Surgery Procedure

Phacoemulsification is first carried out during the cataract surgery procedure

Cataract Surgery Procedure – The Initial Steps

  • Once the patient is taken to the operation theatre, a cannula is inserted, usually in a vein in the wrist or the back of the hand.
  • A pulse oximeter and a heart monitor may also be used to monitor the patient, along with a BP monitor in case general anesthesia is used.
  • Local anesthesia can also be used during the cataract surgery procedure, including types like topical, peribulbar and retrobulbar, which ensure minimal discomfort.
  • During the cataract surgery procedure, the patient is kept at a reasonably reclining state, and the surgical staff members ensure that the face is level to provide better accessibility to the surgeon.
  • The area surrounding the eye is cleansed and a sterile drape is placed around the eye.
  • An eyelid clip or a speculum is used to keep the eye open during the procedure.

Cataract Surgery Procedure – The Actual Surgery

In most cases, the surgery takes close to 15-20 minutes.

  • A microscope is placed about 25 cm from the eye, to provide proper illumination and visibility during the cataract surgery procedure.
  • The discission is performed near the limbus, which is where the cornea and sclera meet. Minor incisions are made, to avoid the need for sutures and reduce the recovery time.
  • The affected lens is first removed, and this process is also called phacoemulsification.
  • An intraocular lens (IOL) is then inserted and the surgeon checks for fluid leakage after the insertion.
  • Sometimes an antibiotic might be administered during the cataract surgery procedure to prevent any inflammation or infections.

During the IOL implant, the surgeon might use monofocal, toric, or multifocal intraocular lenses, depending on the patient’s requirements.

Monofocal lenses are the most commonly used lenses these days. Toric lenses are used to correct astigmatism and multifocal lenses provide better vision, though they can cause more glare than the other two lenses. Surgeons choose the right lenses based on their suitability and reliability. Care should be taken after cataract surgery to maintain good vision.


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