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Cataract Removal


What is it?

Cataracts are usually treated by surgically removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial lens, which will help in focussing the light rays, resulting in clear vision. Cataract removal surgery is an outpatient surgery, which means the patient can return home the same day in a few hours.

cataract removal

Surgery Types

There are various surgical methods to perform the removal of cataracts. The following are the different options available for you,

Conventional Cataract surgery

It is also known as Extra Capsular Cataract Extraction (SICS/ECCE). It is an old surgical procedure performed when the cataract in the eye is very mature.

In this method, the patient is given an anesthetic to numb the area around the eye, after which an incision of 7 to 8 mm is carried out to extract the clouded lens from the eye in one piece. Then a hard plastic eye lens is implanted in its place. In ECCE, multiple stitches to the eye are required to close the incision and the prescription for the final glass might take up to 10 weeks.

Phacoemulsification 

It is accepted as the standard care for cataract removal surgery. This surgical procedure involves using ultrasound energy to break up or emulsify cataract into microscopic fragments, which can then be suctioned out of the eye gently.

In this procedure, an incision of 2.8mm is made through which the cataract is emulsified and removed from the eye. A foldable intraocular lens is then implanted in the eye replacing the natural lens.

This surgical method is a painless procedure and requires minimal to no stitches to close the incision in the eye. The chances of infection are very low and the time period of healing after the surgery is also very less.

Micro-coaxial Cataract Surgery (MICS) 

MICS is the latest medical procedure for the removal of cataracts and is similar to phacoemulsification. 

In this type of surgery, the incision size is reduced to 2.2 mm or even less through which the cloudy lens is emulsified and sucked out of the eye inserting a foldable intraocular lens into the eye through the same wound.

This method of surgery requires the least healing and recovery time, contains no stitches and is a painless surgery.

Post Surgery

Cataract removal surgery is a safe procedure with fewer complications and the patient can resume their day-to-day activities one day after surgery. In three to four days time, the patient can start going to work regularly as long as they remember to apply eye drops as prescribed by the doctor without fail.

It might take up to 4 - 6 weeks after surgery to provide glass correction. Till then the patient might find it difficult to read even though it becomes better after the implantation of a multifocal intraocular lens.

Eyeglasses may be required for fine-tuning the vision. The glasses required are thinner as compared to the previous glasses worn before surgery. If the lens used is a monofocal lens then the person needs to wear reading glasses most of the time.

Authored By Dr. Lalit Kumar

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