Cataract is a condition in which the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy overtime, causing blurred vision. Cataracts usually develop as a result of ageing. The natural lens of the eye is made up of protein and water, over time these proteins are altered ultimately causing gradual clouding of the lens.
Cataract surgery is the replacement of cloudy natural lens with a synthetic lens to restore focusing power. It is a safe and an effective way to restore vision.
Intraocular lenses are artificial lenses used for replacing eye’s natural lens during cataract surgery. Variety of intraocular lens available for implanting includes monofocal lens, toric lens, and multifocal lens.
There are three main types of cataract surgery:
Phacoemulsification: This is the most preferred technique of cataract removal. The procedure requires minimal sedation and numbing eye drops. Your surgeon makes an incision at the outermost edge of the cornea using an operating microscope. The cloudy lens is then removed with the help of ultrasound probe inserted into the eye. This probe uses ultrasonic vibrations to break up the clouded lens and is suctioned out of the eye with the same probe. After the cataract is removed artificial lens is placed and no stitches and no eye patch are required after surgery.
Extracapsular cataract surgery: This procedure requires a larger incision to remove the entire natural lens without being broken up. An artificial lens is placed into the eye and will be sutured back. This surgical procedure usually requires numbing medication around the eye and an eye patch after surgery.
Intracapsular cataract surgery: This technique involves removal of entire lens and surrounding lens capsule through a large incision. The lens is then replaced with an artificial intraocular lens just in front of the iris. Several stitches are needed to close the incision.
And now a new type of cataract surgery:
Femtosecond Laser: This new technique replaces the initial key steps of cataract surgery that were previously performed using a blade. Using the femtosecond laser offers a range of benefits over standard cataract treatment – ask Dr Banerjee about these benefits and whether you are suitable for this new technique.
Following surgery, your surgeon may recommend use of eye drops to help protect against infection and inflammation. You may also wear protective eye shield for about a week. You may experience blurred vision during healing for the first few days following surgery. Avoid strenuous activities that might stress your eyes. Also avoid water that might cause infection. Vision is improved within few days and you can return to work.
Complications following cataract surgery are uncommon, rare complications can occur in some cases, including infection, persistent inflammation, glaucoma (increased intraocular pressure), swelling of the retina, and retinal detachment (separation of retina from its underlying tissues). In some cases, the artificial lens does not function properly and need to be replaced. Secondary cataract or posterior capsule opacification may occur in some cases, where in the lens capsule becomes cloudy or blurred after the surgery.
Our doctors perform Cataract Surgery at Nepean Private Hospital, Epping Surgery Centre, Parramatta Eye Centre and Springwood Hospital.