Know the basics
What is Cataract surgery?
Cataract is when the glass inside your eyes get dimmed, usually due to aging. This leads to symptoms such as blurred vision and in some cases can reduce the ability of near vision.
Cataract surgery is a procedure to remove the faded vitreous (glass layer inside the eyes) and in the majority of cases the doctor will replace a new artificial one.
Why is Cataract surgery performed?
Cataract surgery should be done when:
- Cataract troubles your daily activities. For example, you cannot see clearly when doing your work, or you cannot drive car, you cannot read books or watch TV as usual, you cannot cook, go shopping or do the garden, you cannot clearly see faces although they stand very close to you and while standing in the bright light, you feel everything is very blurry. If you have these symptoms, this is when you need to take this surgery.
- Cataracts affect the treatment of other eye diseases.
Understand the risks
What are the risks of Cataract surgery?
You can do cataract surgery at any time; not necessarily need to wait until your vision is blurred heavily.
A problem can occur after cataract surgery is blurred bag. This condition occurs when the cells of the removed lens begin to grow again. This will make your eyes blurred and cause symptoms like when you are suffering from cataract. To fix this error, you need to perform laser surgery.
Before the surgery, you should understand the warnings. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor for more information and specific instructions.
Like other surgeries, there are some risks related to cataract surgery. We do not include those possibilities here because they are specialized and varied for each person. Ask your surgeon to explain the impact of these risks to you.
Complications of cataract surgery are rare but may include:
- Tear lens cover.
- There are problems with the new lens, such as wrong type or incorrect position.
- Severe eye infections.
- Retinal detachment (when the thin layer at the back of the eye is separated from the blood vessels).
- Bleeding inside the eye (bleeding in the choroid) – Surgeons may need to stop the surgery and you will need to do it on a different day.
If any of these complications occur, they can affect your vision and you may need to have surgery again. Ask the surgeon to explain the risks to you in detail.
The most common problem that you may encounter after cataract surgery is blurred bag. This is when the cells of the removed lens start to grow again. This causes a problem for your vision similar to cataracts. You may need laser treatment to heal this.
It is important you understand the risks and complications before having this surgery. If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor or surgeon for more information.
Know what happens
How do I prepare for Cataract surgery?
Your doctor will evaluate your health to see whether you can stand the surgery or not. An ophthalmologist (a doctor specializing in eye diseases, including eye surgery) will measure your eyes and eyesight. These tests will decide which type of artificial lens are the best for you, for your vision to reach the best possible after surgery.
You should prepare some questions to ask about the risks, benefits and alternatives of the procedure. This will help you have all the necessary information to accept the procedure. If you agree, you must sign a written agreement.
What happens during Cataract surgery?
The surgery usually takes 30 minutes.
Surgeons will give you some eye drop to dilate and relax the eye muscles. This will help the doctor to examine the eyes and make the surgery easier. Your doctor will also put some anesthetic drop in your eye and put a piece of clean cloth cover your face. The cloth will form a small tent to cover your face so that you can still breathe and talk. The surgeon will use a small clamp to hold your eyelids open so you do not need to worry about winking during surgery.
Once the anesthetic has taken effect, the surgeon will make small cuts on the surface of the eye. Even though your eyes are open and you are awake, you can not see the instruments used. However, you can see light and some motion. You will not feel any pain.
The most common way of cataract surgery is phaco surgery (emulsification cataract). The surgeon will use a special ultrasound tool (sound waves) to break theopaque glass. You can hear a low sound when the device is active. The surgeon will take the vitreous debris out of your eyes and keep the lens cover. Then they will bring new artificial lens in order to put a permanent fixture.
Surgeons often let your eye heal naturally without mending.
If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with your doctor or surgeon for more information.
What happens after Cataract surgery?
Anesthesia may take your eyes several hours to have a feeling again. The eyes can be covered with a protective plate that you’ll need to wear overnight.
You may be given antibiotic eye drops to use at home to help prevent infection. You may also be given steroid eye drops to help control swelling in the eyes. It is important to follow the advice of your surgeon about the frequency of eye drops.
Normally, you can go home a few hours after the surgery, when you feel ready. Make sure someone can drive you home. And ask someone to stay with you while waiting anesthetic wears off.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Cataract surgery. http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cataract-surgery/basics/definition/prc-20012917. Accessed July 16, 2016.
Cataract Surgery. http://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-cataract-surgery. Accessed July 16, 2016.
Eye Health and Cataract Surgery. http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/eye-health-cataract-surgery. Accessed July 16, 2016.
Cataract surgery (phacoemulsification). https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/surgicalbrochures/cataract-surgery-phacoemulsification. Accessed July 16, 2016.
Review Date: September 6, 2018 | Last Modified: September 6, 2018