Cataracts, commonly affecting both eyes, occurs in over half of adults over 60 years. The surgery to remove cataracts is a very safe and successful procedure, with over 1.5 million cataract surgeries performed in the United States to date. It is often recommended for those individuals who have vision loss that is impeding their daily life, but may be avoided for those who have additional eye diseases. Cataract surgery is performed with minimal sedation and generally takes less than 30 minutes. During surgery, an artificial lens is put in place of the original to restore vision.
There are three different approaches to cataract surgery:
Phacoemulsification: Most common, this approach requires only local anesthesia. Ultrasonic vibrations dissolve the cloudy lens via an inserted probe.
Extra capsular cataract surgery: This type of surgery is often performed when the lens is too dense for phacoemulsification. This surgery requires sutures, and recovery is longer.
Intra capsular cataract surgery: This technique requires a larger incision, and the entire lens and surrounding capsule are removed. This method is rare, and is only used when existing eye trauma makes it the most practical option.Over time, the lens replacement may begin to cloud. This is easily corrected with an additional laser treatment.