Cataract Surgery

Cataract Treatment

Cataract surgery has become the most common outpatient surgery performed. Our modern cataract procedures make use of state-of-the-art, high-tech equipment and techniques.

Today's cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that takes a half-hour or less. Best of all, you'll be back to your normal activity level within a few days. Cataract surgery has made major advancements over the past few years. Before your procedure, a few numbing drops will be placed in your eye, which eliminates the risks and discomfort that is caused by the previously used shot behind the eye. This also helps avoid blurry or impaired vision.

Cataract Symptoms

  • Cloudy, blurry, fuzzy, foggy or filmy vision
  • A noticeable cloudiness in the pupil
  • Increased glare from lights eg: from headlights when driving at night
  • A decrease in distance vision but an improvement in near vision.
  • Double vision (diplopia)
  • Frequent changes in eye prescriptions
  • Impairment of colour vision
  • Poor vision in sunlight.

Cataract Treatment

The symptoms of early cataracts may be improved with new prescription glasses, better lighting or effective sunglasses. Once cataracts progress surgery is the only effective treatment.

Surgery is usually recommended in cases where cataracts cause impairment of vision to such an extent that daily activities are affected. Surgery may not be recommended if there are other pre-existing medical conditions, including eye conditions such as glaucoma, which may affect the success of the cataract surgery.

Cataract surgery involves removing the cataract-damaged lens and replacing it with a clear plastic lens known as an intraocular lens (IOL). The eye is carefully measured prior to surgery so that the appropriate sized intraocular lens can be selected. The aim of surgery is to restore vision (particularly distance vision) as much as possible.

Cataract surgery is most commonly performed as a day stay procedure and is usually carried out under a local anaesthetic with a light sedation. Anaesthetic eye drops or gel may be used. In rare cases a general anaesthetic may be recommended.

Surgery involves making a small incision in the front of the eye, through which the old lens is removed and a new intraocular lens is inserted. There are two main techniques for the surgical treatment of cataracts:

Phacoemulsification Surgery

A 2mm incision is made in the front of the eye and the lens is broken into tiny pieces by a special machine that emits sound waves. The lens is then suctioned out of the eye capsule. In this procedure the back half of the lens capsule (posterior capsule) is left in place to support the new intraocular lens. The much smaller incision required for this technique has the advantage of a reduced healing time. It is the technique most commonly used in the world.