Cataract surgery is a common surgical procedure used to remove a cloudy lens from the eye and replace it with an artificial one. It’s typically an outpatient procedure, meaning that you can go home the same day, and it usually takes about 15-30 minutes per eye. Here are the basic steps of cataract surgery:
- Anesthesia: Before the surgery, you’ll receive anesthesia to numb the eye and prevent any pain or discomfort during the procedure. You may also receive a sedative to help you relax.
- Incision: The surgeon will make a small incision in the eye to access the lens. They may use a laser to make the incision or use a small blade.
- Removal of the lens: The surgeon will remove the cloudy lens using a small instrument called a phacoemulsifier. This device uses ultrasound waves to break up the lens into small pieces that can be easily removed.
- Insertion of the artificial lens: Once the cloudy lens has been removed, the surgeon will insert a new, clear artificial lens. This lens will be placed in the same location as the natural lens.
- Closing the incision: The surgeon will most likely use a self-sealing incision to close the small incision in the eye. Rarely a stitch needs to be placed.
After the procedure, you’ll likely need to wear an eye patch or shield for a day or two to protect the eye while it heals. Most people are able to return to normal activities within a few days to a week after cataract surgery. It’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions for aftercare to ensure a successful recovery.