Cataract surgery

Undergoing Cataract Surgery

What happens during treatment

Cataract surgery has proven to be a safe and effective treatment method for many years. As the most common surgical procedure in the world, it is a routine treatment usually performed on an out-patient basis. It takes between 15 to 30 minutes. The surgery is performed on one eye at a time. The second eye is usually treated a few days to a few weeks later.

Here is a step-by-step guide to everything that occurs before and during surgery: from preparations at home to walking out of the operating room.

Preparations on Surgery Day

On the day of your surgery, there are few things you should keep in mind:

  • Do not wear any lotion, make-up, after-shave, or perfume.
  • Wear normal and relaxing clothes.
  • Eat a light meal no later than five hours before the procedure and stay hydrated to ensure a stable circulation for the procedure.
  • Arrange for transportation after surgery.

You will be brought into the operation room lying on a surgical bed during your appointment. The procedure generally does not require sutures, which aids a quicker recovery. You will be allowed to go home after a short observation period.


Steps of Cataract Surgery

What to expect during surgery

1. Measurement

Firstly, a few days or weeks prior to the surgery, the eye is precisely measured to calculate the correct power that is needed for the intraocular lens.

2. Anaesthesia

Directly before the surgery, you will be given an injection, or drops of anaesthesia, to numb the eye and to ensure the surgery is painless. An eyelid holder is used to prevent you from blinking during surgery. Furthermore, your eyelids and the surrounding skin will be disinfected.

3. Incision of the Cornea

The surgeon makes a small incision of approximately 2 mm in the cornea to insert the intraocular lens into the eye.

4. Protection of the Inner Eye

To protect the eye, supporting intraocular structures create space for surgical tools. A jelly-like substance called ‘Ophthalmic Viscosurgical Device’ (OVD) is injected in the eye. OVDs protect the corneal endothelium and other tissues during surgery by minimizing the interaction between tissues and instruments.

5. Opening the Capsular Bag for Lens Placement

With a thin scalpel, the surgeon creates a small opening in the capsular bag, where the natural lens is located.

6. Phacoemulsification

The cataract lens is softened and broken apart using a small high-frequency ultrasound device called ‘phaco tip’. The lens is removed from the eye, using gentle suction.

7. IOL Insertion

The intraocular lens is then carefully positioned in the capsular bag where the original lens was located before. The eye heals the incisions itself.

8. Post-Operative Eye Protection

The surgeon will place a protective patch over your eye.