Cataract surgery is the only effective treatment for cataracts, notes Mayo Clinic. Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded natural lens and replacing it with an artificial lens.
The artificial lens becomes a permanent part of the eye, explains Mayo Clinic. It fits into the same place as the natural lens. Some patients, however, cannot receive an artificial lens due to other eye problems. In these cases, the physician removes the clouded lens but prescribes eyeglasses or contacts instead of inserting an artificial lens. Physicians operate on each eye separately for patients who require cataract surgery for both eyes.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient surgery, states Mayo Clinic. Patients usually remain awake during the procedure. Physicians utilize local anesthesia to numb the eye area. Patients should expect discomfort following the procedure to last for a few days. Complete healing takes place within eight weeks.
Risks of cataract surgery include bleeding and infection, according to Mayo Clinic. Having the surgery also increases the odds of a retinal detachment occurring. Physicians usually recommend cataract surgery once cataracts start to interfere with basic activities. Since cataracts are usually not harmful, physicians do not rush into surgery. Physicians can keep watch over cataracts for patients who choose to delay surgery.