Cataract removal is an effective surgical treatment in which the cataract, or cloudy lens, is removed from the eye. Depending on the patient’s type of cataract, the removal may be through phacoemulsification, extracapsular extraction or laser surgery, states MedlinePlus.
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure performed by an ophthalmologist. Local anesthesia is given to the adult patient via shots or eye drops. The doctor utilizes a distinct microscope to view the affected eye and performs a small incision. The method of extracting the cataracts is determined by the nature of the cataract, according to MedlinePlus.
The phacoemulsification method requires a small incision, and it involves the use of a device that initiates sound waves to break the cataract into small pieces, which are then suctioned to complete the removal process, explains MedlinePlus. Extracapsular extraction requires a larger incision, as the process aims to remove the cataract in one piece. The laser surgery method is deemed to be safer and more precise, as it uses laser technology instead of a scalpel to create incision. The same laser technology softens the cataract during the procedure, enabling easy suction for complete cataract removal.
After the cataract is extracted from the eye, a man-made intraocular lens, or IOL, is usually placed into the eye. The IOL is a clear lens made of plastic, acrylic or silicone, with a surgeon-approved optical capacity that restores visual acuity and lessens the dependence on eyeglasses after surgery, according to WebMD. Cataract surgery is an outpatient surgical procedure performed in an operating room, usually completed in less than one hour.