Phacoemulsification followed by the implantation of a posterior chamber intraocular lens is also known as modern cataract surgery, which is not considered a major surgery as defined by Mosby's Medical Dictionary. The operation generally takes less than an hour to complete, according to WebMD.
Mosby's Medical Dictionary defines major surgery as a procedure that is usually performed under general anesthesia and requires post-operative care in a hospital. Modern cataract surgery is performed under local anesthetic with mild sedation and requires no hospitalization.
Phacoemulsification is a procedure in which a small incision is made in the side of the eye, as noted on LasikEyeSurgeryCorrection.com. A small tool inserted into the incision emulsifies, or dissolves, the clouded lens, which is then aspirated out of the eye. A small, folded artificial lens is then inserted through the incision. Once in place, the lens unfolds.