Steps taken during a common cataract removal procedure include making incisions in the eye, creating a circular opening on the lens, inserting a probe in the eye, breaking up the cataract and placing a lens implant in the eye, says WebMD. Phacoemulsification and extracapsular cataract extraction are the two types of procedures.
During a standard extracapsular cataract extraction surgery, incisions are made in the eye where the cornea meets the sclera and in the front of the lens before the lens is removed, according to WebMD. An intraocular lens implant is positioned inside of the lens before the incision is closed. Incisions usually seal themselves in a phacoemulsification, but they may need to be stitched if they don't seal on their own.
Eye drops or a local anesthetic is usually used as anesthesia during cataract removal surgery, notes WebMD. Children, anxious patients, those who are allergic to standard anesthesia, and patients who have special medical conditions may be given a general anesthesia.
After the procedure, the patient receives instructions on eye protection, potential complications, medicines and follow-up visits, says WebMD. The eye may be bandaged or protected with a special shield. Patients usually have to return for follow-up appointments a couple days after surgery and again a few weeks later.