Cataract Procedure Details

When performing cataract surgery, Dr. Harvey uses the latest in lens removal technology with emphasis on minimizing incision size.

The Procedure – In Detail

Before the procedure can begin the pupil is dilated, and the surgical area is prepared using a sterile cleanser. A topical anesthetic is then administered to the surface of the eye. An incision of approximately 2.0 mm in length is then created at the junction of the cornea (the clear front of the eye) and the sclera (the white part of the eye).

After making the main incision, another dose of anesthetic may be administered inside the eye. The front part of the lens envelope, known as the lens capsule, is carefully opened, exposing the cataract. An ultrasonic needle pulverizes the cloudy cataract material while simultaneously vacuuming it from the eye.

Once all of the cataract material has been removed, a soft, folded, intraocular lens is then inserted through the original incision and placed into the lens capsule. Once the lens is centered, the surgeon verifies that the eye is at a normal pressure and watertight. Under most circumstances, stitches (sutures) are not required to keep the incision sealed. The construction of the tiny surgical opening allows it to self-seal so that suturing is not necessary.

At the conclusion of the procedure, an antibiotic medicine is applied to the eye and a protective eye shield may be recommended.

The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis so that the patient is able to leave the surgery center the same day. Patients are advised to arrange for someone to drive them to and from surgery. Recovery from surgery is generally very rapid and painless, with most patients achieving noticeably better vision within days of the procedure.

Patients are asked to use antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops for the first few weeks after surgery. It is wise to avoid strenuous activity for the first week after surgery. Patients should also refrain from eye rubbing.

Glasses are sometimes required after surgery to achieve the best possible vision. They are typically prescribed three to four weeks postoperatively. If both eyes are scheduled to have surgery within a few weeks of each other, glasses are usually prescribed following full recovery of the second eye.

IOL Options

New Implant Options for Eye Surgery

This handout describes several different IOL options to decrease the need for glasses after cataract surgery.

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IOL Options

Intraocular lenses for patients needing cataract surgery - describes several different replacement lens options for patients to choose from.

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Want to know more about the Cataract procedure?

When performing cataract surgery, Dr. Harvey uses the latest in lens removal technology with emphasis on minimizing incision size.