The Modern Technique of Cataract Surgery
The modern treatment of cataract is very successful and includes removal of the cloudy lens from the eye, allowing light to pass to the retina at the back of the eye, and replacing it with a plastic lens known as the lens implant.
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The technique that we employ is called phacoemulsification (also called small incision cataract surgery). This procedure is usually quick, safe and gentle to the eye and the recovery period is very short so that the visual improvements can be enjoyed quickly.
Ultrasound is the most effective method of removing cataracts. (Contrary to popular belief, lasers are not used for this procedure). The cataract is removed in small pieces with a tiny vibrating ultrasonic needle through a small incision in the eye.
To fully restore vision, the focusing power of the lens must be replaced and a foldable, artificial lens is then implanted into the space left inside the lens capsule after the cataract has been removed.
Prior to surgery, biometry (the process of measuring the eye) will have been carried out so the surgeon can select the correct strength of intraocular lens (IOL) to insert. This IOL requires no care and remains in the eye permanently. You will not feel or see the new lens.
This type of surgery includes the following benefits:
The cataract can be removed as soon as it begins to affect your vision.
The surgery is usually carried out under local anaesthetic eye drops with very little discomfort. It is administered without needles and most people are totally relaxed during surgery.
Stitches are not normally required, therefore healing is quicker.
The time for the recovery of the vision is greatly reduced and normal activities can be resumed within one day of the operation.
Post-operative consultations are kept to a minimum and the risk of post-operative infection is reduced.
After cataract surgery, the need to wear distance glasses may be less. Some patients also become less dependent on reading glasses, even if glasses have been necessary for many years.
Pre-Existing Eye Conditions
Even with successful cataract surgery your eye may not see as well as you would like. Other problems such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetes may limit vision after surgery. However, even with such problems cataract surgery may be beneficial.
If your eyes are healthy, the chances of restoring good vision following cataract surgery are excellent.
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Highgate Ophthalmic Practice