Conventional Cataract Surgery By Phacoemulsification

One of the most common surgical procedures in ophthalmology is cataract removal. Thanks to technological advances, cataract removal procedures have been refined and new techniques have emerged.

Discover in this post what conventional cataract surgery consists of ultrasound phacoemulsification.

Conventional cataract surgery: phacoemulsification with ultrasound

The conventional technique that has been used for more than 20 years to remove cataracts is phacoemulsification, a procedure that revolutionized cataract surgery and that has been perfected over time, introducing improvements to reduce discomfort, and errors. Adverse effects.

The deteriorated lens is disintegrated and removed using ultrasound, and then it is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens that will last a lifetime and will not lose transparency.

This surgery is performed in the operating room, under local anaesthesia, generally first in one eye, and after a few days in the other eye, although it can also be performed simultaneously bilaterally.

Its duration is approximately 10-15 minutes.

Cataract Phacoemulsification Procedure

Phacoemulsification performed using ultrasound involves the following steps :

  1. The surgeon makes a small incision in the cornea to access the crystalline lens, where the cataract surgery takes place, since through this incision the necessary instruments will be introduced to fragment and aspirate the cataract, as well as the new lens.
  2. Next, the specialist makes a circular opening in the lens sac ( capsulorhexis ) and separates it from said sac in order to work inside it. Although the procedure is manual, in almost all cases complete and clean capsulotomies are achieved. This small incision will not require stitches.
  3. Subsequently, by means of ultrasound impulses from the phaco emulsifier, the crystalline lens (the cataract) is fragmented and aspirated. The same device has a built-in system that sucks up the crystalline bits.
  4. Finally, once the capsule is cleaned, the surgeon places the new artificial intraocular lens that will act as the crystalline lens, thus replacing the natural lens.

It is inserted folded so that it enters through the small incisions, but once inside it is unfolded and fixed in its permanent position.

Before finishing the intervention, the doctor can make additional incisions in the cornea to prevent or reduce astigmatism.

Types of intraocular lenses in a cataract operation

The ophthalmologist can implant the following types of intraocular lenses, taking into account the visual needs of the patient:

  • Monofocal: designed with a single focus for distance vision, if you do not have astigmatism, but not near.
  • Multifocals – These multifocal lenses can be bifocal (near-far vision) or trifocal (near-intermediate-far vision). Therefore, they allow you to see at different distances, without the need to wear glasses or contact lenses.

Final Considerations and Recommendations

When considering cataract correction through intraocular lens implantation, it is important to keep several important aspects in mind. Here are some final considerations and recommendations by the experts of God Service Eye Clinic to help you in the decision-making process:

  • Importance of a complete ophthalmological evaluation: Before undergoing cataract surgery, it is crucial to have a complete ophthalmological evaluation. Your ophthalmologist will assess your eye health, measure your cataract grade, and determine the best treatment approach for you.
  • Discussion with the ophthalmologist about the different types of lenses: During your consultation, talk with your ophthalmologist about the different types of intraocular lenses available. Discuss your visual needs and lifestyle so that I can recommend the most suitable option.
  • Benefits of multifocal lenses: If you value the independence of glasses for both distance and near vision, multifocal lenses may be options to consider. These lenses offer greater visual versatility compared to single-vision lenses.
  • Astigmatism correction with toric lenses: If you have astigmatism in addition to cataracts, toric lenses are an excellent option to correct both conditions. These lenses provide precise and effective correction of astigmatism, improving overall visual quality.
  • Expected Visual Results and Individual Considerations: It is important to understand that visual results may vary from person to person and will depend on a number of factors. Your ophthalmologist will provide you with detailed information about the expected results and any special considerations that you should take into account.
  • YAG capsulotomy: After a while, you may need to perform an additional procedure called a YAG capsulotomy. It is a non-invasive laser procedure that is performed to clean intraocular lenses, as these can become opaque in some patients.

Remember that the choice of the type of intraocular lens should be based on your individual needs and preferences.

Cataract surgery post-operative

After the cataract operation, you will be able to return home after spending a few minutes under observation.

The next day, your eye will be uncovered during the check-up and you will start a treatment with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories that will last a few days.

The recovery of sight occurs gradually. You will see clearly again, without the haze and with more vivid colours after a few days. Full recovery will be a month or six weeks.

The vision of a person who has just been operated on must adapt to the extraction of the cataract and the replacement of the crystalline lens with an intraocular lens, so it is normal for the eye undergoing surgery to have a sensation of dryness, haze, flashes and sensitivity to light, discomfort that will disappear as the eye heals.

Therefore, the postoperative period will be brief, but some medical recommendations for eye care must be followed so that the cataract operation is a success and you can recover as soon as possible.

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