What Happens During Cataract Surgery? | Pinke Eye Center

What Happens During Cataract Surgery?

Cataracts are one of the most common vision problems for older people. In fact, they are the leading cause of blindness in the world today. But if you have cataracts, it doesn’t mean you need to deal with vision loss forever. Thanks to cataract surgery, you can regain your clear vision and see well again! Cataract surgery is a procedure that removes your cataracts and restores your vision. Keep reading to find out more about what happens during cataract surgery!

The Procedure

The goal of cataract surgery is to remove the eye’s natural lens and replace it with an artificial lens. Removing the lens is necessary because this is where the cataract develops.

The artificial lens that replaces the natural lens is called an IOL, or intraocular lens. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure that only lasts about fifteen minutes.

After receiving anesthetic eye drops, a small incision is made in the cornea. After making the incision, the surgeon breaks up the lens using a process called phacoemulsification.

During phacoemulsification, targeted high-frequency ultrasonic waves gently break down the lens. This makes it easier to remove the lens from the eye by fracturing it into smaller pieces.

The pieces of the lens are then removed with suction. The intraocular lens is then put in place and the incision is closed up, without the need for stitches.


Immediately following cataract surgery, you’ll undergo a short exam. This ensures there are no immediate complications.

After a brief rest period, you will be able to leave and go home. Because of the numbing eye drops and the fact that your vision may not be stable, you cannot drive home.

You must find someone who can drive you home after cataract surgery. You’ll also receive a protective shield for the eye and medicated eye drops. This helps prevent infection, injury, and complications that you will be at a higher risk for.

Wear the eye shield while sleeping during the first week of recovery. Take your eye drops exactly as directed. You will need to take them several times a day for about a month.

Using them as directed will reduce your risk of infection and inflammation. If you have to go outside while recovering, make sure to wear protective sunglasses.

These must protect from UVA and UVB rays from the sun. Your eyes may be more sensitive than normal during recovery from cataract surgery. You may need to wear sunglasses indoors if the light is too bright.

Redness and irritation may occur after cataract surgery. You can use over the counter medication to combat any pain or discomfort.

Potential Complications

While it is uncommon to experience complications after cataract surgery, it can happen. One of the most common issues post-surgery is known as PCO, or posterior capsular opacification.

This is also known as “secondary cataracts”, although that name can be misleading as cataracts cannot grow back.

During cataract surgery, when the surgeon removes the natural lens, the capsule that holds the lens in place is usually left intact. This is what the artificial lens is placed inside.

In some cases, the capsule can become contaminated with epithelial cells. This can lead to the clouding of vision after cataract surgery. If this occurs, you can undergo a simple procedure called YAG laser capsulotomy.

Wondering if it may be time for cataract surgery? The experts at Pinke Eye Center are here to help and answer your questions! Schedule a cataract screening at Pinke Eye Center in Shelton, CT now!

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