What’s Involved With Cataract Surgery?

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Cataracts is a non-life-threatening and painless condition that affects the vision. When a person is suffering from cataracts, the lens in the eye becomes clouded and more difficult to see through, leading to the need for it to be replaced with a synthetic lens via a simple surgical procedure. While the surgery to correct cataracts is quite simple and routine, it does need to be carried out by a licensed professional who has plenty of experience in the area. Complications are rare, but they do happen.

Deciding to Have Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is usually an elective surgery, decided upon between both the patient and the surgeon looking after them. If you are suffering from another eye condition, such as macular degeneration due to your age, your surgeon could well suggest cataract surgery to help manage the problem. While cataracts can appear in both eyes, there is every possibility that your surgeon may suggest only having the surgery done in one eye at a time.

This is also more likely to happen if you have significant issues with your eyes and your risk of complications when it comes to having surgery are much higher, at which point having surgery is a balance of risk that will be a very personal choice between both you and your surgeon.

Operating on Only One Eye

One of the benefits of cataract surgery on both eyes is that you will regain your depth perception, which may have been lost or significantly reduced if you only had surgery on one eye or if one of cataracts on your eyes was particularly dense.

Depth perception is a critical part of your eyesight and will affect your ability to carry out everyday tasks such as reading and driving to the best of your abilities. Having surgery on one eye at a time can cause other temporary issues during your recovery time, especially if you are already near-sighted or extremely far-sighted. This can be difficult to compensate for in such a short account of time while you recover, and your surgeon may suggest you get the second eye operated on as soon as possible in order to cause you the minimum amount of disruption to your life.

Process of cataract surgery

How the Surgery Is Carried Out

There have been so many advancements in cataracts surgery over the years that it has become one of the safest and most reliable procedures that doctors and surgeons can perform. Usually carried out under local anesthetic as opposed to general anesthetic. The surgery is incredibly quick and is usually done in around 15 minutes.

Surgeons usually use a procedure called phacoemulsification (shortened to phaco) to emulsify the lens of your eye and remove it using fluids before replacing it with a synthetic lens to improve your vision. This type of surgery has an extremely high success rate, usually around 97%

Patients are usually able to either go home the same day as the surgery to convalesce at home rather than stay in hospital.

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