Cataract surgery

Picture of the author Mamisoa Andriantafika by Mamisoa Andriantafika

- 3 minutes to read - 494 words

Cataract surgery is the most often performed surgery.

Cataract surgery

Cataract is a clouding of the natural lens causing loss of contrast vision, especially at night, associated with glare with bright lights. Cataract surgery is performed by removing the cloudy lens and replace it with an artificial lens. Therefore, this procedure restores the vision caused by this opacification.

This procedure restores the vision by removing the cloudy lens.

The surgery is mostly performed under local anesthesia in a one-day clinic, with the instillation of anesthetic drops and sometime with an injection around the eye. Surgery time is about 20 minutes. Microincisions are made through which very small instruments are used.

First step is to open the front part of the capsular bag containing the lens. Then the lens is broken in small pieces with ultrasounds sometime associated with a femtosecond laser. Then the small pieces are sucked and the capsular bag is cleaned. In the last step, the customized artificial lens is injected in the capsular bag.

By using a customized lens, it is possible to achieve a vision without requiring any glasses.

Before surgery, the surgeon will do many measures to calculate the right parameters to choose the lens and achieve the best refractive results. He can do so that the chosen lens will make the patient see far, near, or far and near without glasses, depending of the patient's choice and the surgical possibilities.


As any surgery, complications can occur during or after the surgery.

The most feared early complication (< 1month) is an intraocular infection or endophtalmitis. It is rare, according to scientific publications, usually less than 0.05% rate. A prophylactic antibiotic injection in the eye is done at the end of the surgery. The postop treatment must be carried out as planned. Nevertheless, if it occurs, it should be treated immediately. Other early complications are less alarming and your eye doctor will give you useful information.

Mainly during the first week postop until six month after, a pain with a red eye and/or a loss of vision in the operated eye, you should contact your eye doctor in emergency.

Intraocular infection is rare, but should be treated immediately.

Secondary cataract is a benign late complication that can be resolved by YAG laser.

Late complications are rare. The most frequent complication is the opacification of the back of the capsular bag that contains the lens. It is called secondary cataract as its symptoms are similar to the original cataract. It occurs usually in the 2 years after surgery at a rate of 10%. The bag gets cloudy but the artificial lens stays clear. Treatment is simple: a YAG laser is used to open the back of the bag to restore the clarity of the visual axis. Procedure is easy and recovery is very fast.

The patient has a follow-up days 1,7 and 30 where glasses are finally prescribed if needed.

Feel free to contact your eye doctor for more information.

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