Cataract surgery consists in removing the natural lens of the eye to replace it with an intraocular lens, also called IOL. Switching from a cloudy natural lens to an artificial clear one will allow to restore a clear and crisp vision. Cataract surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, which means you can go back home right after the surgery. The surgery in itself takes about 15 minutes from start to end.
The surgeon performs topic anesthesia which will allow you to feel virtually no pain and to remain relaxed during the surgery. The surgery will not require any suture.
Thanks to the ultrasounds waves of the phacoemulsification, the natural lens of the eye will be softened and broken into smaller parts that will then be easily extracted from the eye.
After removing the natural lens, the surgeon replaces it with a clear artificial lens, also called IOL (Intraocular Lens). Thanks to a small device the IOL is sent directly into the eye, right in the capsular bag. The intraocular lens has been chosen specifically for the patient and for his needs in terms of vision. In fact, depending on your lifestyle and your needs, your ophthalmologist will be able to guide you towards the best option for you and for the results you want to achieve.
The procedure ends up with the surgeon adjusting the placement of the lens and cleaning the eye. No suture will be needed; a simple eye patch will have to be used for a few days following the surgery. After the surgery, you are ready to go home and does not have to spend the night at the hospital. You will of course have several follow-up appointments in the coming weeks.
Any discomfort (tearing, sensitivity to light...) will disappear within a few days after the surgery. In any case, you should avoid rubbing or any kind of pressure on the eye. The vision will start substantially improving a few days after the surgery and will show final results within a few weeks.
Is Cataract Surgery Safe and Effective?
In about 98% of cases the operation is successful. It is also one of the safest and most effective types of surgery. However in a small number of cases complications can occur. These are all uncommon, can often be treated and they seldom cause permanent visual problems. You should always discuss risks of surgery with your eye surgeon.
How Soon Will My Vision Improve?
Vision usually improves the day after the cataract surgery, but it may remain blurry for the first few days. It is always much better 2 weeks after surgery. You can return quickly to your daily activities. The healing eye needs time to adjust its vision to the other eye. Once your eye have completely healed, your optometrist can evaluate your need for eyeglasses or contact lenses in order to provide you an optimum vision. Most people need to wear glasses after cataract surgery, at least for some particular activities. Even after cataract surgery, you should have regular eye and vision examinations to monitor the health of your eyes and your vision.