What to expect with cataract surgery?

What to expect on the day of surgery:

The patient should take a shower in the morning and wash their hair. It is not necessary to fast before the procedure. We have a comfortable, soothing operating table. Patient is given drops to dilate and numb the eye. Upon entering the surgical suite, we clean around the eye with iodine. We place a drape (protective fabric) around the eye and then put in an eyelid speculum that holds the eyelids apart during surgery. There is a very bright light during the operation from the microscope. We ask the patient watch the light during surgery, although some times that may be difficult.

The Procedure

We begin by making two to three small corneal incisions. These incisions are self-closing, so there are usually no sutures, or stiches needed! Then the anterior chamber is filled with a viscous material (viscoelastic).  

Next we creating a circular opening in the anterior surface of the lens (capsule). This allows us to reach the natural lens. The lens used to be soft and pillow-like but hardens with time.


With a special device that emits sound waves - the core of the hardened lens is broken down inside the eye. The granules are removed simultaneously with the same device. The sac or bag that was holding the natural lens in place, is left to help hold the artificial lens. Successively, the front portion of the eye again filled with a viscous material.


Seen from the side
 The new artificial lens is often rolled up and pushed into the eye and into the lens capsule through one of the small incisions using injector technology. This way you can fit the artificial lens that is 6 mm in diameter through about a 2 mm incision in the cornea.


The liquid inside the front of the eye is exchanged with a more viscous fluid and the artificial lens is centered in the middle of the lens capsule, and suspended in place by arms on the sides of the artificial lens. Then the viscous agent is aspirated and antibiotics are administered to the eye. Then, the operation is completed!


In this cross section of the eye, the image shows where artificial lens sits, suspended in the lens capsule behind the iris in the same place the “old“ lens was.


After the operation

It is necessary to take it easy and rest the first day after the operation. You must not rub the eye and avoid crouching, bending, pushing and heavy lifting. It is a good idea to wear sunglasses outdoors. Pain is rare for this procedure but it is OK to take conventional painkillers, such as paracetamol, or Tylenol after the operation. After the procedure you will use Maxidex eye drops for about 3 weeks. Maxidex is an anti-inflammatory drug.
A change of vision of the eye during the operation so you need to change glasses when the eye has finished its recovery, usually after 4-6 weeks.

Patients with glaucoma should resume their glaucoma drops after the operation. It is important, however, to start with an unopened bottle immediately after the operation. 

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