Dr. Stéphanie Zwillinger offers you 3 key information about cataract surgery in this article. It is one of our ophthalmologist specialties, as well as glaucoma and pediatrics! The COP9 team introduces you to this surgery: why undergo a surgical treatment and replace the lens? How does the procedure take place? How is the postoperative provided? Continue reading to learn how to get your visual acuity back after this surgical treatment!
The cataract surgery: why replacing the lens?
As you may know, cataract is a clouding of the lens. Located inside the eye, the lens allows you to quickly shift from far range to close range vision. It plays a major role in the accommodation, a system we already explained in this article “the eye: an organ that adapts to everything”. This clouding prevents the eye from focusing properly and can lead to blindness.
The patient affected with cataract has an impaired farsight, photophobia, and sees less contrasts. This aging of the lens affects mostly the elderly of age 75 and more.
However, no matter the age, traumatic cataract can occur post surgery or can be caused by a retinal detachment or medical drug treatments. Chronic illness such as diabetes can also provoke a cataract. Dr.Stéphanie Zwillinger also performs surgery on children: this is what we call congenital cataract.
Your ophthalmologist will screen and evaluate the evolution of the disease. If you feel:
- a glare in a bright environment;
- a veil in front of your eyes;
- that your vision is progressively deteriorating.
Do not hesitate to make an appointment for a visual assessment in order to analyze the opacity of your lens.
The cataract surgery: how does the procedure take place?
The goal behind cataract surgery is to remove the clouded lens and to replace it with an intraocular implant (or IOL Implant).This artificial lens means immediate visual recovery for the patient, right after the procedure.
Dr. Stéphanie Zwillinger proceeds in an operating room. This medical act is mostly performed as an outpatient surgery. However, some cases require hospitalization. Your surgeon who specializes in cataract will direct you toward the solution that suits you best.
If you have to undergo surgery for both eyes, the general advice is to proceed on one eye, then on the other, up to 15 days to a month later. On average, this procedure lasts 15 minutes.
Regarding the cataract surgery process, a local anesthesia is performed on the eye with eye drops. For some patients, a general or a peribulbar anesthesia can be performed, to make the surgery accessible to everyone.
During the procedure, the eye surgeon works in an operating room, with his or her team and a surgical microscope. Here are the main steps of the cataract surgery:
- one or more tiny incisions are made within the eye, in the cornea;
- an viscoelastic injection is performed directly into the eye to create space in the anterior chamber;
- an opening of the anterior lens capsule (a capsulorhexis);
- an hydrodissection;
- the lens is released and removed with a ultrasound probe;
- the capsular bag is cleaned up and the IOL is placed inside afterward;
- the eye is then cleansed from the viscoelastic substance, rinsed and cleaned up.
The surgery is painless and does not require stitches, for the incisions are self-sealing (hydrosuture).
Postoperative of the cataract surgery
Every patient undergoing eye surgery has to go through the medical treatment recommended by the eye surgeon. For a cataract surgery, anti inflammatory and antibiotic drops must be applied several times a day, on a given period.
The procedure does not generate complications and is perfectly painless. However, should you feel tinglings, redness or any other and ocular abnormality, we invite you to consult your ophthalmologist or ophthalmic emergencies as quickly as possible.
Furthermore, postoperative sometimes means a new vision for the patient: in some cases, an IOL can also correct vision. The patient won’t need corrective lenses and could regain sight! If not, it is necessary to wait three weeks to get a prescription for new glasses to match the new vision.
As a conclusion on this cataract surgery article, we invite you to read complementary articles about this pathology! We talked about the cataract in the “Why does the field of vision decline” article (as well as glaucoma, presbyopia, etc), as well as in this congenital cataract article. Finally, do not hesitate to follow us on our social networks! We are also present on Facebook and Instagram.