Hyderabad Ophthalmologists' Association

Cataract Treatment

Several surgical techniques are used for removing cataracts.

Phacoemulsification: In this method a tiny instrument is inserted through a very small incision. The instrument uses ultrasound vibrations to break the cataract into fine pieces, which are gently suctioned out. The new lens is then inserted into the eye. Usually no stitches are required to close the incision. This minimal surgery allows faster and safer healing, hastening your return to normal activity.

Small Incision Cataract Surgery (SICS): This is a new technique where the cataract is removed manually through a small incision. The small incision heals fast, enabling you to recover quickly.

Extracapsular extraction: Here the lens is removed in a single piece through a relatively larger incision. It is replaced with an artificial lens and the incision is closed with fine stitches. The surgeon may opt for this technique in cases where the cataract is very advanced. The recovery period is longer here.
Your doctor will select the method of surgery that is most suitable for your case.

Planning for surgery

It is not necessary for the cataract to mature fully or for the vision to become totally cloudy before scheduling surgery. You and your ophthalmologist should jointly decide on the time for surgery. Be sure to inform your doctor about any medications or herbal remedies that you may be using.

Prior to your surgery, you will need to undergo some routine medical and blood tests. If you wear glasses or contact lenses bring them so that your prescription can be checked. An A-scan will help the doctor to determine the power of the new lens to be implanted in your eye.

It is good to wash your face thoroughly with soap and water before coming for surgery. You will be advised to use some eye drops. Please follow the instructions carefully as these drops help dilate your eye. If your eye is not properly dilated, surgery may be delayed. You may also be advised not to eat or drink anything for a few hours prior to surgery. You can bring only one attendant; children below 15 years are not allowed unless they are patients.

Though the success rate for cataract surgery is almost 98%, sometimes there may be complications. Most of these complications are minor and can be rectified. Your doctor will advise you about any specific issues related to your case.

The surgery

In the operating room, the area around your eye will be cleaned thoroughly. Sterile drapes will be placed around your head and face, with only the eye exposed. Usually a local anesthetic in the form of an injection is administered next to the eye. Sometimes doctors may have to perform the surgery under general anesthesia. An oxygen tube will be placed near you nose so that you do not feel suffocated.

The actual surgery lasts about 30 minutes. You will be relaxed and awake but feel no pain. The nerves in your eye will be completely numbed so you will not be able to see or move your eye. Generally, there is very little bleeding.

Care after surgery

After surgery a bandage or shield will be placed over your eye. You will be advised to rest till you are ready to leave.

You should wear protective glasses or an eye shield in the day and an eye patch at night to avoid accidental injury. The doctor will advise you when you can discontinue them. You can bathe carefully from below your neck but do not wet the operated eye for 15 days. You may gently clean the eyelids with a piece of cotton boiled in water or a sterilized tissue.

 

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