A cataract is a partial or total opacification of the crystalline, the natural lens of the eye, that leads to a progressive loss of vision. Cataracts may affect one or both eyes.
Cataract surgery is an intervention that consists in replace the crystalline lens that has opacified with an ocular prosthesis lens.
In most cases, cataracts are usually associated with age and affect patients over the age of 60. This type of cataract usually evolves slowly.
However, other factors or diseases can cause opacification of the lens and in these cases the evolution is usually much faster.
Surgery is still the only treatment for cataracts.
Cataract surgery procedure
As said early, cataract surgery involves the removal of the opacified crystalline lens. This is then replaced by a permanent implant or IOL (Intra Ocular Lens). The resection of the crystalline lens should be performed as soon as the loss of vision begins to limit patients in their daily lives.
The surgery is carried out through a small incision. The technique consists of fragmenting the lens with ultrasound, removing the fragments and subsequently fitting the implant.
In cases involving both eyes, the surgery is usually performed in two interventions, the second one a few months after the first intervention.
Femtosecond laser cataract surgery
The newest cataract surgery procedure uses a femtosecond laser to perform the necessary incisions, as well to fragment and remove the opacified crystalline lens.
In this way, the process results in a less invasive technique, more accurate than the classic cataract surgery.
You can read more about femtosecond laser cataract surgery here
Type of surgery and anesthesia
Cataract surgery takes very little time to carry out (less than half an hour).
It is ambulatory and is performed with local anesthesia, although sometimes is also be carried out with sedation.
Postoperative follow-up – cataract surgery
A follow-up visit is recommended the day after surgery. Your surgeon will recommend subsequent check-ups.