Cataract surgery is a procedure to remove the lens of your eye and, in most cases, replace it with an artificial lens. Usually, the lens of your eye is clear. A cataract causes the lens to become cloudy, which eventually affects your vision.
Cataract surgery is performed by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) on an outpatient basis, which means you don't have to stay in the hospital after the surgery. Cataract surgery is very common and is generally a safe procedure.
Before the procedure
At about a week before your surgery, a painless ultrasound test is performed to measure the size and shape of your eye. This helps determine the right type of lens implant (intraocular lens, or IOL).
Almost everyone who has cataract surgery will be given IOLs. These lenses improves your vision by focusing light on the back of your eye. You won't be able to see or feel the lens. It requires no care and becomes a permanent part of your eye.
A variety of IOLs with various features are available. Before surgery, we will discuss which type of IOL might work best for you and your lifestyle. Cost may also be a factor, as insurance companies may not pay for some types of lenses.
IOLs are made of plastic, acrylic or silicone. Some IOLs block ultraviolet light. Some IOLs are rigid plastic and implanted through an incision that requires several stitches (sutures) to close.
However, many IOLs are flexible, allowing a smaller incision that requires few or no stitches. The surgeon folds this type of lens and inserts it into the empty capsule where the natural lens used to be. Once inside the eye, the folded IOL unfolds, filling the empty capsule.