Cataract – Small Incision Surgery PreOp® Patient Education and Engagement


Your doctor has recommended that you undergo
lens replacement surgery to treat a cataract. But what does that actually mean? The human eye is constructed like a camera
– with a clear lens in the front. The lens is located just behind the iris. It is contained in an elastic capsule. This capsule will serve as the housing for
the new lens. All light that enters the eye has to pass
through this lens. As we age, this lens can become cloudy and
gradually lose its ability to focus properly. This is called a cataract.If left untreated,
a cataract can grow steadily worse – interfering more and more with your vision. Generally, replacing a cataract with an artificial
lens is a simple procedure. It usually involves a single incision in the
white of the eye. Through this single opening the cataract is
removed and the artificial lens is inserted. While the anesthetic is taking effect, the
surgeon will position a microscope in front of the eye. By now, the pupil will be fully open, or dilated. When the operative field is numb, the surgeon
will use the microscope to help make a very small incision just 3 millimeters above the
iris. The lens is located just behind the iris contained
in the elastic capsule. Next the surgeon will open the top of the
capsule and remove the lens. Most likely, your doctor will use a small
probe which vibrates at a high frequency. The probes vibrations break the old lens into
microscopic pieces which can then be drawn out with gentle suction. Through the small incision, the surgeon will
then insert the new lens. The lens is actually rolled up inside a special
injector, designed to fit through the small incision made above the iris. With the tip of the injector inside the eye,
the surgeon slowly injects the new lens where it unfolds into position. Because of the small size of the incision,
often your surgeon will complete surgery without putting in any stitches. Vision will gradually improve during normal
healing over a period of 5 to 8 weeks.

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