What does the cataract operation consist of?
Only with surgical intervention is it possible to remove the cataract. Generally, the surgery is outpatient, so the patient is discharged the same day.
Anesthesia is usually local, but sedation may be added if the patient is nervous.
The cataract operation consists of removing the opaque lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens. Currently the technique accepted as safer and more standardized is extraction using ultrasound and microincision. This advanced technique allows the operation to be performed through a 2.2 mm incision and without having to resort to sutures.
Depending on the intraocular lens model, it may be necessary to wear glasses afterwards or not. The lenses are divided into three types according to the vision they provide at different distances and the patient can choose the model that best suits them after discussing with the ophthalmologist:
- Monofocal: it is the basic model and has a single point of far focus. Requires the use of glasses for intermediate and close vision after the intervention.
- Bifocal (Multifocal): It has two focus points: Far and close. Glasses for close vision are not needed but it does not have good vision at intermediate distance and it gives more reflections around the lights, making it a model surpassed by the following lenses.
- Extended Range (Progressive): Continuous focus from far to close or intermediate distance. The range of vision can be customized for each patient and gives less reflections, making it the currently most demanded lens.
The intervention of each eye is usually separated for safety for a week. So you can also make a “normal” life since while one eye recovers we see the other. Postoperative treatment is based on two eye drops to avoid inflammation and infection. Otherwise, you can live a normal life avoiding dirt and trauma in the area.
Frequently asked questions about a cataract surgery
Is it more difficult the bigger it gets?
The more the cataract evolves, the more energy must be used to extract it, so the inflammation of the eye during surgery will be greater. That is why if the patient already notices a visual decrease that affects his life, he should not wait too long to correct it. It only increases the surgical risk and loses time to see better.
Can I reduce astigmatism at the same time that I have my cataract removed?
One third of the population has high astigmatism. Cataract intervention can be used to correct it when it is high or low, by using reducing incisions or astigmatism correcting toric lenses.
What does the cataract operation consist of?
Cataract surgery consists of removing the opacified crystalline lens dissolved by ultrasound and replacing it with an intraocular lens. It can be used so that the intraocular lens corrects vision at different distances and this is achieved with a multifocal lens. Currently there are several models and we inform in consultation the most appropriate for each case.
Do I have to request sick leave?
It is an outpatient surgery, in which the patient is discharged one hour after the intervention. You can live a normal life so you don’t need to leave work unless it is risk for the eye or perfect vision is required, for example, a professional driver.
Will I be able to lead a normal life?
After the intervention you can lead a relatively normal life, yes, taking the appropriate precautions. Avoid impacts and dirt that could enter the eye; as well as the use of sunglasses and the use of the recommended eye drops.
How long does the operation last?
The cataract operation lasts about 10 minutes. It takes longer to prepare than the intervention itself. This is important since we must minimize risks of infection.
What precautions should I take after the intervention?
These are the most suitable precautions to ake after the cataract surgery:
- Do not strain your eyes the first few days
- Avoid driving, reading excessively, using the computer excessively
- Avoid makeup and dirt around the eyes
- Apply antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops that your doctor has prescribed you
What risks are there?
The most common risks associated with a cataract operation are minor, such as inflammation or minor bleeding. There may also be some cataract fragment left to remove or find a bad support for the intraocular lens; this would be corrected with a second operation. However, the most dangerous risk is an infection, so all precautionary measures are taken.
What type of anesthesia is used?
The anesthesia used for this intervention is anesthesia in drops and a small sedation can also be applied to the patient, so that the experience is the best possible.
Is the intervention painful?
The intervention is painless, the only thing that can be noticed is some pressure in the eye or the feeling that the eye is being washed with water.