Types of Cataract Surgery

Types of Cataract SurgeryAs people age, cataracts often develop.  Cataract surgery is the only treatment suited for resolving cataracts.

During cataract surgery, your surgeon will make a small incision in the surface of the eye, in or near the cornea.  An ultrasound breaks up the lens.  A laser may be used to help with the procedure.  The clouded lens pieces are removed and an artificial lens is placed into the thin capsular bag the cataract occupied.  This lens is what helps your eye focus after surgery.

The three primary techniques for cataract surgery are:

  • This is the procedure described above.  The procedure usually lasts less than 30 minutes and requires only numbing eye drops with no stitches needed.  Most procedures involve this technique.
  • Extracapsular cataract surgery is used for advanced cataracts where the lens cannot be dissolved. It requires a larger incision with stitches and recovery is usually slower.  An injection of numbing medication is required around the eye area.
  • Intracapsular cataract surgery requires an even larger incision. Here the surgeon removes the entire lens and the surrounding capsule.  A new intraocular lens is placed in front of the iris instead.  This technique is rarely used.

For more information about cataract surgery, please call Harvard Eye Associates in San Clemente to schedule a consultation.