Cataract Surgery

Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures in America today, with over 3 million surgeries performed each year, and a success rate of 98%.1

During cataract surgery, a Temple ophthalmologist removes the clouded lens of the eye and replaces it with a clear artificial lens. The procedure usually takes less than an hour and is performed on an outpatient basis. If cataracts are present in both eyes, they are typically treated four to eight weeks apart.

Prior to surgery, patients receive numbing eye drops and a sedative. The surgeon then makes a small incision in the eye and removes the cataract via one of two methods:

  • In phacoemulsification, the more common method, the surgeon uses an instrument that emits ultrasonic waves to break down the lens into a liquid. The emulsified lens is then suctioned from the eye.
  • In extracapsular cataract extraction, the surgeon makes a larger incision and manually breaks the lens into smaller pieces, which he or she then suctions out of the eye.

Once the cloudy lens has been removed, the surgeon implants an intraocular lens (IOL) into the newly opened space within the eye. IOLs are clear artificial lenses made of silicone, plastic or acrylic. Some IOLs have special features, such as the ability to provide bifocal vision or correct astigmatism. A Temple ophthalmologist can determine which IOL is right for each patient.

After surgery, many patients may experience some blurriness in their vision. Itchiness and mild discomfort are normal. As the eye heals over the next week, vision will improve.

In some cases, visual cloudiness can persist after the full removal of the lens. This type of cloudiness is due to a remaining portion of the lens capsule — a membrane that surrounds the lens. Temple offers a laser treatment called capsulotomy to remove the cloudiness and restore vision.

After cataract surgery, patients often report significant visual improvement, though many still rely on glasses or contacts at least some of the time. A consultation with a Temple ophthalmologist can help you determine if cataract surgery is right for you.

To schedule an appointment with a Temple ophthalmologist, click here or call 1-800-TEMPLE-MED (1-800-836-7536).

1American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery